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vLearning

Background

eLearning courses address the learning needs of students in several ways.

  1. Many of our schools are unable to offer a full selection of specialized courses at the senior level because they are only requested by a small number of students in each school. Students can now access these courses through eLearning (ex. Accounting, Law, Earth and Space Science, Economics). Many of the courses that schools cannot offer may be required or recommended for acceptance into specialized programs at university and college.
  2. Because of timetable conflicts or other requirements, students may need to access a course that is not currently being offered in their school in a timeslot that meets their needs so they access the course through eLearning.

    Rationale

    eLearning, or online learning, is the delivery of programs using the internet. With eLearning, teachers and students work asynchronously (out-of-synch) with each other. The teacher may work in the morning while students may work in the evening or on weekends. After five years of offering eLearning courses it was found that retention and pass rates were far lower in courses that involved a great deal of mathematics. In particular we found that students taking: SPH4U, SPH3U, MCT4C and MCV4U did not fair well. It was determined that students doing mathematical work need timely-feedback. In fact they need help as they work through mathematical problems.

    To resolve this issue we have looked at other methods of course delivery. One method that is working well is vLearning. vLearning involves the use of video conferencing equipment to connect a teacher with students at other schools in real-time; synchronously. Now students can receive the immediate feedback they require while taking the course and can ask questions directly of the teacher rather than only through email or discussion conferences.