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Canadian Higher Education in Fall 2020: Business as Unusual

A bar chart showing results for anticipated scenarios for Fall Semester

Anticipated Scenarios for Fall Semester

Early insights about what higher education might look like in the future indicate that programs will continue in the fall, but it will not be business as usual.

For institutional leaders and governing bodies, the summer months will be a critical time for determining the different online/hybrid scenarios for their institution”
— Nicole Johnson, Research Director, CDLRA
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, May 20, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Canada’s post-secondary institutions develop plans as they face uncertainty for the fall term.
Early insights about what higher education might look like for the foreseeable future indicate that programs will continue in the fall, but it will not be business as usual. The majority of institutions are exploring multiple online and hybrid learning scenarios for the fall term.
Prior to the pandemic, approximately 10 per cent of all course enrolments offered by Canadian CEGEPs, college and universities were online (CDLRA 2017, 2018, 2019). As institutions adjust their course delivery in response to the pandemic, the number of online and hybrid offerings will be unprecedented.
These are the first insights offered by the Canadian Pulse Project: a multi-stage initiative to track the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education institutions across Canada. The project is a partnership between the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association (CDLRA), Bay View Analytics, George Veletsianos (Royal Roads University), and Academica Group.
More information can be found at: https://onlinelearningsurveycanada.ca/canadian-pulse-project/
Initial insights include:
• The majority of survey respondents anticipated that multiple online and hybrid learning scenarios were possible for their institution.
• Colleges indicated that fully online courses delivered synchronously was most likely, followed by a hybrid option in which some students attend classes on campus while others attend classes online
• Universities were most likely to report a partial return to in-person courses that would enable shifting between in-person and online classes as social distancing orders change over time and/or a partial return to in-person classes where some students return to classes and other students attend classes online.
Nicole Johnson, Research Director, CDLRA noted, “It is evident that online and hybrid learning will be the new normal for the upcoming academic year. For institutional leaders and governing bodies, the summer months will be a critical time for determining the different online/hybrid scenarios for their institution, training faculty accordingly, and taking measures for setting students up for success in an online environment.”
“Canadian post-secondary institutions agree that they will be open in the fall, that it won’t be like it was, and that there is not a single scenario that will be the best match for the evolving situation,” said Jeff Seaman (Director, Bay View Analytics). “Their understanding of the multiple alternatives for the fall semester shows that they consider flexibility to be key.”
George Veletsianos (Professor & Canada Research Chair, Royal Roads University) commented, “Higher Education in Canada in Fall 2020 will look much different than last Fall. While this is partially about continuity, it also needs to be about re-imagining a wide range of practices, ranging from delivery models, to assessment practices, to student support, just to mention a few.”
“As Canadian higher-ed prepares for a fall subjected to uncertainty yet demanding clarity, it will be fascinating to observe how institutional plans develop and take shape” said Bruce Thompson, Senior VP, Academica Group.
For more information, contact info@onlinelearningsurveycanada.ca

Nicole Johnson
Canadian Digital Learning Research Association
+1 604-825-0582
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