Online delivery of courses and programmes is not a panacea. It is simply one tool in the access toolkit. For many students, particularly younger students and those who are already underrepresented in post-secondary education, online delivery is not a substitute for in-class, face-to-face education and should only be used in a way that enhances the learning experience
and accommodates the unique needs of students. Without appropriate levels of funding, it is unlikely for online course offerings to have the same academic rigour as face-to-face classes. Many learners need an intense interaction with their instructors that is difficult to achieve with online delivery. The importance of the social and intellectual interaction between students and teachers that enhances academic quality is not served well by poorly-designed online courses or programmes or with a goal of cost-saving or revenue generation.
Students, faculty and staff believe that any new initiative may be at risk of diverting the emphasis away from improving the
Any expansion to online education must addresss:
• The skyrocketing cost of attending a post- secondary institution in Ontario.
• Ontario’s student-faculty ratio and class sizes that are the largest in Canada.
• The lack of space at institutions to achieve the provincial government’s projected 70 percent post-secondary attainment rate and the shortfall in deferred maintenance.
• The increasing reliance on private sector services and funding and the subsequent impact on
academic freedom and quality of education.