COU releases more details on Ontario Universities Online consortium

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Last week, we reported that the Council of Ontario Universities was developing a new consortium to develop online learning in Ontario. On April 18th, the COU made additional details available on the online learning initiative. Ontario Universities Online (OUO) will seek to “expand online learning for students in the province and beyond” and “meet the growing demand for courses and programs delivered outside the traditional classroom setting or courses that blend both traditional and electronic delivery.” This is the first indication that the OUO will focus on traditional online courses, as well as so-called hybrid or blended courses where in-class instruction is supplemented by online resources.
Seven “core institutions” have committed resources to the project, and are providing “core leadership”, according to the COU press release. These institutions include the University of Waterloo, Brock University, University of Guelph, McMaster University, Ryerson University, Wilfrid Laurier University and York University.
OCUFA is monitoring the development of the OUO closely. It is our strong belief that all online learning initiatives should be focused on promoting student success, not cutting costs. It is also vital that online learning in Ontario protect academic freedom, respect the intellectual property rights of faculty, and preserve local autonomy in academic planning.

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