Studying at a Distance FAQ

Here are answers to questions frequently asked by Distance Education students about studying at a distance at Ryerson University. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, email us at distance@ryerson.ca or call us at 416.979.5315.

FAQ Quick Links

  1. How do I enrol?
  2. What is RAMSS?
  3. I forgot my password to RAMSS. What do I do?
  4. Can my RAMSS account expire?
  5. How do I correct my student information?
  6. How do I find out which courses are offered at a distance?
  7. Will a credit count towards my degree at Ryerson?
  8. Will a credit count towards degrees at other universities?
  9. Is a distance education credit equivalent to a classroom credit?
  10. Can I complete the course work at my own convenience and pace?
  11. What can I expect when I take an online course?
  12. How do I access course outlines?
  13. How long do I have to finish my course?
  14. When I take a distance course, can I sit in on a classroom session of the same course in the same term?
  15. How do I get started in my course?
  16. Why can’t I see my course in D2L Brightspace, I have paid my enrolment fees?
  17. Who do I contact if I have a problem or question related to technical or administrative issues?
  18. Where can I find deadlines for enrolling, transferring, and withdrawing from distance education courses?
  19. Who do I contact if I have a question related to the academic content of a course?
  20. Why can’t I access Blackboard for a previous term’s course?
  21. I live more than 100 kilometres away from Ryerson. How do I write my exam?

FAQ Answers

  1. ­How do I enrol?
    You may enrol for Distance Education courses in person, by fax, by mail, or online during specified enrolment periods. Online enrolment requires a Ryerson Online Identity. Visit Enrolment for more information.

  2. ­What is RAMSS?
    • Ryerson’s Administration Management Self Service (RAMSS) is your portal located at my.ryerson.ca. It allows you to:
      • enrol
      • drop or add courses
      • check tuition fee balances
      • update address, email, and other personal information.
    • If you are new to Ryerson, you must obtain a Ryerson Student Number and activate your Ryerson Online Identity in order to enrol online through RAMSS or The Chang School website’s Shopping Cart. Visit Enrolment for further information
    • It is critical that you keep your contact information updated. If your information is not current, the process to reissue a password will be delayed. In addition, you will not receive regular registration letters, important mail-outs, and emails throughout the academic term.

  3. ­I forgot my password for RAMSS. What do I do?
    A new self-serve feature is available at the my.ryerson.ca tab so that you can enable the password reset feature. See Resetting Your Ryerson Password Online for details. If you are experiencing problems, email distance@ryerson.ca or call 416.979.5315.

    For more information on managing your password, please review the information on the Ryerson website.

    For security purposes, all students are required to renew their password each term. Due to the frequency of this process, it is very important that your password is remembered and recorded in a secure area for future reference. Depending on a student’s academic situation and the time of year, the administrative and security processes to reissue passwords can be lengthy and delayed for even the slightest discrepancy in student information. Passwords are not only the key to RAMSS, but also to a student’s online course. Renewing your password each term will ensure you have full access to your student information and distance education course.


  4. ­Can my RAMSS account expire?
    Yes. If you have not been enrolled in a course for 18 months, your RAMSS account information will automatically expire. You must contact Enrollment Services and Student Records at essr@ryerson.ca or 416.979.5036 for any information you would like to retrieve from the RAMSS database.

  5. ­How do I correct my student information?
    Students can update their personal information:
    • using the self-service tab in RAMSS
    • in person at the Enrolment Services and Student Records office, room POD70
    • by fax at 416.979.5236
    Changes will not be accepted by telephone or email. It is very important that your contact information be correct and up-to-date.

  6. ­How do I find out which courses are offered at a distance?
    You can access the course description and delivery formats of courses offered through distance education by visiting Courses and Programs at a Distance.

  7. ­Will a credit count towards my degree at Ryerson?
    Where a distance education course is equivalent to one of your required courses, you may directly substitute one for the other (for example, CECN 104 is equivalent to ECN 104). There are some restrictions, however. If you are in any doubt, consult with your faculty, school, or department to be sure that the course you have chosen can be applied to your program before you enrol in the course.

  8. ­Will a credit count towards degrees at other universities?
    In order to transfer a credit to your home university, you will have to fill out a letter of permission request form at your home university’s registrar’s office. Once approved, your letter of permission is your guarantee that your university will count your distance education course towards your degree.

  9. ­Is a distance education credit equivalent to a classroom credit?
    The course credit is the same for both, whether a student takes the course on campus or online.

  10. ­Can I complete the course work at my own convenience and pace?
    Students enrolled in a distance education course must follow the course outline, schedule (including start and end dates) and learning modules as developed by the instructor. Students must complete and submit assignments and write tests and exams when scheduled.

  11. ­What can I expect when I take an online course?
    For information on how online courses work, visit Online Learning.

  12. ­How do I access course outlines?
    Visit Courses and Programs at a Distance. Scroll down and click the link for a course to view a sample course outline.

  13. ­How long do I have to finish my course?
    All of our courses have specific start and end dates. Refer to the course information on the Chang School website. If you are already enrolled in a course, refer to the course schedule in the course outline.

  14. ­When I take a distance course, can I sit in on a classroom session of the same course in the same term?
    No. Once you have enrolled in a distance education course, you are not able to attend the classroom session of the same course.

  15. ­How do I get started in my course?
    If you have enrolled in a distance education course, you will receive an email (provided a valid email address is on file, or else a letter will be generated and mailed out if an address is recorded). This provides information on getting started in your distance course, how to activate your Ryerson Online Identity, and how to obtain your required course materials.

  16. ­Why can’t I see my course in D2L Brightspace, even though I have paid my enrolment fees?
    You will see your course link in D2L Brightspace on the official course start date. Courses are, however, generally released a few days before the official course start date, so that students can familiarize themselves with the course environment.

  17. ­Who do I contact if I have a problem or question related to technical or administrative issues?
    Please contact The Chang School’s Client Support Team at distance@ryerson.ca or call 416.979.5315.

  18. ­Where can I find deadlines for enrolling, transferring, and withdrawing from distance education courses?
    For more information concerning these deadlines, please visit Important Dates.

  19. ­Who do I contact if I have a question related to the academic content of a course?
    If you are enrolled in a course and have a question related to the academic content of your course, your grades, or the formats for quizzes/exams, please contact your instructor/course lecturer.

    If you are not enrolled in a course and have a question about the academic content of a course, please contact The Chang School at ce@ryerson.ca or call 416.979.5035.

  20. ­Why can’t I access Blackboard for a previous term’s course?
    For security and confidentiality purposes, student access into Blackboard expires approximately four weeks after the course has finished, usually one week after the final deadline to file a student appeal. Students are advised to retain a copy of any course work they may need to reference in the future and save any necessary communications. Please note: Effective Fall 2015 the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) will no longer be used for Distance Education courses. The new LMS is called D2L Brightspace.

  21. ­I live more than 100 kilometres away from Ryerson. How do I write my exam?
    Review the information on the Examination Procedures page and the links related to Off-Campus Exams.