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College calls on cell phones for innovative language learning program

Posted on November 20, 2018



The future of education will have a familiar ring to it when Vancouver Community College (VCC) launches education program delivery by cellular phone (mlearning).

VCC will be providing language learning to 600 students who otherwise may not have access to classrooms due to distance or waitlists.

In partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the project starting this November will test mlearning as an alternative to traditional education.

“In 2018-19, IRCC will provide $32 million in funding for as many as 100 service delivery improvement projects across Canada,” said the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Understanding newcomer needs and developing innovative approaches, as the Vancouver Community College has done, is what IRCC’s new Service Delivery Improvement funding stream is all about.”

The immediate goal of the VCC project is to provide language learning to refugees and immigrants currently on the waitlist to attend VCC’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Participants will be able to learn on a cellular phone on their own schedule and pace using the Cell-Ed English language training platform.

“We believe in innovative technologies that create more access to education,” said VCC President Dr. Peter Nunoda. “Although we’re the first college in B.C. to deliver mlearning, it has a proven track record in the USA, Europe and Africa. Many people are comfortable with the use of cellular phones. And they’re more accessible than computers ”

VCC has partnered with Cell-Ed, an experienced, award-winning provider of mlearning, to enable learners access to courses anywhere and anytime. The program will also allow participants to connect with supportive coaches through face-to-face workshops and the phone to provide additional learning support.

The program will be evaluated after two test phases of approximately 300 students each. The pilot project is expected to be completed by April 2020.

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Media can contact:

Tanis Sawkins
Director, Partnership Development Office
Vancouver Community College
604-871-7000, ext. 8350
tsawkins@vcc.ca