Online Learning: Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to start taking online classes for credit towards a BA degree at Rangjung Yeshe Institute?

Yes, if you complete an online course for-credit, then you can use the credits earned toward your BA degree at Rangjung Yeshe Institute. To study in the BA at RYI/CBS, you will need to complete your study on campus in Nepal.

Can I do a full BA in Buddhist Studies online?

Currently, we do not offer a complete BA of Buddhist Studies through RYI/CBS Online Learning. However, the credits earned through the Online Learning Program for-credit format could be applied to a BA degree at RYI/CBS through Kathmandu University or to a degree program at any other university program that accepts our credits.

Are online students expected to deliver essays/written responses to the lessons?

Essays, exams, written responses and homework assignments are only required if you are studying for-credit. Though, we highly recommend the interactive students to participate fully in order to get the most out of their online study experience. Self-study students do not have a written component to their courses.

Is a local rate taken into account for Westerners working in Kathmandu?

We do not offer a "local" tuition rate for Westerners studying through online learning who live and work in Kathmandu.

Is there a rate for local people?

As our courses are designed for Westerners, we do not provide a local rate for our online learning tuition. However, local people who live in Kathmandu or Nepal, or members of SAARC can come and study at the institute in person. Contact the administration to learn about our rates for on-campus study.

Is it necessary for students to have Microsoft PowerPoint to access the course?

All of the material for our courses are hosted through the Moodle Learning Management System. While some of our "review classes" or "visual lectures" are labeled "PowerPoint lectures", one does not need to have MS PowerPoint installed on one's computer to view this material. Check below to learn about your system requirements for running Moodle on your computer.

What is Moodle?

Moodle is an e-learning environment or "Learning Management System" (LMS). It is where you will login to take your online course. You will be able to interact with all the course materials (video, audio, PDF files, quizzes, exams, homework assignments, and discussion forums) through this environment creating a dynamic way to study from your desk, or the nearest coffee shop.

What are the computer system requirements for taking an online course through RYI/CBS?

You should have a PC with Windows 2000 or newer, a Mac with an operating system of X or newer. We do not support Linux. Moodle works well for the following browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

Is there a specified length of time to complete a course?

For short courses like A Brilliant Sun, Buddhist Ethics, Cultivating Patience: Chapter Six of the Way of the Bodhisattva, Basics of Mahāyāna Thought, Basics of Buddhist Philosophy, Life of the Buddha and The Tibetan Alphabet, you will have access for four months. The estimated lengths of these courses vary from two weeks to seven weeks, depending on the course. However, these courses are in self-study format, so you can study at your own pace and complete at you a time convenient to you within those four months.

You will have a schedule to follow for interactive and for-credit courses divided into semesters with specific start and end dates, a reading week, and a finals period. You will have a schedule set by your course moderator to complete assignments, write and respond to the discussion forum, and take quizzes each week. If your course has two parts, Part One will happen in the fall semester and Part Two in the spring semester of the academic year.

With the self-study courses, when a course is completed, does the student receive any kind of certificate of completion?

RYI/CBS does not give any official certificate for completed study of a self-study course, only the experience that one has gained from study, reflection and meditation.

Are there any free courses online?

Yes, A Brilliant Sun is a course offered freely by donation. Many of our short courses are affordably priced between $21 and $42.

Can I make a payment by bank wire transfer, as I am not registered with PayPal?

Yes, you can, though these days banks charge expensive fees for wire transfers. To keep the cost down for students, we recommend PayPal. It is easy to register with PayPal and you can link your bank account Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express card to your PayPal account and use it to pay online at a number of online vendors. You can sign up here.

Why is a High School transcript necessary to register a for-credit course? Can't I just submit my graduate transcript?

If you intend to study in the BA degree program at RYI/CBS at some time in the future, you can use the credits you have earned from the for-credit online courses toward your BA. To gain admission into the BA program, you will need to submit your High School transcript as required by Kathmandu University to which we are affiliated. If you don't intend to do the BA program at RYI, you may submit your graduate transcript, or another transcript, for the for-credit online course.

What is the time commitment for online study?

The time commitment for online study through RYI/CBS varies by course. Our short courses run anywhere from two weeks to seven weeks and the pace is up to each student. For these courses, you will have access for four months.

For our semester-long courses, in any format, you can find an estimate in the table below.

  Self-Study Self-Study Plus Interactive Interactive For-Credit
6 credit course (Way of the Bodhisattva) Approximately eight hours per week to listen to the teachings. Study and review time will vary depending on one's interest. Approximately eight hours per week to listen to the teachings, and one hour per week listening to the review classes. Study and review time will vary depending on one's interest. Approximately four hours per week listening to the teachings, and one hour per week for the review lectures. Weekly assignments are expected to take two to three hours per week. Study and review time will vary depending on one's interest. Approximately four hours per week listening to the teachings, and one hour per week for the review lectures. Weekly assignments are expected to take two to three hours per week. Study and review time will vary depending on one's interest.
3 credit course (Foundations of Buddhism, Introduction to Classical Tibetan and Classical Tibetan II) Approximately four hours per week listening to the teachings. Study and review time will vary depending on one's interest. Approximately four hours per week listening to the teachings, and one hour per week listening to the review classes. Study and review time will vary depending on one's interest. Approximately two hours per week listening to the teachings and one hour per week for the review lectures. Weekly assignments are expected to take two to three hours per week. Study and review time will vary depending on one's interest. Approximately two hours per week listening to the teachings and one hour per week for the review lectures. Weekly assignments are expected to take two to three hours per week. Study and review time will vary depending on one's interest.
0 credit course Students can study at their own pace. Students can study at their own pace. Not applicable Not applicable

 

What is the schedule of classes?

If you are taking an interactive or for-credit course, you will find the course syllabus with a description of the weekly schedule in the upper right corner of your screen when logged in to Moodle. If you are taking a self-study or self-study plus course, you get to set the pace!

Will the teachings be sent out by e-mail, and will a registered person have access at all times?

When you sign up for the course, you will get an email with a password that will give you access to the course material in our Moodle platform. This password, once the email is sent, is active and you have access to your course. From that time, you will have access to the material online through Moodle for one year for our semester-long courses, and four months for our short courses.

I see you offer a for-credit and a not-for-credit version of the interactive course. Can you tell me what the credit is for?

If you desire to use the credits from your course toward a BA degree in Buddhist Studies from Kathmandu University through RYI/CBS, you may do so, but you will have to come to Nepal to finish the degree since it is not possible to complete a whole BA degree online.

If you chose to study the RYI/CBS Online Learning course interactive/for-credit, you can get them accredited towards a degree from another University. You will personally need to contact the university's registrar to inquire about accreditation of RYI/CBS Online Learning courses.

What are the rules for withdrawing from a course?

You may withdraw from any interactive or for-credit course by the Monday following the first week of classes for a full refund. If you withdraw from the course after that, your course fee will not be refunded. No refunds will be offered for self-study or self-study plus courses.

Can I get credit later if I take the course interactive now?

Yes, you can do this by paying the difference in cost from any interactive and for-credit, given that you have fully participated during the any interactive version of the course. Please contact our administration or talk with your moderator.

What course will I get credit for from Kathmandu University if I take the Interactive For-credit course?

The following online courses at RYI/CBS earn the following credits at Kathmandu University:

  • Introduction to Classical Tibetan earns credit for TLAN 101 (3 credits)

Why is the Way of the Bodhisattva course more expensive than the Root Verses of the Middle Way course?

The Way of the Bodhisattva is a six-credit course, while the Root Verses of the Middle Way is a three-credit course. Therefore, the Way of the Bodhisattva course has more hours of teaching each week and is priced accordingly.

Are the audio and video feeds downloadable to my computer or iPad?

All of the audio is available for download as MP3-files, the video is not. The MP3 Audio files will be accessible until the end of the course.

 

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