Toronto, October 03, 2012—
A new online educational consortium, which will give students open access to the growing number of online courses and programs from institutions across the province, is one of many commitments outlined in the Council of Ontario Universities’ (COU) submission to the provincial government.
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The paper, Transforming Ontario Universities, is a response to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities’ discussion paper that launched sector-wide consultations and institutional dialogues on how to improve Ontario’s postsecondary sector for the 21st century learner.
“The Ministry’s consultations confirmed that university faculty and staff are continually enhancing the educational experience for students,” says Alastair Summerlee, Chair of COU and President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph. “These discussions have provided further momentum to build on the numerous innovations taking place on campuses across the province.”
In addition to committing to the online consortium, universities are also working together to improve Ontario’s credit transfer system; advance the definition and assessment of learning outcomes, so students and employers know what knowledge and skills they will acquire from their programs; and expand opportunities for experiential learning, so students are better equipped for their careers.
The submission also discusses ways to leverage existing innovations and share best practices in different areas, such as teaching and learning, credential options and degree supplements, including e-learning portfolios that provide students with a list of their learning outcomes and volunteer activities beyond the classroom to demonstrate their experiences and skill sets to future employers.
"Universities continuously update course content and identify new academic programs that meet student and labour market demand. They create new experiential and e-learning opportunities that will best prepare today's students for the future," says Bonnie M. Patterson, COU’s President and CEO. "By continuing to effectively manage costs, they are ensuring that financial resources stay dedicated to teaching and learning activities, and essential student supports."
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