$700,000 for Innovative Virtual Learning

May 31, 2021

Province provides more access to on-line courses and retraining opportunities

NORTH BAY – Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing announced that the Ontario government is providing over $700,000 to support five innovative virtual learning projects at Canadore College and Nipissing University, to help provide students with more choice and access to high-quality postsecondary education and retraining opportunities.

“These projects will help ensure our postsecondary institutions have the tools they need to create great curriculum online,” said Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing. “By increasing virtual course offerings, we’re helping the next generation of workers, innovators, researchers, and leaders develop the skills and training they need to succeed in their careers, when and where they need it most.”

“Canadore employees rapidly adapted to meet the many challenges the pandemic posed as we had to start to deliver instruction and services online and through hybrid models. We are proud of the effort and the results. The College leveraged its digital infrastructure. Program and service quality was maintained. Students met their program learning outcomes supported throughout by our dedicated Canadore team. Virtual learning and hybrid delivery models are expanding and will become more of the norm. We look forward to developing and offering the materials, tools and support to our employees, so they can continue to provide the best learning experience possible for our students,” said George Burton, Director and CEO of Canadore College. “We thank the Government of Ontario for its continued investment in student success, and for its support of the Canadore College Digital Capacity Initiative.”

“This funding will support outstanding innovation in virtual learning across a wide-variety of program areas at Nipissing and increase our capacity in this area,” said Cheryl Sutton, President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim), Nipissing University. “The funded projects will also enable us to share our expertise in virtual learning with others while gaining valuable insights from partners, large and small.”

“We know that virtual learning will continue to become an increasingly important component of post-secondary education, even after the pandemic. “This funding will allow Nipissing University and Canadore College to offer their students greater access to online education and training,” said Mayor Al McDonald.

The projects are part of the province’s Virtual Learning Strategy announced last December and  support key priority areas that include creating or adapting digital content, equipping faculty and students with skills and resources to teach and learn online and identifying educational technologies to support online courses and programs. Some of the programs include:

  • Nipissing University, in partnership with the University of Windsor and staff from Workplace Innovation Network for Canada, is creating and designing a short-duration learning course to help learners develop skills in employee engagement and innovation in the workplace. This course will help learners recognize that a more innovative-capable workforce is critical in addressing economic and social challenges.
  • To help Canadore College design, develop and deliver high-quality learning materials, tools and support to achieve excellence in virtual learning and teaching, Canadore is using their funding to hire an instructional designer, an online education support person and one media designer and developer.

The province is investing more than $70 million to implement Ontario’s Virtual Learning Strategy, including $21.4 million announced in the 2021 Ontario Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.

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