Originally published in The Georgia Straight
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning and the use of online resources was rising in popularity among students and faculty members. Students no longer have to spend endless hours commuting to campus and they are able to work through course material at their own desired speed. But with this switch, instructors have had to adjust and find new ways that they can engage with their students. The role of the educator has certainly changed.
To ease this transition, Vancouver Community College (VCC) developed the Facilitating Learning Online Fundamentals course for instructors at public and private schools across Western Canada. Since the online courses began on May 4, more than 100 instructors have signed up to gain a better understanding of how to support students through e-learning.
“We’re overwhelmed by the response to the course,” says Doug Mauger, department leader for the VCC School of Instructor Education. The course is six weeks in length and will provide instructors with tools to help them facilitate collaboration between students and promote student interaction with the online resources.
Prior to COVID-19, a 2018 survey of Canadian post-secondary schools revealed that they were already delivering the equivalent of 1.36 million course credits online. The same survey showed that one in five students were taking at least one online course per year.