The GBCTechTraining Experience: What it’s like to be a Student in our Programs

Monday 31 Aug 2015

Taking an online training program is a new experience for most of our students. How do I access the content of the program, how do I take an exam, or how do I interact with the college are typical examples of the kinds of questions that run through a student`s mind. To a first- timer of online learning it may seem a bit scary and complicated but rest assured it really is very straightforward and simple.  To demonstrate how easy, here’s a sneak peak of what it’s like to be a student in one of the GBCTechTraining programs.

Enrolling in your program

Enrolling in a program is very simple. You can register online through a website; you can fax us a registration form you’ve received in the mail; or you can simply call us by phone (1-888-553-5333), speak with one of our advisors and enroll in a program immediately. We’ll send you an email right away, confirming that we received your registration to enter the program. On the next business day, after some required processing, we’ll send you another email to confirm you’re registered in the program and invite you join our private LinkedIn group, where you can meet fellow students and previous program graduates who are applying what they learned through their studies in the working world.

Receive your course materials

In approximately 5-7 business days after you register, a courier will knock on your door to deliver a box full of course materials. In this welcome package you’ll get the program curriculum contents (on disk or USB drive), software manuals, a textbook if you ordered one, welcome letter and a tuition receipt. Unlike a typical classroom course, all of your study materials are provided up front in this package at the beginning of the program.

The Learning Resource Center

Student Forums help students learn togetherThe first business day after your registration you’ll receive an email providing a username and password to log into and instructions on how to use the Learning Resource Center at the GBCTechTraining website.

The Learning Center is really a one-stop-shop for all of the online resources and activities that that you’ll use as a GBCTechTraining Student. It’s where you’ll go to edit your contact information, order additional modules, write final exams, and confirm your grades. It’s also home to the Student Forums, where you can ask and answer questions about what you’re studying, connect with current students who are working through similar questions, and interact with dedicated support staff who will help you through the course material. The login button is easily located at the top-right corner of the website.

What’s the coursework like?

PLC Menu: There are 19 modules in the PLC Technician program. Installing the program software is very simple. Just insert your disk into the computer that you want to use to study on for your program and a user-friendly installation wizard automatically appears to get you set up. If you’re working on the program from different locations, you can use the software on as many computers as you’d like, however, you will have to remember to bring the  actual DVD or USB drive with you to launch on the machine in order to access the course content.

Each program is broken down into “modules” that cover specific topics. You can think of a module as taking a specific class like English 101, towards an English degree except that the instructor gives you as much time as you need to study the learning material before the exam and doesn’t mind explaining each topic as many times as needed. Each module typically consists of the following:

1. Written material clearly explaining every topic in the module
2. True or false study questions on each topic
3. Simulation Labs to directly practice your newfound skills
4. Paragraph-form study questions covering the entire module
5. Over 30 practice exam questions similar to a final exam

Your previous schooling and training will determine how long it takes you to work through a module. If you have academic experience or work experience in a particular area covered by in a module you will likely move through it faster, than one that you are seeing for the first time. Regardless, you get set to set the pace, working on your schedule, with no scheduled deadlines to complete the material. The average completion time of a program is about 32 weeks for someone working through the program on a part-time basis.

Simulation Software Workbench: Our Simulation software gives you a virtual workbench with all of the latest equipment.Simulation Labs

Each program includes a simulator with over 100 simulation labs designed to provide you with hands on experience using some of the latest technologies in your respective industry. The simulation software teaches you programming skills, troubleshooting, hardware skills, and general concepts that you’ll encounter in the working world of your chosen field after graduation.

Dedicated support staff

Questions are always welcome here. George Brown College has dedicated staff trained in every program to help our students work through any questions about your program. Here are a few ways that you can reach GBCTechTraining staff for support:

Forum Discussion Groups

Over the past 15 years students have asked all sorts of questions related to their program studies. It’s quite likely that you’ll have some of the same question too. So within the online learning center we have Student Forums that contain all of these discussion items and answers from the support staff. If you’ve searched the discussion threads and haven’t seen a topic you’re working on, just post up your own discussion and we’ll respond back within 24 hours.

Telephone Support

The phone lines are always open for you to call and speak with a representative directly. Weekday hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 10pm, Eastern Standard Time. On Saturdays, advisors are available from 10am to 5pm Eastern Standard Time.  If you call outside of these hours you can also leave a message and our staff will return your call with an answer on the next business day.

Email Support

If email is your preferred style of communication we can work with that too. We monitor our support email during regular office hours and even check it once or twice on Sundays.

Final Exams

You’ve worked hard to study and master the course material for your module. Now it’s time to prove you’re ready to apply your Exams challenge you with random program-related questionsnewfound knowledge and skills by passing a final exam. The exams are made up of randomized questions that come in multiple formats and are designed to challenge you so that you’re ready for the situations you’ll face in your future workplace. Fortunately they include only the material covered by a module that you’re studying so you can prepare for them individually by concentrating on mastering the module content and completing the practice exams.

Unlike other online programs, you aren’t required to visit any of George Brown College’s three campuses in Toronto to complete your exams. Everything you’ll need to complete an exam is provided online. Our special exam software limits the amount of time you have to complete the exam to 90 minutes and then provides you with your exam results almost immediately. 

Graduation Day

When you’ve completed all of the final exams for your program, you’ll be eligible to receive your certificate. Certificates are issued by George Brown College. We are one of Canada`s largest polytechnic colleges and are recognized by industry leaders and other educational institutions for innovation and quality of programs. Technicians from hundreds of major companies around the world have used the same certificates you’re working towards to help propel them forward in their careers.

Who knows, maybe one of them will hire you one day.

We hope this helps you to better understand what it’s like to be a student in our programs. Let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help!

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