Taking an Online Course

General Information

Online courses are conducted via the Internet on a course website. Participants read the course manual online and access any other course materials on the site. Each day participants read the background material and exercises in the course manual. Courses are conducted by ILRU with support from staff at the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Participants post comments to the course discussion boards on the site to interact with instructors and other participants. Instructors post assignments each day and participants complete class work by responding to those assignments online. Three teleconference sessions (one each week) will also be available for live discussion and Q&A with the instructor.

Participants can access the course website at any time of the day or night. This can be done from any computer with an Internet connection; students take the course from the location that is most comfortable for them—at home or at work.

Time Requirements

Courses generally last from three to four weeks. You are responsible for beginning the class on-time and course work should be completed by the last day of the class. Assignments are usually posted Monday through Friday. Instructors estimate that participants will spend from 1-2 hours each day reading assignments, completing course work, and participating in the discussion. Participants who keep up with the discussion each day get more out of the course than those who skip days and try to catch up. We urge you to discuss your participation with your supervisor before you register to help ensure you can arrange your schedule to participate daily.

Admission, Registration, and Cancelations

Admission Policy

IL-NET courses are conducted for executives, managers, staffs, board members, and volunteers affiliated with centers for independent living and for members and staffs of statewide independent living councils. Applications from center and SILC staffs are filled in the order they are received. Some courses are targeted to centers or to SILCs; registration may be restricted accordingly. IL-NET staff and instructors determine class size for each course. Occasionally, when courses are not filled by those affiliated with centers or SILCs, other applicants may be accepted, but only if their involvement supports independent living services and programs in states.

Course Fees

There is no charge for online courses. However, withdrawals must be received in writing or by email BEFORE the first day of the course. Registrations are non-transferable after the beginning of the course. Only a limited number of participants can be accepted for each course. Withdrawals prevent others from participating.

Other Requirements and Prerequisites

To participate in an IL-NET online course, you must have access to a computer with an Internet connection through a broadband or dial-up modem. (Broadband connection is preferable.) The Canvas platform used by IL-NET is optimized for the latest versions of Internet browsers; see the list of supported browsers below. You need to have basic computer skills -- you should know how to save files, download files from the Internet, and basic knowledge of an Internet browser, (Internet Explorer, Fire Fox or Google Chrome). You should be proficient with any specialized applications you use to make the computer accessible to you (such as screen reading software). If you already use email (such as Outlook), a word processor (such as Microsoft Word), and are able to navigate the Internet, you may find it easier to use the course platform. Technical support staff are available to assist you with becoming familiar with Canvas, the Learning Management System for the online class; but you need an adequate level of knowledge of your computer, software, and any specialized applications that make the computer accessible to you.

Supported Browsers

Supported Browsers, see https://guides.instructure.com/m/67952/l/720329-which-browsers-does-canvas-support

Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.

Canvas supports the current and first previous major releases of the following browsers:

  • Chrome 66 and 67
  • Firefox 60 and 61 (Extended Releases are not supported) Flash 29 and 30 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
  • Internet Explorer 11 (Windows only—functionally supported; may exhibit slight visual differences from other browsers, but these differences do not restrict product functionality or accessibility)
  • Edge 41 and 42 (Windows only)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)
  • Safari 10 and 11 (Macintosh only)

You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. Your browser will notify you if there is a new version available.

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating "Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas." If you have upgraded your browser but are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies.

If you are using an unsupported browser, you can update your browser, or you can dismiss the warning banner during the duration of your browser session. For instance, testing centers can dismiss the banner and it won't appear until the next browser session.

Screen Reader Programs

Screen Reader Programs, see https://guides.instructure.com/m/67952/l/720328

  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • PC: JAWS (latest version for Internet Explorer)
  • PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome

Multiple Participants from the Same Organization

Class size is limited. Often, the number of people allowed from a single organization is limited. This allows the IL-NET to serve more centers and SILCs and encourages a broader dialog among participants from many organizations.

Request for Extension

If during an online course exceptional circumstances arise that make completing the course by the last day of class impossible, a student may contact the course instructor and request an individual extension of the course end date. All extensions are made at the discretion of the course instructor(s). Requests for an extension to complete course work must be made prior to the last week of the course and as a rule extensions will not be granted for a period longer than one week from the official course end date.

Registration Assistance

For registration assistance, contact Dionne Rauseo at rauseo@bcm.edu.

Acceptance, Orientation, and Course Completion


You will be notified of your acceptance by email AFTER registration closes. Shortly thereafter, you will receive a second email message with information about how to sign on to the course website. The second email will include your course username and password. File this message where you can find it easily; you will use this information every time you sign on to the course.

Web/Telephone Orientation

The week before each course begins, we will provide an orientation to our course website. You will have an opportunity to practice using your username and password to enter the website. You can practice posting messages and responding to messages and post your profile to introduce yourself to other participants. You will learn the purpose of each of the sections of the website and how to use them. You will learn how to move between the different sections of the website. This will help you to become familiar with the website and resolve any technical issues before the course begins. If you are unable to attend the orientation, an on-demand orientation video will be available for you to review. However, attending the web/telephone orientation is highly recommended.

Completion Requirements and Course Certificates

Each instructor determines completion requirements for the courses he or she teaches. The instructor also determines whether or not assignments have been completed satisfactorily. Those who complete all requirements by the conclusion of the course will be awarded a certificate of completion. In general, participants must contribute to online discussions by posting their responses to the topics and questions presented by the instructor and commenting on the posts of other course participants, complete pre- and post-assessments, and complete a final course evaluation.