Virtual School Meanderings

December 19, 2014

OCUFA Report, December 17, 2014 – OCUFA Announces Online Learning Workshop

I don’t normally post this one, but note the online learning workshop listed below…

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Follow us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter

Happy holidays from OCUFA
On behalf of everyone at OCUFA, OCUFA Report would like to wish all of our readers a safe, restful, and happy holiday season and a very happy new year.

OCUFA announces online learning workshop
OCUFA is pleased to announce an upcoming workshop designed to help faculty members develop high-quality online courses while protecting academic freedom and intellectual property. The Faculty Leadership in E-Learning Workshop will be held on March 20, 2015 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

Layoffs continue at Nipissing
On December 8, 2014, Nipissing University completed “Phase 1” of its planned layoffs. Local media reported that 16 positions were lost, including 14 in senior management. The university administration is indicating that two more rounds of layoffs are imminent: one affecting unionized support staff, and a final one affecting faculty on teaching contracts

Ontario ties student loans to inflation
On December 8, 2014, the Government of Ontario announced that it would index maximum student levels to inflation. The government also announced a new program – the Ontario Student Loan Rehabilitation Program – that will allow borrowers in default to bring their loans back into good standing.

Happy holidays from OCUFA
On behalf of everyone at OCUFA, OCUFA Report would like to wish all of our readers a safe, restful, and happy holiday season and a very happy new year.

We’ll be taking a break over the next few weeks, but will return with a new issue onJanuary 14, 2015. The coming year promises to be an important one for OCUFA, as we will be announcing major initiatives around university pensions, contract faculty, and online learning. We will also be closely monitoring the Government of Ontario’s differentiation agenda, while preparing for a potential review of the university funding formula in Ontario.

Layoffs continue at Nipissing
On December 8, 2014, Nipissing University completed “Phase 1” of its planned layoffs. Local media reported that 16 positions were lost, including 14 in senior management. The university administration is indicating that two more rounds of layoffs are imminent: one affecting unionized support staff, and a final one affecting faculty on teaching contracts.

Layoffs of support staff and contract faculty will have a negative effect on the quality of learning at Nipissing. OCUFA is urging the administration to abandon this harmful course of action, and preserve existing positions. We are also working closely with our colleagues at the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) to monitor, and respond to, the proposed layoffs.

Nipissing’s administration claims that the layoffs are needed to cope with a budget deficit created by, among other things, the Government of Ontario’s cuts to teacher training programs. While this policy was ill-advised and has removed significant public funding from the institution, it remains an administrative choice to pursue layoffs. OCUFA continues to call for the restoration of education funding at the provincial level.

OCUFA announces online learning workshop
OCUFA is pleased to announce an upcoming workshop designed to help faculty members develop high-quality online courses while protecting academic freedom and intellectual property. The Faculty Leadership in E-Learning Workshop will be held on March 20, 2015 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

Join us for a day of discussion, skill-building, and action for faculty members interested in e-learning. This OCUFA workshop will focus on the opportunities for pedagogical improvement created by online learning and the challenges associated with deploying new learning technologies to improve educational outcomes, not institutional bottom lines. The workshop will be action oriented, gathering information from participants and working towards the development of an action plan for professors, academic librarians, and faculty associations across the province.

Of interest to faculty who are engaged in issues relating to online pedagogy as well as chief negotiators and bargaining team members, this workshop is your chance to reflect, engage, and work for positive change. Register today!

Ontario ties student loans to inflation
On December 8, 2014, the Government of Ontario announced that it would index maximum student levels to inflation. The government also announced a new program – the Ontario Student Loan Rehabilitation Program – that will allow borrowers in default to bring their loans back into good standing.

Under the student aid changes, the maximum loan package available to students will increase according to the prevailing rate of inflation. The “debt cap” – or the yearly ceiling beyond which debt forgiveness kicks in – will also be indexed.

While these changes will help students to afford higher education in the short term, it does not address Ontario’s high tuition fees. OCUFA has long argued that students are paying too much for their education, both in absolute numbers and as a proportion of university operating budgets. As Ontario prepares to examine the university funding formula in 2015, it is important that it also look at how to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students from all backgrounds.

Twitter Digg Facebook Delicious Reddit StumbleUpon DZone Google LinkedIn MisterWong MySpace Netvouz NewsVine Slashdot Technorati YahooMyWeb BlinkList Design Float Webnews.deYou are receiving this email because you have either subscribed to the Ontario University Report or have participated in one of the campaigns that was initiated by the Ontairo Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

Got a question or comment for OCUFA Report? Email the publisher at gstewart@ocufa.on.ca.

Forward to a friend | Update your profile

Our mailing address is:

OCUFA

83 Yonge Street, Suite 300

Toronto,ONM5C 1S8

Canada

Add us to your address book

Copyright (C) 2009 OCUFA All rights reserved.

June 2, 2012

OCUFA Report, May 31, 2012 – OCUFA Faculty Survey: Professors And Academic Librarians Warn Against Rash Reforms Of Ontario’s Universities

Another post-secondary item that is worth taking a look at…  Note the last couple of news items…

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Don’t miss an Issue! Subscribe to the OCUFA Report
Follow us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter
Due to a delay with our translation service, we regret we cannot include a French copy of this report. We will make the French version available on our website once it is complete.

OCUFA Faculty Survey: Professors and academic librarians warn against rash reforms of Ontario’s universities
Professors and academic librarians are warning the Government of Ontario against putting limits on the educational options available to students, based on the results of OCUFA’s 2012 Faculty Survey.

Thank you for participating in the OCUFA Faculty Survey
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill out our 2012 Faculty Survey.

Reality Check: Online education is expensive when you do it right

It is not cheap to provide a high quality university education online.

OCUFA Faculty Survey: Professors and academic librarians warn against rash reforms of Ontario’s universities
Professors and academic librarians are warning the Government of Ontario against putting limits on the educational options available to students, based on the results of OCUFA’s 2012 Faculty Survey. In a leaked discussion paper and several speeches, the Government of Ontario has floated moving to a three-year degree structure, delivering 60 per cent of a degree online, and introducing year-round university programming.

“In a competitive and knowledge-based economy, our students don’t need less education,” said Constance Adamson, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). “Any policy that potentially reduces the quantity and quality of curriculum taught in universities has to be met with extreme caution and concern.”
Survey highlights:

  • 87 per cent of faculty agreed that moving to a three-year degree will limit the ability of students to pursue graduate or professional education in the rest of Canada and the United States.
  • 86 per cent of faculty surveyed  agreed that moving to a three-year degree will harm the quality of university education in Ontario
  • 82 per cent agreed that delivering 60 per cent of undergraduate courses online will harm the quality of university education
  • Only 24 percent of faculty surveyed strongly agreed that there is sufficient student demand for year-round university

“Online education has an important place in today’s universities, but moving the majority of undergraduate education online will undermine the learning experience our students expect. We shortchange students if we ignore the educational importance of face-to-face student interaction with their peers and faculty inside the classroom and laboratory,” said Adamson
“Faculty members are united in their concern over the online learning and three-year degree proposals. These ideas need to be carefully scrutinized and reviewed to ensure that they support the best possible student experience while meeting Ontario’s educational needs.”

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) survey was commissioned to assess Ontario university professors’ and academic librarians’ opinions on a variety of issues affecting university education. The online survey received over 2,300 responses between March 21 and April 16, 2012.

READ THE FULL REPORT

Thank you for participating in the OCUFA Faculty Survey             
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill out our 2012 Faculty Survey. We received over 2,300 responses from across Ontario, from all disciplines.

The Faculty Survey helps OCUFA understand the opinions and concerns of our members, and allows us to be a more effective advocacy voice in Ontario. By participating in the survey, you helped us communicate the faculty perspective to administrators, government, and the people of Ontario. Media coverage of the survey included the Canadian Press, the Toronto Star, and Newstalk 1010.

OCUFA also held a draw for a new Apple iPad for those who participated in the survey.  A faculty member from Western University (formerly the University of Western Ontario) won the prize.

Reality Check: Online education is expensive when you do it right
It is not cheap to provide a high quality university education online. At first glance, the operating expense per student appears lower at the Télé-Université du Québec (TÉLUQ) and Athabasca University than at traditional universities. Accounting for enrolment profile, the same is true for Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in BC, which has a physical campus and hosts BC’s Online Learning Agency.

Drilling deeper, online education is less of a bargain. The weighted average cost per student at TÉLUQ and Athabasca is 11 per cent higher than the on-campus per-student cost in Ontario. It is only by adding TRU without adjusting for enrolment mix that the weighted average falls to 10 per cent lower than Ontario.*

The cost savings are achieved partly by savings on full-time faculty salaries. The combined student-faculty ratio for the three online institutions is 34, well above the combined average of 21 for their counterparts in BC, Quebec, and Alberta. Take faculty salaries and student scholarships out of the mix and the combined operating costs at TÉLUQ and Athabasca are 30 per cent higher than in Ontario. Even with TRU included, Ontario institutions still spend less.

Ontario already has the lowest operating cost per student and the worst student-faculty ratio, which rose to 28 in 2010. If online learning in Ontario is meant to achieve cost savings parallel to those in other provinces, it looks like the only savings will come at the expense of the student-faculty ratio. Whatever its pedagogical merits, it is hard to imagine online education can make up for fewer professors, especially when the vast majority of students  do their learning on campus.

*Note:Approximately one-third of Thompson Rivers University full-time equivalent enrolment is in college and other courses which are not university credit courses. The BC comparator group is composed of the University of Victoria and four institutions recently designated universities.

Sources: Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO), Financial Information of Universities and Colleges; Québec university financial statements
Statistics Canada, Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS); University and College Academic Staff System (UCASS)

Twitter Digg Facebook Delicious Reddit StumbleUpon DZone Google LinkedIn MisterWong MySpace Netvouz NewsVine Slashdot Technorati YahooMyWeb BlinkList Design Float Webnews.de

You are receiving this email because you have either subscribed to the Ontario University Report or have participated in one of the campaigns that was initiated by the Ontairo Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

Got a question or comment for OCUFA Report? Email the publisher at gstewart@ocufa.on.ca.
Forward to a friend
| Update your profile

Our mailing address is:

OCUFA

83 Yonge Street, Suite 300

Toronto, ON M5C 1S8

Canada

Add us to your address book

Copyright (C) 2009 OCUFA All rights reserved.

August 8, 2011

Virtual High School (Ontario) – Social Media

This is a long-time private K-12 online learning program here in Ontario.  I’ve known about them for a long time now, but only today discovered their social media presence.  Specifically, I discovered them on:

Twitter – VHSOntFacebook – Official Page Virtual High School News Releases – RSS Feed

As a quick note, some of the recent items from the feed include:

September 26, 2010

E-Learning Ontario Recorded Webinars

A couple of week ago, as I was doing some of the last minute checking for the State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada report (see the 2008 and 2009 editions), I came across this:

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/elearning/webinars2010.html

Essentially it is a list of the 2009-10 recorded webinars from E-Learning Ontario that I thought might be of interested to my Ontario readers and the wider audience as well.  While many of the webinars are focused on things specific to the Ontario context, there are several teaching [insert different subject area here] online webinars that I thought might be of interest to anyone.  Take a look and let me know what you think…

September 12, 2010

Another K-12 Online Learning Blog

As has become my habit, over the weekend Ive come across another blog from a virtual school that I wanted to announce and add to my Blogroll.

Ottawa Carleton E-School bloghttp://myeschool.wordpress.com/

This is the blog of the Ottawa Carleton eSchool in Ontario, Canada.  It appears to be relatively new, with a blogging history going back to May 2010.  Their entries during that time have largely been intended for students and parents of the eSchool:

I know the person behind most of these entries has left the school, but I do hope they will continue this feature.

And while not really germane to the topic of this entry, the Ottawa Carleton eSchool website had a link to a review of the online school that was completed by the Financial Post – which is kind of interesting.

Next Page »

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,647 other followers