Christy Mitchell worked this summer, went on vacation and completed two Brock University courses. The second-year Humanities student took advantage of Brock’s online courses to pick up her science context credit.
“The online courses allowed me to have some freedom in my schedule and even go out of town for a bit,” she said. “It was beneficial to me because I could study the content at my own pace.”
She also found it helpful to be able to re-watch the lecture videos for her astronomy courses when there was something she didn’t understand.
That flexibility for students is one of the key reasons Brock has developed 72 online courses over the past five years, said Anna Lathrop, Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning.
“We’ve been steadily building our online course offerings,” she said. “We want as much choice for students as possible.”
She said the provincial government’s launch this week of the eCampus Ontario portal will help Brock reach as many students as possible with its online course list. The portal gives students access to 13,000 online courses offered at Ontario’s universities and colleges.
“The portal allows university and college students access to a one-stop-shop,” Lathrop said.
The portal will also open up Brock to online learners who are not currently enrolled at the university. The courses are open to anyone in Ontario, as long as they meet the prerequisites.
Matt Clare, manager of eLearning in Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation, said one of the biggest benefits of online courses is their convenience.
“Brock University’s online courses should be the popcorn that once tasted, it’s hard to stop eating.”
“Online courses provide flexible ways for students to learn about interesting and unique topics,” he said. “Brock students can take online courses that they have the requirements to enroll in and work towards complementing Brock University degrees.”
And just as importantly, he said eCampus Ontario allows any Ontario higher education student from across the province to do the same.
“The new eCampus Ontario portal showcases the interesting courses Brock University offers in formats that compliment the busy lives of students today,” Clare said.
It is hoped that Brock’s unique online offerings will appeal to a variety of students and give them an appetite for more of the university’s courses.
“Brock University’s online courses should be the popcorn that once tasted, it’s hard to stop eating,” he said.
Dale Bradley, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, Pop Culture and Film, developed the online course New Media Literacy back in 2011.
“I designed it specifically as a context course that was open to anybody,” he said, of COMM 2F00.
He’s happy the course availability will reach more people through the eCampus portal.
Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Reza Moridi said the province is investing $72 million over five years to support eCampus Ontario.
“This portal will provide our students with access to the best learning opportunities available, while giving them greater flexibility than ever before to control how, when and where they learn. Our government knows how important it is to continue to innovate in technology-enabled education,” he said in a statement.