Source: Ontario News Release | January 13, 2014
The Ontario government has announced a $42-million Centre of Excellence for Online Learning that will provide a central platform where students can access online courses. Called Ontario Online, the centre will operate through 3 inter-related “hubs:” a course hub that will offer the online courses, which are fully transferable between participating colleges and universities; an instruction hub that will allow institutions to develop and share best practices, research, and data on how best to teach online courses; and a support hub that will provide academic and technical assistance to students, instructors, and institutions. The $42 million in startup funding will be disbursed by 2016, with up to $12 million available this year, reports the Globe and Mail. The initiative will launch in time for the 2015-16 school year. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) welcomes the announcement and encourages all Ontario universities to participate, but the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) says the government should have included faculty input during the planning of the initiative.
TCS Insights: By the start of the 2015-2016 school year, the province of Ontario will have established a platform that enables students enrolled in Ontario universities to complete online courses with more ease than ever before. The improved access to online courses, and ability to transfer credits between institutions, will let students complete assignments outside of the classroom while providing them with what instruction they would receive on campus. The ability to complete work online can potentially aid international students who hope to complete study while spending time abroad.