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University profs can become video stars

Students able to take Algoma University courses online, earn degrees in certain programs with help from eCampus Ontario
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Tyler Pollard, Algoma University e-learning specialist, David Porter, eCampusOntario CEO, and Linda Avril Burnett, Algoma University assistant dean, celebrate the launch of an online learning initiative at Algoma, March 25, 2019. Darren Taylor/SooToday

David Porter, Toronto-based eCampusOntario CEO, joined students, staff and faculty at Algoma University Monday to celebrate the formal kickoff of the university’s partnership with eCampusOntario in delivering online instruction.

eCampusOntario is a not for profit corporation funded by the Ontario government, owned by the province’s 45 public universities and colleges.

“We want to ramp up e-learning programs that benefit students in your community,” Porter told SooToday.

“If students are working through the day they can take a course online at night, and here in Ontario you can transfer your learning from one institution to another because different institutions develop transfer agreements. If you’re a student in Timmins, for example, you can start your online learning with Northern College in Timmins and transfer it here to Algoma.”

“Those kinds of opportunities mean you can stay with your employer in your home community and then finish with a degree from a university that isn’t actually in your hometown, but still a recognized university in Ontario.”

eCampusOntario provided Algoma with $365,000 to start up online studies between Algoma and Northern College, with Oshawa’s Durham College providing the infrastructure needed to develop the program.

“We’ve officially been around for three and a half years and in that time we’ve provided large amounts of funding to institutions to develop more sophisticated online programs around the province,” Porter said, adding Ontario is a leader in online education in Canada.

A studio has been set up at Algoma’s Queen Street campus in which professors can record lectures and point to notes on a screen, the finished videos available to students who enrol through the online learning route.

“This year (2018-2019) is the first of what we see as a three year elearning project. We’re going to put a real push on it and put some resources into it,” said Linda Avril Burnett, an Algoma University English and Film professor and assistant dean.

Currently, Algoma is offering students elearning instruction in its Computer Science and Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) programs.    

The first offering of the Computer Science Bridging program will be in April.

Students interested in online learning through Algoma can find out more on the university’s website

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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