CSA applauds the government’s investment in a Virtual Learning Strategy for Post-Secondary Education
TORONTO, ON - The Government announced a $50 million investment into a Virtual Learning Strategy that will enhance virtual learning at Ontario’s publicly-assisted colleges, universities, and Indigenous Institutes and will improve the virtual learning experience for Ontario’s students.
"The College Student Alliance is pleased to hear the government's acknowledgement and commitment to change the issues that students are facing as we forge a new path with an on-line modality of learning in the post-secondary sector,” says CSA President, Tori Arnett. “It's a great start to be able to formulate new plans, programming and initiatives for students to be able to get the most out of their college experience."
The quick pivot to virtual learning when the pandemic first began was wrought with logistical issues and a decreased quality of learning that left many students dissatisfied and unable to fully participate in their classes. Since then, additional planning and resources have improved the online learning experience, which has now become the new normal for students.
Despite these improvements, challenges remain. Students are still struggling to learn within a modality that is not their preferred learning style, with decreased interaction with teachers and peers. This is why CSA is grateful to see an investment into a Virtual Learning Strategy that will improve the virtual learning experience for students and help them succeed in their academic careers.
This past August, CSA participated in a consultation with the Ministry of College and Universities on Virtual Learning. CSA brought several ideas to the table on how virtual learning could be improved to benefit students, which included assistive supports for students with disabilities and open access reading materials. CSA recommended that the provincial government create standards for virtual-hybrid course delivery at colleges and provide resources to develop institutional expertise and faculty education in virtual delivery that would help advance high quality virtual education at Ontario colleges.
We are delighted to see this recommendation acknowledged, and we are hopeful that this strategy will address the specific learning needs of students with disabilities, mature students, Indigenous students, international students, and students in rural and remote areas. “The CSA looks forward to seeing more help from the provincial government to assist the continually struggling college students of Ontario,” says Arnett.
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About College Student Alliance:
College Student Alliance (CSA) advocates on behalf of Ontario college students in partnership with student leaders. Through our member student associations, CSA represents the collective voice of Ontario's college students.