Abstract: This article considers the evolution of e-learning and some of the factors that have shaped its implementation. It draws on research conducted in the UK from 2001 to 2008 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) focusing on training and learning in corporate organisations rather than courses offered to students enrolled in educational institutions. The article argues that throughout this period there has been insufficient attention given to the way learning takes place in organisations. It considers the emerging wave of enthusiasm for Web 2.0, concluding that successful current applications of e-learning simply use a more diverse range of tools and approaches.
Keywords: corporate e-learning; learning technology; Web 2.0; social networking;
virtual worlds; Webinars; online support;
When viewed holistically, Canada lacks a clear and common understanding of the future directions and top priorities of its post-secondary education (PSE) sector. Perhaps as a result, Canada has not yet comprehensively addressed a fundamental question: How do we demonstrate quality in PSE? To answer this question requires clarification of many issues, including the roles that various institutions and sectors play. It also requires the development of a shared vision of PSE, of what can and should be achieved. Despite much discussion among leaders of various education sectors in Canada, an agreement on a plan of action has yet to be reached. Indeed, a national dialogue on this critical issue is needed.
As a starting point for a national dialogue, the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) has published three annual reports on the state of post-secondary education in Canada over the last four years. These reports provided an overview of the Canadian PSE landscape while highlighting various issues common among education jurisdictions and institutions. For instance, CCLâ€™s 2006 report, Canadian Post-secondary Education: A Positive Recordâ€•â€“ An Uncertain Future, identified eight goals common among the post-secondary strategies of provinces and territories. One of these common goals was addressing the issue of quality in PSE.
CCLâ€™s new monograph series, Challenges in Canadian Post-secondary
This research report represents the first phase of a multi-year collaborative research initiative of the Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario.1 The initiative is designed to develop a cohesive picture of the pathways from secondary school to college. The major purpose of this phase of the research was to identify secondary school students’ perceptions of Ontario colleges and of college as a possible post-secondary educational destination for them, and to determine the factors that have shaped these perceptions. A second purpose was to identify secondary school student achievement patterns, graduation rates and course enrolments in order to consider their influence on current and future college enrolments.
Entering a (first) postsecondary education (PSE) program represents a critical transition in a person’s life, but it is just the beginning of a whole new set of dynamics that can take many different forms. Some students continue in their programs until graduation, proceeding at faster or slower rates. Others switch to another program at the same institution, at an institution of the same kind (college or university) or at a different level of study. Still others abandon their studies, some to return at a later date.
Those who persist in their initial programs directly through to graduation could be considered cases where the system has successfully helped students realize their PSE aspirations and then move into the labour market, go on to further schooling or pursue other life goals. In short, they could be considered student “success” stories as far as the PSE system is concerned.
Those who obtain a diploma/degree after moving across different programs, institutions or levels of study
– perhaps with a break in their studies along the way – may have taken, to some extent, a wasteful diversion on the path to their preferred postsecondary credential. This may result from an initially flawed program choice or a PSE system that has somehow not served these students as well as it could have.
However, such pathways could also represent the student’s acquisition of necessary learning about different programs and the careers they lead to, or they could reflect developments in the student’s personal life apart from his or her schooling, or they may result from an individual’s change of plans. In at least some of these cases, the postsecondary system and the postsecondary institutions with which the individual was involved may have performed as well as could be expected despite the time required and the circuitous pathway that the student took to complete the program. Finally, although individuals who fail to complete their postsecondary studies may be regarded as being part of a system that is not working as it should, such pathways may again represent necessary learning experiences or be related to personal factors that have little to do with the PSE system. In fact, the system may have performed as well as could be expected, including providing an initial opportunity for the individual to pursue or explore their PSE ambitions.
Underlying many of these dynamics are policy issues relating to ways in which these pathways and outcomes could be improved. Could better information provided in more effective ways help students make more informed and appropriate program choices at an earlier point during their studies? In the case of students who struggle in their PSE studies, could certain interventions help these individuals or targeted groups of students overcome those challenges and complete their programs in a more timely fashion? Are there means of reducing the need for some students to take breaks from their studies or are such pauses a necessary part of the PSE experience for at least some individuals? Answering such questions, and developing the appropriate policy response, could potentially result in more satisfied students, reduced costs for the PSE system and higher graduation rates. Before addressing these issues, however, more information on PSE pathways is needed, including program retention, drop-out and completion rates and student transfers within, between and across programs, institutions and levels of study.
The general objective of this report is to provide new and unique empirical evidence concerning the patterns of “persistence” (or what is sometimes alternatively referred to as “retention,” especially when viewed from the perspective of individual institutions), as well as educational pathways more generally, of PSE students in Ontario. We present an analysis of the frequency of various trajectories and graduation rates and use both descriptive statistics and econometric modelling to show how pathways and outcomes vary by students’ individual characteristics, family background and educational outcomes at the high school and PSE levels.1 Throughout, the focus is on Ontario, but comparisons are made with the rest of Canada.
The disappearance and murder of Saint Mary’s University student Loretta Saunders in February 2014 captured national media attention. Ms. Saunders’ murder highlighted the tragedy of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. As a student, Ms. Saunders’ experience also highlighted significant gaps in the programs and services available to Aboriginal students at Saint Mary’s University. The murder of Loretta Saunders served as a catalyst for students, staff, faculty and administration to begin the process of building a better university experience for Aboriginal students.
At the Loretta Saunders Memorial Service, the President of Saint Mary’s, Dr. J. Colin Dodds, committed to establishing a Task Force to provide guidance on how the Saint Mary’s university community could enhance learning opportunities and the education experience for Aboriginal students. The Task Force completed its work during the Spring and Summer of 2014.
High Enrollment Demands, Stretched Resources Higher education institutions are increasingly caught in a bind: Trying to serve growing enrollment demand with budgets based on the lower student counts of previous years. According to the Campus Computing Project’s 2011 Community Colleges and the Economy Survey, “More than two-thirds (69 percent) of the 448 campus presidents and district chancellors participating in the 2011 survey report increased headcount enrollment in winter 2011; concurrently,
three-fifths of the presidents participating in the survey report a reduction in the overall operating budget at their institution; two-fifths (41 percent) report that the budget cut was five percent or more.” This situation can lead to issues such as:
• over enrollments, especially in core courses, which creates a less-than-optimal and frustrating learning
experience for faculty and students;
• delayed graduation for students because of enrollment delays; and
• reduced retention rates as students seek other schools that can offer smaller class sizes and faster
Institutions typically can’t solve this problem by adding more sections to a class. They don’t have the budget to hire new faculty or support staff, and increased tuition revenues from higher enrollments may not cover the funding gap. Larger or overflow classroom space also may not be available, especially in an urban campus. From these factors, the core challenge emerges: How do campuses educate and graduate more students — with the same staff and classroom resources — while maintaining high learning levels and teaching standards?
Using Technology to Scale Classroom Instruction An emerging solution to this challenge is the use of blended learning curriculum design and lecture capture technology. This solution delivers courses through a mix of online and in-class content and participation.
Online lectures serve as the foundation of the blended learning model. The instructor can associate the lecture
video with online content and collaboration tools in order to deliver a complete learning experience to both on-campus and distance students. Availability of a recorded lecture can enable teaching and learning in multiple ways. For example, an inverted
teaching model is possible. Students watch a video lecture before the class, then arrive ready to discuss the lecture’s topic or work on a related activity.
By reviewing statistics on content access, instructors can identify where additional explanation is needed and
improve the content of the lecture or study materials.
Technology also helps instructors better serve students with special learning needs, using tools to create closed captioning of a video lecture and for compatibility with screen readers and other accessibility tools.
For students, the blended model delivers learning that is convenient and fits within their work schedules and
personal lives. They can access the lecture video and other content from a PC, tablet or smartphone, and from anywhere they can connect to the Internet.
How Blended Learning Helps Higher Education Technologies for delivering online access to classroom instruction offers several advantages for students, faculty,and their colleges and universities.
• Students can access the courses they need at the right time, increasing the likelihood they will graduate on
schedule. A clear, certain education path also increases student satisfaction and retention.
Study shows faculty members remain skeptical of digital course materials and generally unfamiliar with open educational resources.
The PSE Outcomes Study was commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) to explore the pathways of applicants from postsecondary education (PSE) application to the Ontario labour market, and their employment experiences during and after PSE. This report provides statistically reliable Ontario data to supplement the findings of national studies such as the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS). It offers insights into the factors that contribute to postsecondary education participation and persistence, the barriers that impede access to higher learning, and the relationship between educational attainment and labour market outcomes. In particular, the analysis considers the experiences of four groups who are traditionally under-represented in PSE: Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, students whose parents did not complete PSE, and students who delayed their entry into PSE after secondary school.
The results are based on a sample of 45,000 Ontario applicants to college and university who had participated in Academica Groupâ€Ÿs University and College Applicant Surveyâ„¢ (UCASâ„¢) between 2005 and 2009, and had agreed to participate in future research. The 4,029 respondents to the PSE Outcomes survey (including 214 French language respondents) yield an overall survey response rate of 9% and a margin of error of +/- 1.55 at the 95% confidence level. Survey respondents were organized into five mutually exclusive postsecondary education pathways, based on the outcome of their initial PSE application:
â€œNot offeredâ€ respondents did not receive offers of admission following their application to PSE (n=273 or 7% of respondents). â€œOffered/declinedâ€ respondents were offered admission to PSE but declined the offer (n=317 or 8% or respondents). â€œStill attendingâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œcurrent PSE studentsâ€) were offered admission to PSE and were attending the institution to which they had initially applied when they responded to the PSE Outcomes Survey (n=2,297 or 58% of respondents). â€œAttended/leftâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œearly leaversâ€) were offered admission to PSE but left their postsecondary program prior to completion (n=279 or 7% of respondents). â€œAttended/completeâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œPSE graduatesâ€) were offered admission to PSE and had completed the postsecondary program to which they applied (n=766 or 19% of respondents).
Overall, 85% of all respondents who received offers of admission accepted the offer, and about three-quarters had a specific occupation or career goal in mind at the time they applied.
PSE participation rates1 were highest among applicants who were younger than 20 when they applied to PSE, never married, with high household incomes, high grade averages, and interested in full-time study. Participation was lower among applicants who were older, from 4 â€“ From the Postsecondary Application to the Labour Market: The Pathways of Under-represented Groups lower household incomes, married or divorced, interested in part-time study, and with lower grade averages. University applicants were more likely than college applicants to accept offers of admission, while college applicants were twice as likely to decline. The overall rate of PSE participation for under-represented applicants (83%) was lower than the participation rate of applicants who did not fall into one of the four groups (88%).
. Unique value-added in the research â€œmarket-placeâ€;
. Experience in applying new knowledge to solve industry problems and achieve industry goals;
. Personnel with expertise and experience across key sectors of the economy;
. The ability to rapidly move innovative ideas through the early stages of development and commercialization;
. State-of-the-art facilities, equipment and space to support the development of new products and applications; and
. A sustained commitment to a culture of innovation.
Systemic barriers that currently limit the degree to which colleges can contribute to the future achievement of Ontarioâ€™s productivity and prosperity goals include:
. A permissive but not enabling provincial policy framework for college applied R&D and innovation;
. No operating funding for Ontario colleges supporting applied research activities, resulting in:
. A shortage of funds to strengthen collegesâ€™ institutional capacity to initiate, undertake and manage applied R&D and innovation projects that respond to industry and community needs in a timely way;
. A shortage of funds to support college personnel conducting applied R&D and innovation projects; and
. A shortage of funds to enable college applied R&D personnel to rapidly establish partnerships to address applied R&D challenges and to sustain and foster long-term relationships with key personnel from business, industry and community organizations. To strengthen provincial economic competitiveness and prosperity, Ontario colleges are calling on the government of Ontario to:
. Move beyond merely ermissive policies in relation to applied R&D and innovation activities at Ontario colleges and develop a formal provincial policy and investment framework that recognizes and enables the unique roles colleges can play in support of applied R&D and business and industry innovation activities;
. Explicitly develop Ontario collegesâ€™ applied research, innovation and commercialization
. Enable colleges to increase their capacity for applied R&D and innovation partnerships
with business, industry, federal and provincial governments, and com-
Canada is in the midst of unprecedented growth in the postsecondary education (PSE) sector. More students are availing themselves of college and university educational opportunities than at any other time in the nation's history. The students now enrolling bring a diverse set of characteristics rarely seen within the sector previously. They are immigrants, children of immigrants, first in their family to enrol in postsecondary, Aboriginal, visible minorities, and students with disabilities to name just a few.
College and university programs and services have grown to meet the needs of these increasingly diverse learners, and are largely referred to as student affairs and services, (SAS). One of the aims of this study was to develop a greater understanding of the scope of student affairs and services and describe the formal organizational structures of these divisions
within Ontarioâ€™s postsecondary sector.
We found no consistent title for the senior student affairs and services officer (SSASO) across the sample; titles ranged from Vice President, Student Services to Associate Vice Principal and Dean of Student Affairs. Despite the inconsistency of title, the reporting line was fairly consistent, with SSASOs reporting to the Provost and Vice President, Academic or directly to the President. In only a few cases, dotted line reporting structures existed between the SSASO and these senior administrators.
The portfolios for SSASOs tended to include new student orientation, student leadership programs and liaison with student government, campus involvement (clubs and organization recognition), community development (service learning and civic engagement initiatives), counselling services, health services, accessibility services (also called services for students
with disabilities), career and employment services (and in some cases, cooperative education), academic skills or learning services, and services for diverse students (such as Aboriginal student services, international student services, women centres, and mature student centres). Portfolios differed in terms of whether the registrarâ€™s office and related enrolment management functions, residence, and athletics were included within the SSASO's portfolio. In general, we found the college SSASOâ€™s portfolios to be more expansive than the portfolios of the university SSASOs.
The second aim of this study was to share the voices of the staff who work in student affairs and services divisions across Ontario. Staff shared their perspectives regarding the organizational structure of their institution and how they perceived these organizational structures as helping or hindering their ability to support student success. Staff depicted and described two types of images that correspond with how they perceived the organizational structure of their institution. Spider webs tended to represent institutions where the staff perceived the organizational culture as one where supporting student success was a shared commitment between staff and faculty; where the SSASO's leadership style was directed toward finding the synergy between divisional areas, open to ideas from all areas within the division, and advocated for the division in senior administrative meetings; and where staff understood the vision and mission of the division as it supported and contributed to the institutional mission. Silos tended to represent institutions 4 â€“ Supporting Student Success: The Role of Student Services within Ontarios Postsecondary Institutions where the staff perceived the organizational culture as one in which people worked in their discrete units and were less committed to a shared focus on supporting student success; where the SSASO's leadership style managed departments within the division more as discrete units, less open to ideas from across the division, and with greater hesitation in advocating for the division in senior administrative meetings; and where staff were less clear about how the vision and mission of the division supported and contributed to the institutional mission.
This imagery was powerful in that it spoke to two different approaches to organizational structure: one was student-focused and the other was institution-focused. Student-focused structures were those that aligned organizational structures (proximal location of departments, sub-unit reporting portfolios, policies and protocols) with the student in mind. Institution-focused
structures were those that focused on the organization of the institutionâ€™s business first, and appeared to value it over how students would encounter the institution as they worked through successful completion of their program of study. The spider web and silo imagery and their relation to the student-focused and institutional focused approaches to structure appeared irrespective of the actual organizational structure of the institution. Institutions were typically centralized, decentralized, or federated (a combination of the two former models). A centralized structure tended to have the various units within the division (health and counselling, residence, registrar, and athletics, for example) headed by a director or manager reporting to the SSASO, and providing programs and services for the institution as a whole. Conversely, a decentralized structure was one in which programs and services were managed and provided for within multiple institutional units, typically within the faculties. Finally, the federated structure (or hub and spoke model) was found at institutions in which programs and services existed with some level of centralization, and customized versions of these central services also existed at typically the individual faculty level. A critical finding from this study was that student-focused or institution-focused approaches to organizational
structure could be illustrated by any of the three actual structures (centralized, decentralized, or federated). It is as possible to have a student-focused approach with a federated SAS structure as it is to have an institution-focused approach with a centralized SAS structure.
The purpose of this qualitative grounded theory study was to assess multilingual models of education by investing how and when to incorporate second and third languages into the curriculum to improve language acquisition.
This paper first discusses cooperative learning and provides a rationale for its use in higher education. From the literature, six elements are identified that are considered essential to the success of cooperative learning: positive interdependence, face-to-face verbal interaction, individual accountability, social skills, group processing, and appropriate grouping.
Three distinct approaches at the postsecondary level are described in the fields of Medicine, Dentistry and Mathematics, and feedback from faculty and students is reported. The three approaches are presented within the context of the disciplines and are compared across the disciplines with respect to the essential six elements. Finally, the authors share some lessons learned from their research and experience in order to assist faculty who wish to incorporate cooperative learning into their teaching.
This study is a collaboration between the six colleges in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) – Centennial College, Durham College, George Brown College, Humber College, Seneca College and Sheridan College. The research seeks to better understand why students leave their programs before completion, and the pathways they take after they leave.
Ontario firms and organizations are being challenged to increase productivity through innovation in order to compete on the fiercely competitive world stage and improve the quality of life of Ontarians. Yet, Ontario suffers from innovation gaps
that place its productivity and prosperity goals at risk.
Ontario’s 24 Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology have long been recognized for their contributions to career-oriented education and training programs that have strengthened the Ontario economy throughout the latter part of the 20th century.
Poised on the threshold of the 21st century, college-based applied research and development (R&D) and business and industry innovation activities are of ever increasing importance to the achievement of Ontario’s productivity and prosperity
Given the pace of technological change and the strong forces to innovate from the global market place, the need to invest in human capital continues to increase as does the requirement for high return on investment (ROI) in training. One of the obstacles of measuring the ROI of training is that many of the benefits of training may not be immediately visible for measurement and it may be impossible to allocate the improvements exhibited by the firm to a particular training event. The lack of longitudinal studies to measure the ROI of training, particularly with respect to supporting the use of technology and intensity of innovation, is an area that will be addressed in this study.
The pace of innovation and technological change in the global market place make it imperative that companies constantly look at improving the skills of their workforce (Bresnahan, Brynjolsson and Hitt, 1999). The investment in human capital through the use of relevant and targeted training is critical in order to keep a business competitive (Rabemananjara and Parsley, 2006). One of the key components to an organization’s competitive advantage is the development of knowledge workers and increasing the value of their human capital.
The main objective of this report is to learn about the state of knowledge regarding the role of financial literacy as a complex barrier to postsecondary attendance. To achieve this goal, the report contains a literature review of existing studies in the area, as well as an environmental scan of existing programs and initiatives.
When possible, the focus of the report is on low-income high school students in the context of making decisions regarding postsecondary education. In this ideal setting, financial literacy will be defined as knowledge of all the costs, benefits, and available aid associated with postsecondary education. In reality, there are few studies and existing programs that fit this ideal profile. However, we have identified several studies that share these characteristics to a large extent. Specifically, we describe and discuss 21 related studies and 34 related programs. Although most studies and programs are Canadian, we also broaden the scope somewhat to include countries with similar postsecondary systems as Canada (e.g. the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand).
Our literature review focuses on Canadian and American evidence, and has uncovered several important findings. First, the cost of a postsecondary education is vastly overestimated by the public at large and by low-income youth in particular. In contrast, the economic benefits to attending university are generally underestimated (equally for low- and high-income households). Whether knowing about the costs and benefits matters for pursuing a postsecondary education is less clear given the lack of convincing evidence in this area.
While awareness of student financial aid is not necessarily an issue, it appears that knowledge of aid is limited. This may be related to the complexity of student financial aid, which is not only costly, but may also represent a barrier to some students.
A non-negligible portion of students are loan averse, which means that they will avoid grant opportunities when they are coupled with an optional student loan. This is the case even though the loans can be refused or invested at zero repayable interest.
Research also demonstrates that helping students complete their financial aid and postsecondary application forms has a large impact on application and admission rates. In contrast, offering information to students (without application assistance) is generally not sufficient to affect behaviour.
Finally, once in university, the majority of undergraduates follow a budget and regularly pay off their credit card balance each month. This suggests a certain degree of awareness and control regarding their finances, which may help them repay their loans on time and avoid defaulting.
Many higher education institutions use student satisfaction surveys given at the end of a course to measure course and instructor quality. But is that really a true measure of quality? All things being equal, an instructor who teaches a rigorous course will likely score much lower than an instructor whose course is a little less demanding. Then there’s the whole timing of the satisfaction surveys. For the most part, students are simply glad the course is over (even if they liked it) and put little thought or time into completing the survey. Unless of course they know they failed, in which case you will get a detailed assessment of how you are boring, inflexible, out of touch, or otherwise unfit to teach.
No wonder surveys get such a bad rap. If end-of-course evaluations are the only surveys you use, there’s a lot more you can, and should, be doing. Done correctly, surveys can deliver tremendous insight into what’s working, what’s not, and why. This special report features 10 articles from Online Classroom, including a three-part and a five-part series that provides stepby-step guidance on how to use surveys and evaluations to improve online courses, programs, and instruction. You’ll learn when to use surveys, how to design effective survey questions, why it’s important to ensure anonymity, and the advantages and disadvantages of Web-based surveys.
Articles in Online Course Quality Assurance: Using Evaluations and Surveys to Improve Online Teaching and Learning include:
• Online Teaching Fundamentals: What to Evaluate, parts 1-3
• Course and Instructor Evaluation: If It’s So Good, Why Does It Feel So Bad?
• Getting Evaluation Data through Surveys: What to Consider before Getting Started
• Using Surveys to Improve Courses, Programs, and Instruction, parts 1-5
If you’re dedicated to continuous improvement, this special report is loaded with practical advice that will help you create more effective surveys before, during, and after your course ends.
SYNTHESIS: WHAT THIS REPORT TELLS US
The 2009–2010 State of Learning in Canada provides the most current information on the Canadian learning landscape, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of how Canadians are faring as lifelong learners. As in previous State of Learning reports, this update reflects CCL’s vision of learning as a lifelong process. Our research affirms time and again that the skills and knowledge that citizens bring to their families, their workplaces and their communities help determine a country’s economic success and overall quality of life. It is this core value that continues to guide our research and our commitment to fostering a learning society, in which all members can develop their full potential as active, engaged learners and contributing members of their community.
This update takes a life course approach, beginning with learning in the early childhood learning and school-based education through to the formal and informal learning of adults. Highlights from the recently released report on the State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada: A Holistic Approach to Measuring Success (2009), which introduced the first application of a comprehensive approach to measuring Aboriginal Learning in Canada, are also included.
Partnerships between Ontario colleges and universities have become increasingly important recently for at least two
reasons. Partnerships are encouraged generally in Canada, USA, Europe and elsewhere to transcend organizational boundaries, foster synergies and stimulate change. So universities are enjoined to partner with employers to integrate education and work, with industry to foster innovation and with other universities to avoid duplication.
There are a number of studies that classify governing boards into different types. Some classifications are based on management form. Some are based on the form in which authority is exercised. Some are based on the form of institution that the board serves. Most of these classifications include "working boards" but few offer a clear definition of them. Even those that do attempt to define this type of board acknowledge that little is known about how they actually function. This study examines a small public not-for-profit institution with a "working board" to determine how that type of board functions, where it succeeds and where it fails, and how it is different from other types of boards.