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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ontario is poised to require every high school student take four online courses. What does it mean? | Ottawa Citizen

Joanne Laucius, reporter at the Ottawa Citizen says, Last week, the provincial government announced that secondary school students will be required to take four out of the 30 high school credits required for an Ontario high school diploma as online courses.

The announcement had few details, except that the changes will be phased in starting in 2020-21 and the delivery of all e-learning courses will be centralized. However, if the province goes ahead with plans to make four courses mandatory, Ontario high school students will have more compulsory e-learning than any other jurisdiction in the world.

So what is e-learning? A necessary skill for the 21st century or a way for the province to save money on education? We asked experts what they expect from the reforms.

How does e-learning currently work in Ontario?
According to the Canadian eLearning Network, an estimated 65,000 Ontario elementary and secondary students from public, Catholic, francophone and independent schools took at least one online course in 2017-18.

The public education advocacy group People for Education estimated that five per cent of students for every high school are enrolled in at least one online course...

What happens in an online course?
Teachers create assignments and moderate interactions between students using electronic technologies such as message boards. While students often have flexibility in terms of when they log into the course, many schools recognize that it’s a good idea for students to spend time in the library, said Alexander. The majority of students who take online courses are in Grades 11 and 12 and are looking for more course offerings than are available at their school, she said.

Source: Ottawa Citizen