The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives. From simple tasks like grocery shopping and eating out to more complex tasks such as learning and working. When the pandemic was declared in March 2020, learning institutions from across the country interrupted face-to-face learning and reverted to remote and online learning expeditiously. The educational sector was transformed seemingly overnight.
What are the benefits of online learning?
Online learning allows students to access post-secondary programs from any geographic location, whenever it is convenient for them. It also provides students with the flexibility to continue working and living their busy lives. The popularity of online learning has grown exponentially over the years. According to a 2018 survey (prior to the COVID pandemic) launched by The Canadian Digital Learning Research Association -
- 82 per cent of Canadian universities, colleges and CEGEPs were offering online courses and/or programs;
- 68 per cent of Canadian universities, colleges and CEGEPs identified online learning as very or extremely important to their future plans;
- key benefits of online learning were identified as increased student access and flexibility, attracting students beyond traditional service areas, and increasing student options for credential completion;
- 78 per cent of respondents viewed online learning outcomes as equivalent to face-to-face learning outcomes; and
- the reach of the 2018 survey represented 96 per cent of the higher education student population in Canada.
- Who should register for online learning?
Whether current Laurentian students are looking to complement their on-campus studies or busy professionals are wanting to brush up on skills relevant to their profession, Laurentian University offers the largest selection of bilingual (English and French) distance education programs in Canada. Online learners hail from across the country, and indeed around the world. With 27 degree-granting programs and nearly 540 courses offered online and/or in a blended format, Laurentian Online provides learners with flexible options that allow them to work at their own pace based on their personal schedules.
Are the learning outcomes the same for online learning?
When selecting an institution for online learning, it’s important to do your research. Not all programs are created equal. Some questions to consider when looking for an online program:
- Who developed the online courses?
- Are the courses reviewed by subject matter experts?
- What kind of online support will students receive?
All courses offered by Laurentian Online are developed by faculty members and national research experts. This ensures the quality of Laurentian’s courses and programs – students can expect to achieve the same learning outcomes as those who attend in-person courses. Laurentian’s online courses also are asynchronous, which provides students with the flexibility to study while they work and/or lead normal, everyday lives.
Who can benefit from online learning?
Online learning will appeal to those:
- looking for flexible study options;
- looking for a new career and who need a degree to secure an exciting position;
- undergraduate students needing a flexible learning option other than in-class courses;
- living abroad who want to learn at a Canadian university;
- working professionals looking to enhance their skills to get to the next level;
- in remote geographic areas who don’t have close access to a university campus;
- wish to continue upgrading and learning in their field of work while remaining fully employed;
- wishing to keep their minds active and enjoying a lifetime learning experience.
Whatever the case may be, online learning might well be the most suitable and logical option. Laurentian University’s many undergraduate, graduate, certificate and professional development programs are open for registration.
Want to learn more? Discover all of your options by attending an Online Information Session (registration required). Visit Laurentian University’s website, call 1.800.461.4030 or send us an e-mail. Take that next step… you’ll be glad you did!
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