Start Smart! 2020: Preparing for Online Learning

On August 17, Cape Breton University will launch an online learning experience to give new and returning students from all programs an opportunity to:

  • become familiar with the primary digital tools used in online learning at CBU;
  • pick up tips and tricks for being more effective and successful online learners;
  • get ready for university studies through introductions to foundational academic concepts and skills; and
  • connect with faculty, staff members, and fellow students.

Our goal is to build your confidence and excitement in advance of the new academic year.

If you’ve already registered, you can log in here. 

Start Smart! is divided into four topics, each with a series of videos featuring members of the CBU family, and small activities that will help you feel more prepared for the term ahead. The four topics are:

Digital Know-How – Find out what to expect in an online learning environment and learn how to navigate important software tools.

Getting Organized – Prepare yourself for online learning with tips on how to manage your time and space, and strategies that can help you stay motivated and succeed.

Academic Essentials – Learn what we mean by the term “academic integrity,” become familiar with the CBU Library and its online resources, and get advice on reading, writing and communicating effectively.

Knowing Your University – Get to know the ins and outs of CBU, including the many academic support services available to you and the important dates in the academic calendar. 

In addition to this material, which you can work through at your own pace, there will be a number of scheduled virtual events to enhance your learning experience. These will be held during the last week of August and the first week of September.

We are so excited to have you at Cape Breton University (virtually)! Whether you are studying here in Canada or abroad, we’re taking steps to ensure you will receive the quality education that CBU is known for and that your experience is exceptional and memorable. 

We’re here to help you thrive at CBU!

Registration Instructions

  • You will be asked to provide your CBU username and password.  Your username is the first part of your CBU email, without the “” (example: cbu12abc) and your password is the same as your CBU email password.
  • If this is your first time logging into our learning management system, you will see a site policy agreement. Click “yes”.
  • You will now be asked to self-enroll in Start Smart! 2020: Preparing for Online Learning.

The self-enrolment key is:

  • startsmart

You should now be in the “course” and all set for August 17th.

If you have never accessed your CBU account and/or would like to watch the video instructions for enrolling in Start Smart! 2020, click here.

Register Now

Participate to Win!

Students who participate in Start Smart! will be entered into a draw to win a 3-credit course tuition waiver, or the Student Online Readiness Package, which includes a headset and the winners choice of either a laptop or tablet! 

  • To be entered into the draw for a 3-credit course tuition waiver, students will receive 1 ballot for each in-course badge they earn. There are 5 in-course badges.
  • To be entered into the draw for the Student Online Readiness Package, students must complete all of the in-course badges and complete the course completion badge.

“Motivation and Online Learning: Surprising Findings from Positive Psychology”
Sample Class

Check out the recording below for a sample class offered by CBU Psychology Professor, Dr. Peter MacIntyre. He takes an introductory look at applying motivation principles to students’ online learning. Dr. MacIntyre introduces three key concepts, backed by research in positive psychology, that students can apply to their own learning.