Instruction & Support

Online learning involves a different set of challenges than being in a classroom. At Athabasca University, we’re experts in distance learning and we have the supports to help you succeed.

AU faculty members are leaders in their field of study, researching and developing new ways to deliver their courses online. And your tuition fees include tutorial support to help you make the most of your courses.

Tutors and student success

You may be studying independently, but at AU you’re never on your own. You always have access to either a tutor or a student support centre, depending on your course.


Your tutor is your main academic link to the university. Tutors offer subject-matter assistance, mark assignments, provide feedback, and help you prepare for exams.

You will receive an e-letter with your tutor’s contact information and hours before your course starts. You can call your tutor (toll-free in Canada or the U.S.) during established hours, or you can leave a voice mail or email at any time.

Student Support Centre

Most Faculty of Business and Faculty of Science and Technology courses have central support centres that provide both administrative and tutorial support. You will receive the Student Support Centre's toll-free telephone number and email address before your course start date.


As an AU student, you have access to our library’s substantial collections of online, print and audiovisual materials, and tutorials on conducting research and using resources. Library staff members provide one-on-one assistance with research, referencing and other related topics. You can also borrow materials from the library's print collection and have them shipped directly to you.

Other academic supports

We also have several resources to help you choose and complete your courses, or to help you with study skills and exam anxiety.

  • Our academic advisors can help you with course selection and will help you make sure you meet your program requirements.
  • Our counsellors provide confidential help with education and career planning, academic skills, and adjusting to post-secondary or distance education.
  • If you have a disability, our Access to Students with Disabilities office can help you get the supports you need.
  • The Write Site provides writing resources, examples and coaching to help you improve your writing skills.
  • The Math Site provides assessments as well as access to the Math Centre, a free, self-led tutorial site with presentations and practice exercises to help you master the skills you need to succeed in university-level math.

Updated March 01 2016 by Web Strategy, Advancement