Frequently asked Questions and Answers:
How does it work?
A student can register for any course at any time and work at their own pace. Each course contains instructional content that covers all the Ontario Curriculum expectations and has been carefully designed by VIAS’s content development team. All of our writers and developers are experienced, qualified teachers in their respective fields, and each is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Assignments and quizzes appear throughout the course content. Students submit their answers and written assignments online. There are interactive activities and multimedia elements throughout the content to engage students, provide opportunities to practice understanding, and differentiate instruction. The assignments are submitted to the online Dropbox within our Edsby cloud-based application software. The final exam is completed under the supervision of an appropriate proctor. The student will be responsible for selecting a proctor and submitting an approval application to VIAS. The date, time, and location of the exam will be mutually agreed upon by the student and proctor. Once the course is finished, VIAS will send an official copy of the final report card to the student’s home school, where it can be added to the list of courses on their Ontario Student Transcript (OST).
Do VIAS courses count towards my diploma or university application?
Yes. This is the first question you should ask of any private school. VIAS is inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Education and is qualified to issue OSSD credits, which are the same credits earned by students in brick-and-mortar public schools and private schools in the province of Ontario. Our Ministry BSID# is 880681.
Can I take a course at VIAS?
Yes! Whether or not you are enrolled in university or college, another high school, or live in another country, you are eligible to take courses at VIAS. Permission from your main school of registration is NOT required. VIAS will communicate with your school when you register for a course with VIAS. VIAS will also send a copy of your midterm report card to your school when you reach that point in the course. When you have finished the course, VIAS will send the final report card to your home school, where this course will be added to your ongoing Ontario Student Transcript (OST) in your Ontario Student Record (OSR). OSSD credits earned from VIAS are the same as those earned at bricks-and-mortar schools in Ontario. See section 10.6 in the Ontario Schools Policy & Program Requirements document for specific details.
How long does a course take?
Students proceed through their courses as quickly or as slowly as they desire. Students will be following their teacher’s schedule with due dates to follow to know when to hand in assignments and when to take their tests to meet any personal deadlines they might have. Attendance is not tracked. Students have 28 days and up to 6 months in which to complete their courses and have the option to pay for course extensions. Students choose when and how the coursework is completed. The course outline indicates that the course will take 110 hours and highlights the breakdown of each unit. Please keep in mind that the 110 hours reflect the number of hours a student may spend on the lessons and do not include additional time students may take to complete assignments or prepare for tests or examinations. At VIAS, we recognize that students learn at different paces, and therefore, our teachers do not track the amount of time students spend online working on their courses. The rate of progress through the course is based on the students’ completion of the lessons and assessments.
Students will have the opportunity to extend a course if they are unable to complete the course within the 6-month time limit. The extension options are listed below.
An OUAC account can be opened for any student whose OSR is hosted by VIAS. VIAS will maintain the OUAC account throughout that school year.
Will VIAS communicate with my school throughout my course?
VIAS will inform the student’s home school when they register for a course when the midpoint has been reached, and when the course has been A midterm report card and final report card will both be sent to the home school. The OSSD credit earned at VIAS will then be added to the student’s list of credits, which is maintained by the home school on an Ontario Student Transcript (OST).
Are the credits recognized by universities and colleges?
At VIAS, students earn OSSD credits, which are the same credits that a student would earn in a bricks-and-mortar school in Ontario. As a result, these credits will not be viewed any differently by post-secondary institutions. In fact, asynchronous online courses demand that students be motivated, goal-orientated, and independent—all of which are essential traits for student success in post-secondary settings. VIAS has many university students taking courses each year to meet prerequisite requirements for programs they may be switching to. Many universities are advising students to choose VIAS to meet necessary prerequisites, as students can take a high school course while they are actually attending university. Universities also offer many online courses and whole programs—they know the value of quality online courses. We recommend contacting any potential post-secondary institutions directly to inquire about their admissions policies.
When can I enroll in a course at VIAS?
VIAS has ongoing enrolment, which means students may register on any day of the year. Typically, students will be able to begin courses within 24 hours of registration. Registrations that occur on holidays will be enrolled on the next day.
How do I register?
Registration is completed online using our registration page.
What happens after I register?
Once the registration process is complete, students will receive an initial email confirming their registration and payment. A second email will be sent with the student’s username and a password link. Typically, this email is received within 24 hours.
Can I get a receipt for payments?
Yes. Please send your request for a payment receipt, including the student’s name, date of registration, and course, to firstname.lastname@example.org
What support will I have throughout the course?
Each student has a certified teacher throughout their course as well as access to guidance coordinators, the Main Office team, and free online tutoring.
Who will be my teacher?
At VIAS, students will be assigned a certified, highly skilled teacher. Students will have the same teacher throughout the entire course* and will be able to communicate with the teacher via the VIAS email system. Visit the Elite Teaching Group sections of our website to learn more about VIAS’s teachers.
*On extremely rare occasions, a teacher may become unavailable to teach a course, but that role will be immediately filled by another qualified teacher who will make the transition as seamlessly as possible.
What is my teacher’s role throughout my course?
Your teacher is there to answer questions, provide feedback, and grade assessments. Furthermore and going into more in detail, the role of your teacher is to ensure that you stay on track, address & answer any questions you may have, ensure that you are actively participating, reflectively thinking, and collaborating when appropriate. Your teacher will facilitate discussion, make sure you understand the criteria for assignments, provide timely feedback and constant communication through using DingTalk, emails, message boards, assignments, and DingTalk phone & onscreen video meeting calls, provide constant support for you and ensure that assistance is available if required, intervene in discussions if dialogue between students and your teacher stall or go off track, be flexible to accommodate unforeseen problems and issues, communicate with your parents. DingTalk is a cloud-based software application that combines social networking with class and student management features. Finally, your teacher will be responsible for keeping track of your attendance, assignments, providing valid marks, and completing progress reports, midterm reports, and final reports. Your VIAS teacher should be the first person you contact with any questions or concerns about your course or course content.
How long does it take for assessments to be graded?
Depending on the course offering the student registers for, the feedback time can vary. VIAS provides students with feedback and grades in 3 days or less of their work being submitted. Most departments’ standard course offerings provide feedback and grading within 5 days.
Do I have to wait until an assignment is graded before I can move forward in the course?
No. You are able to continue working through your lessons at your own pace; however, we recommend waiting for your teacher’s feedback before submitting more assignments so that you can use the feedback to improve on future coursework.
How do I communicate with my teacher?
You will communicate with your teacher primarily through email within the learning environment. However, other modes of communication such as telephone or video conferencing may be arranged upon request and at the teacher’s discretion. You will be able to communicate with your teacher in real-time for onscreen video conferencing using DingTalk a cloud-based software application that combines social networking with class and student management features. Communication in writing with files and documents shared between your teacher and yourself is possible using DingTalk. VIAS requests that teachers log in daily to respond to emails and address inquiries.
What happens after I earn credit with VIAS?
Once VIAS receives the final report issued by the teacher, our records department will process this information and send an electronic copy by email to the student. A hard copy will also be sent by mail to the student’s home school. At the student’s request, VIAS can also communicate with a post-secondary institution or send the report to OUAC/OCAS.
Many of our administration team members are currently working from home. There may be delays in sending report cards to high school and home addresses by mail. If time is an issue, students should reach out to email@example.com to provide the email address of a school official who can receive their report card electronically.
How does the tutoring work?
Tutoring is provided by our in-house student support team. Educators are available for all subject areas offered by Virtute Innovation Academy, and the service is easily accessible from our secure learning environment. When a student needs assistance, they simply type a question in the chatbox. Students can upload a file or image of the assignment into the chat box to help explain their questions. Students are also able to schedule a more in-depth meeting. Student learning will be facilitated through focused questioning rather than merely providing the student with answers. Students will not be permitted to utilize the service during their final exams.
Do your teachers do live Zoom-style meetings or lessons?
No. Our courses are text-and image-based with interactive components like pre-recorded supplementary videos to illustrate a concept. Teachers are available via our secure school email system and online grade book for questions, clarification, grading, and feedback. And furthermore, your teacher will be available to communicate with you to help address & answer any questions you may have in real-time for onscreen video conferencing using DingTalk a cloud-based software application that combines social networking with class and student management features. Communication in writing with files and documents shared between your teacher and yourself is possible using DingTalk.
Can the course be modified or personalized for my child’s unique learning style, or accommodations as per their IEP?
In general, with IEPs, we implement applicable Assessment Accommodations. VIAS course content cannot be altered by the teacher because that’s where the instruction occurs. VIAS teachers are available to answer any questions, and for marking and feedback. For students with high-level needs in Instructional and Environmental Accommodations, we strongly suggest that a support person (parent, tutor, or other individuals) fill those gaps on the student’s end.
VIAS courses offer multiple built-in supports that go beyond those traditionally available in a classroom setting. Our courses are self-paced and make use of technology naturally. Students have the flexibility to design their own environmental accommodations such as preparing a private space to learn and take tests. Our self-paced model allows students to spend as much time as they need to master a concept before moving ahead to the next unit.
Will the teacher send out reminders for work that is due?
There are set due dates for assignments or tests according to the given course schedule by your teacher. VIAS does not require set attendance from students. However, we do monitor student login activity and teachers may reach out to students when they haven’t heard from them in a while. Students have access to our Pacing Tool if they wish to plan out a specific timeline for completion and stay on track. Our courses are designed for independent learners to progress through the content at their own pace. This allows students to create their own schedules based on their circumstances and learning needs. Our teachers are available by email whenever students contact them with questions related to their coursework.
Can parents/guardians communicate with the teacher?
Teachers and students communicate in a closed learning environment for security purposes. However, our administrative staff, academic department heads, vice-principal, and principal can be reached via email should you have any specific concerns you wish to discuss.
I have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). How can VIAS accommodate my exceptionality?
Assessments and activities within the online courses must take into account the strengths, needs, learning expectations, and accommodations identified in the student’s IEP. Accommodations may include reducing the workload, simplifying tasks and material, and providing more time for learning and completing activities. The assistance of other persons and the use of specialized equipment may also be required to accommodate the student’s needs. Additionally, VIAS’s self-paced model naturally offers students accommodations. One of the main benefits is that students are able to work at their own pace and spend as much or as little time on the lessons as needed to understand the concepts. Other benefits include the following:
- Students can use assistive technologies that they have access to and with which they are familiar.
- Our courses include text, video, interactive activities, and many practice opportunities.
- Where possible, the assessments allow students flexibility in the medium or to format the use of unique tools with which to present their ideas—choose to write a paper, give an oral presentation, or create a visual, for example.
I am an English Language Learner (ELL). How can VIAS accommodate this?
Our teachers are coached on ways to best support ELLs in order to provide all students with the support they need to be successful. Additionally, helpful tips and strategies are provided within courses for ELLs if they are having any difficulty with learning in English.
I do not live in Ontario, Canada. Can I still take courses with VIAS?
Yes, VIAS welcomes students living anywhere in the world. All that you will need to complete your course is a computer and an internet connection.
How will OUAC/OCAS or the university know that I am taking a course with VIAS?
When a student enrolls or reaches midterm or final point in a course, VIAS can send that information to OUAC, OCAS, and/or to any post-secondary institution upon the student’s request. Once VIAS has the student’s request on file, any future updates on the student’s progress (i.e. midterm or final report cards) will be forwarded accordingly. However, it is always beneficial to double-check that the grade has been updated when you reach the midterm or final point in the course.
Please note: VIAS will not send course updates to OUAC or OCAS unless you have provided your reference number to us. Once we know your reference number, we will send updated grades there as they are processed.
What is a prerequisite course? Do I have to complete this course before I register?
A prerequisite course is one that a student must complete prior to taking the next level of the subject. Prerequisite requirements are outlined by the Ministry of Education in order to ensure that students are properly prepared to take a course at the next level. For example, a student must complete SCH3U prior to being able to take SCH4U in order to ensure that the student has the foundation to be successful in the higher-level course. Students can find out more information on required prerequisites by viewing the Course Outline for the courses they are hoping to take. A student may enroll in a course without providing prerequisite evidence, but they will not have access to all of the course content until this evidence is demonstrated to VIAS. Depending on the experience of the student, it is also possible that a prerequisite requirement can be waived, but this is done at the discretion of the VIAS Principal. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain and send VIAS a copy of their Ontario Student Transcript (OST), report card, or credit counseling summary. Such documents prove to VIAS that the student has achieved the prerequisite for the course. If a student or parent requests that a prerequisite be waived, the principal will determine whether or not the prerequisite should be waived based upon the student’s educational level, experience, or maturity. If a student has taken a similar course in a different province or country, it is possible that the prerequisite could be waived as determined by course equivalency standards.
How does the final exam work?
All exams at VIAS are closed book and completed online under the supervision of an appropriate proctor. Proctoring can be organized in two ways:
Student finds a proctor / their own proctor to supervise the exam if they live too great of a distance from our designated school building and room located within a larger city and that students are unable to commute to: If a student is finding their own proctor, a Proctor Approval Application must be submitted to the office two weeks in advance of the intended exam date. The application is then reviewed by the exams administrator and the student is notified when the proctor has been approved and/or if VIAS requires additional information on the proctor. Once approved, the proctor is sent a Proctor Memorandum indicating the exam procedures and exam password via email. The proctor and student are responsible for understanding the exam procedures and protocol (i.e. no content can be accessed during the final exam). Once the exam is completed, the proctor must sign and return the Proctor Memorandum indicating all procedures were properly followed. In order to ensure the integrity and security of the final exam, the proctor must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for approval:
- Must have a professional university degree or college designation
- Must be able to read and speak in the English language
- Must provide a non-generic business email address for correspondence purposes (i.e.not Gmail or Hotmail, )
- Must not be a family member
- Must not be a student at any level of study
- Must not be a tutor
Student safety and support are a priority at VIAS. If finding a suitable proctor presents a challenge due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss alternative proctoring solutions.
Who can I ask to proctor my exam?
If the student is currently registered in a public or private school, then the student should consider arranging to write the exam with a person associated with his or her home school (teacher, librarian, counselor), where feasible. If the student is not currently registered with another school, or this is not an option, we recommend that the student contact a local public library, college/university, or testing center to see if they offer proctoring services. The student will be required to adhere to the policies and procedures of these locations in addition to VIAS final exam policies and procedures. If this option is not available, then the student can ask anyone who he or she knows that meets all requirements set out above. A few examples of individuals who would most likely be approved as proctors are: engineers, registered nurses, lawyers, Chartered Accountants, etc.
Alternatively, VIAS will also be able to provide a list of approved proctors for students to select from to monitor and supervise them while they write their exams online.
What is the procedure and are the two options for writing the final exam?
Option 1. There will be one designated proctor assigned for students all using one signed proctor document which will enable them to write their final exam in person in one designated physical school building and room location while being monitored and supervised by this one designated proctor.
Option 2. If the student chooses to find a proctor / their own proctor because they live far away from large cities and away from our designated physical school building and room location for writing final exams:
The proctor must first be approved by VIAS following the guidelines above. Once the exam is scheduled with the proctor, it is up to the student to ensure that they understand the rules and regulations surrounding the final exam. For example, the student cannot access any external content during the final exam. All final exam procedures can be found in the Introduction unit of the course under Final Exam. The student will access the exam online and a password will be entered by the proctor in order for the student to access the exam. The exam will be timed, so it is important for the student to be aware of any time constraints for the exam. The student will then work through the exam and save his or her responses as questions are completed. Once the final exam is submitted, the proctor will sign and return the Proctor Memorandum to our office.
Please note: The final report card for the course will not be released until VIAS receives the signed Proctor Memorandum from the proctor.
When can I write the final exam?
The student selects the date, time, and location of the final exam. If the student is choosing to find a proctor, the student and proctor must agree on the date and time selected. When the student is nearing the end of the course, they can submit a Proctor Approval Application at any time. Students must allow two weeks for the application to be processed. Assignments and tests do not have to be completed at the time of application but must be submitted before writing the exam. Any assignments not received by the teacher prior to the exam may be graded a zero. If the student does not submit the application two weeks in advance of the exam date, the application will not be processed. The student will be asked to reschedule with an appropriate time frame or reschedule the exam using Examity, which allows for flexible scheduling options.