Frequently Asked Questions APS

How do I contact someone in the Dean’s office?

Margarida Shail, Office Administrator
Email:​ or
Phone: 705.474.3450 ext. 4643 or 4278
Fax: 705.474.3264

How will the University contact me?

Nipissing University issues an e-mail account to all students, faculty members and instructors. This account is accessed through the Nipissing University portal which is password protected and requires a username to login.

It is Nipissing University’s policy to send all official communication to your Nipissing University e-mail accounts. It is your responsibility to check your email in a timely manner.

Failure to read communications sent to the University e-mail address in a timely manner does not absolve you from knowing, responding to, or complying with the content of these communications.

How much time will I need to dedicate each week for my course?

While this varies from student to student, one can expect to spend approximately ten hours per week of study and preparation for each three-credit online course. You may contact your course instructor for an estimate based on the course material.

Which Learning Management System does Nipissing University use?

Nipissing University uses Blackboard Learn. If you are new to Blackboard, you may wish to view the online tutorials posted here.

A note about Discussion Boards: Many courses use discussion boards in order to promote discussion of various course related topics. Postings to the discussion boards are public within the course; therefore, students should not post personal requests (such as assignment extension requests) in these areas. Discussion boards are an effective way to explore course-related materials with the instructor and all classmates.

How do I access my Course Materials and Textbooks?

You will need to purchase textbooks and course materials through the campus shop or an independent retailer. Be sure to do this right away, as you will need these resources for your studies. You will find the required textbooks and course materials listed in your course syllabus in Blackboard. Textbooks and course packs can be purchased at the Nipissing University Campus Shop and are also listed on the Campus shop website​.

College Partnership Program students: you can also purchase your CPP course textbooks through your college campus Bookstore. For a complete list of CPP textbooks, please visit the College Partnership Textbook Listing website.

How are Instructors chosen?

All instructors are subject experts in their respective disciplines and are hired by the department offering the course.

How can I contact my instructor?

If you'd like to contact your instructor, you can use email or you can contact them directly through Blackboard.

Are online courses easier?

Some individuals find that online courses fit better with their personal learning style, and others do not. Online courses share the same academic calendar description and credit value as on-campus courses, and must meet the same expectations of academic rigor.

Should I keep a copy of my course work?

Whether the course is online or on-campus, you should keep copies of all material you hand in for a class.

Can I transfer course credits to other programs?

All credits for courses completed online are treated in the same manner as on-campus credits. The same rules for transfer apply. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for information.

What is the duration of an online course?

All online courses follow the academic semester which is twelve weeks of course time, plus a study break week. Exams are written in a two-week block after the end of the course. Your total time commitment spans approximately 15 weeks.

How long do I have to complete my degree?

There is no set time frame in which you must complete your degree. Some students take one or two courses a semester, while others may take four or five.

Be aware, however, that if you choose not to enroll in courses for one academic year (12 months), you will be required to reapply to the program. Please contact Academic Advising for more information.

Do I need to be online at the same time as other students in the course?

Unless enrolled in a synchronous course, you are not required to be online at any specific time during the week. Certain courses may offer opportunities for everyone to meet online. These sessions are usually recorded, and the recording will be available for all students for review.

What is Synchronous delivery?

The online instructor and students interact in a “real time” and interactive mode. Students enrolled in a synchronous course are required to log onto their computer (in a quiet space with a good Internet connection) during a specific set time every week just as if they had to be in a physical classroom setting. You will need a headset or speakers to hear your professor speak, and it is beneficial to have a microphone, as this will enable you to ask questions and interact. Please note that attendance will be taken during these sessions, so you are expected to be present every week.

Is this an independent study course or will I be interacting with other students?

Instructors encourage student to student interaction in their online courses, including discussions and group work. All courses will involve some independent work.

Where can I find a list of courses being offered online?

A list of current online offerings can be found by logging into WebAdvisor and selecting "Search for classes (no login required)" under the Students menu.

Select the term you wish to view, the subject you're interested in taking.  For the location, please select "Distance Learning".

When does registration open?

Typically, registration for Fall/Winter courses opens in June while registration for Spring/Summer courses opens in March. The Registrar’s office sends out a registration reminder to inform students when they can begin to register for courses. 

For a list of important dates please refer to the Registrar’s Office website.

How do I register for an online course?

Registration for online courses takes place through Nipissing University's WebAdvisor system. Step by step instructions regarding how to enroll in courses can be found on the Registrar’s Office website.

What do the letters and numbers in a course code mean (ie. ADMN-3116-FA801)?

Each course is identified by a four-letter code, referring to the subject, followed by a four number code, referring to the course.

The next two digits refer to the semester:

FA refers to Fall, which runs from September through to December.
WI refers to Winter, which runs from January through to April.
FW refers to Fall/Winter, which runs from September through to April.
SS refers to Spring/Summer, which runs from May through to August.

The next three digits refer to the section:

Section codes 801 to 819 and 881 are online courses. Students are not required to meet or attend lectures in person, unless the course is a clinical course. Students are required to attend a proctored examination.

Section codes 821 to 829 are blended courses. Students are required to meet once per week for a facilitated session. Complete information regarding meeting locations, dates, and times can be obtained from the academic department offering the course.

Section codes 841 to 849 are synchronous courses. Students are required to meet once per week online, using Blackboard Collaborate, for a facilitated session. Complete information regarding meeting dates and times are scheduled and can be viewed in WebAdvisor.

I just registered in / dropped a course in WebAdvisor so why isn’t this reflected in Blackboard?

Students will have access to their courses in Blackboard two (2) days prior to the start of classes. Adding a course in WebAdvisor does not automatically update records in Blackboard. It will take a day or two for Blackboard to reflect the changes.

Will I need any special equipment to complete my course?

If your course uses synchronous meetings, you will need a headset and microphone connected to your computer to fully participate. For all other technological requirements, please visit the Technology Services FAQ website.

Can I use a mobile device to complete my course?

At this time, mobile devices cannot be used to completely participate in a course. Mobile devices can be used to view most of your online course, but there may be items such as videos and animations that a mobile device cannot support.

Do I need any special computer skills to complete the course?

You should be familiar with the use of a web browser (such as Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer) and a word processing program (such as Microsoft Word). Some courses may require you to prepare spreadsheets, so you will need a spreadsheet creation program (such as Microsoft Excel).

Is Financial Aid available?

Information about financial aid, including eligibility and contact information, can be found on the Student Awards and Financial Aid website.

Who should I contact if I am having trouble accessing my online course?

If you encounter any issues with Blackboard, please email, or call 705.474.3450 ext. 4342.

Please be sure to include the following in your email/telephone message:

  • The operating system of your computer (example: Windows 7, Mac)
  • The web browser and version you were using (example: Mozilla Firefox 17)
  • The course number where the problem is occurring
  • Any error messages you are receiving

Where should I go for help?

If you have questions regarding course material, please contact your instructor. Technical issues can be sent to, or by phone 705.474.3450 ext. 4342.

For any other issues or concerns please contact​ or in the Dean’s office, or by phoning 705.474.3450 ext. 4643 or 4278, and we will be happy to assist you.

How do I receive disability-related accommodations for my studies?

If you require disability-related accommodations for this course as a result of temporary disability (e.g. broken bone, surgery recovery, serious illness) or permanent disability (learning disability, ADHD, acquired brain injury, medical, physical, psychological, hearing, low vision/blind) please contact Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible to discuss your specific needs, documentation requirements, and arrange appropriate accommodations. The sooner SAS are made aware of your needs the sooner they will be able to support you.

If you are a student currently registered with SAS, please note that it is your responsibility, within the first two weeks of the commencement of your course, to complete the Returning Student Form.

More information, including specific documentation requirements, can be found on the SAS website:

Phone: 705.474.3450 ext. 4362

How do I access Academic Skills Support?

The Academic Skills Program coordinates services that support all Nipissing University students in developing the fundamental skills to achieve academic success. These services include direct meetings with an Academic Skills Coordinator via face-to-face meeting, phone call, or video conferencing soft-ware; the Academic Skills Drop-In Centre; and the Peer Tutoring Program.

More information on each of the initiatives of the Academic Skills Program as well as diagnostic resources can be accessed online at the link provided below.

Phone: 705.474.3450 ext. 4459

How do I access personal Counselling Services?

Personal counselling services are available through the Office of Student Development and Services during the academic year. Confidential, individualized counseling support is available at no cost to all students at Nipissing University.

Counselling can also be accessed by students who are off campus through exchange, co-operative education, placement, or distance learning via e-counseling sessions.

Phone: 705.474.3450 ext. 4507

How are tests and quizzes administered?

Tests and quizzes are run completely online through Blackboard.

Is there a final exam for my course and how is it administered?

The majority of courses offered at a distance include a three-hour invigilated final examination. Exam details (date, time, location) are made available online via WebAdvisor approximately four weeks prior to the exam period.

For more information about final exams please contact the Registrar’s Office.

What if I am unable to write my final exam as scheduled?

Any student who is unable to write a final examination as originally scheduled, due to illness or other circumstances beyond their control, may, on application, be granted permission to write a special final examination. Requests for special examinations must be accompanied by supporting documentation, when appropriate i.e. doctor’s notes. All initial decisions of the approval of a special examination or location change will be processed through the Dean’s office. To request a special examination, complete the Exam Change Request Form.

Further information regarding special examinations can be found in the “Academic Regulations / Information” section of the current Nipissing University Academic Calendar.

Where will my final exam be located?

All in-person final exams for online courses are located at our campus in North Bay, Ontario.

If you wish to complete your exam(s) at a location outside of North Bay, you must submit a Distance Exam Request Form to the Office of the Registrar after your final exam schedule has been posted for each session.  You would be responsible for booking any such exams at an approved testing centre near you at your own expense.  You must book your distance exam on the same date as the exam taking place in North Bay for your course(s) and ensure that your completed Distance Exam Request form is submitted to the Office of the Registrar at at least 4 weeks prior to the start of the exam period.  Further details regarding this process and any applicable deadlines will be sent to your Nipissing University student email account each semester at least eight weeks prior to the final exam period. 

How do I let you know that I've changed my address?

If your address changes over the course of the semester please ensure you update your address in WebAdvisor.

I have forgotten my password - What do I do?

If you have forgotten your password, you can contact the University Technology Services (UTS) Help Desk at 705.474.3450 ext. 4342 or by email at and they will assist you. You can also visit the UTS website.

How do I change my password?

For help with your user name or password please contact University Technology Services (UTS) Help Desk by phone at 705.474.3450 ext. 4342 or by email at You can also visit the UTS website.​