eCampusOntario.ca is the primary face of the Ontario Online Learning Consortium (OOLC), a not-for-profit corporation whose membership is composed of all publicly-funded colleges and universities in Ontario. The OOLC is governed by a Board of Directors with leadership from two Board Chairs. Operations are headed by an Executive Director. Funding for OOLC and the eCampusOntario initiative comes from the Government of Ontario.
##A Focus on Learners
eCampusOntario.ca was created in 2015 as a portal for learners to find online and mostly online courses—through browsing, searching by keyword, or filtering by institution and delivery format. Course details include links to information about scheduling, tuition and fees, instructors, and information about how to get registered and to seek credit transfer. Previously identified course equivalencies are also listed where available. In addition, students can search based on a specific course they need credit for to find available online options at other institutions.
eCampusOntario will continue to grow: colleges and universities are adding new online and mostly online courses and programs, and the Government of Ontario has provided special funding to support further development in order to improve opportunities for learners.
Students who may be new to online learning, or perhaps new to post-secondary education, may be interested in browsing the eCampusOntario suite of Student Supports. These supports have been selected by a committee of representatives from colleges and universities to aid learners in basic study skills, writing, and math. Users will also find a selection of administrative resources, including links to information about financial support and studying in Canada as an international student.
##Supporting Faculty and Instructors
A wide variety of resources are available to assist faculty, instructors, and online learning specialists who may be designing, developing, or teaching online and blended courses. Teaching resources range from journal articles and book chapters to videos, blogs, and content modules that can be used in an instructor’s own course. The goal of the eCampusOntario support hub for educators is to create a virtual space to access and share a wide variety of resources relating to online and blended learning.
The initial set of resources was identified by both the college and university sectors using the following methodologies:
Resources were solicited by email invitations sent to Directors of all University Teaching and Learning Centres in Ontario. Invitations were also sent to expert faculty members who attended the 2015 Learning Xchange hosted by Teaching and Learning Canada, a think tank group that met at McMaster University in July 2015.
Additionally, the Educational Technology Committee (ETC) solicited input from all 24 colleges and collaborated with experts from college teaching and learning centers to curate resources selected to support faculty developing and teaching online courses. The ETC is a subcommittee of Colleges Ontario that reports to the Coordinating Committee of the Colleges’ Vice Presidents Academic.
Contributors were asked to recommend resources they personally found useful in informing their pedagogical practice.
##Looking to the Future
It is the intent of our member institutions to foster innovation, collaboration, and excellence on behalf of Ontario students. As a consortium of member institutions, eCampusOntario will build partnerships with complementary organizations to enhance the online and technology enabled learning environment in Ontario. We will explore new and emerging technologies which enhance value for learning, and leverage existing strengths within our institutions and beyond.