Distributing Learning of BC

Correspondence schools in BC were established around 1918. In 1995, the School Act changed the term “correspondence education” to “distance education”. The Revised Statutes of the School Act 1996 recognized a distributed learning school operated by a board to be a “school”. Between 1998 and 2001, the Ministry sponsored a pilot project, Distributed Electronic Learning – computer and internet technology assisted education involving 18 school boards and 2200 students. Bill 33 of September 1, 2006 enabled all school districts offering distributed learning to receive the same funding as any other students in the province.

Currently, the Ministry uses multiple enrolment date collections to fund boards or distributed learning authorities, and every Grade 10, 11 and 12 student in British Columbia is allowed to take any distributed learning courses no matter where he/she is registered. Using the Active Policy, the Ministry provides funding for each educational program of Grade 10 to 12 students who receive instruction through distributed learning. The effect of Bill 33 is the explosive interest in the operation of distributed learning by school boards. Distributed learning is no longer simply a method of instruction that relies on indirect communication between students and teachers using technology. It now offers a dynamic and engaging learning environment which strives to be of high quality. The goals of distributed learning include equitable access to education and the elimination of all kinds of divides.

We have witnessed the power economy has over education. The availability of the Ministry’s funding to students who are multiply registered with distributed learning drove many school boards to start offering distributed learning. Educators who used to be strong advocates of face-to-face education seem to have been converted to technology assisted distributed learning.

With Campus 20/20 in mind, I can see great potential in educational ventures in this field. An obvious trend is that Grades 10-12 will be expanded to K-12, and then to K-postsecondary. As with the vision of Campus 20/20, if a Multilanguage/multicultural platform is supported, distributed learning in BC can absolutely become a global enterprise. Considering the multi-racial trends of BC population growth, it is not an unrealistic dream and plan. There certainly is an opportunity for all universities of British Columbia to be a part of this. In light of UBC already being a community of students from over 130 countries, this venture is highly attractive and unwise to ignore.

Face 1: Market Focus
Public schools/ postsecondary schools

Face 2: Types of Offerings
Distributed learning

Face 3: Who is the Buyer?
Learning bought by province, regions, and nations

Face 4: Global Markets
English/multi-lingual

Face 5: Development of the Market
Start with BC which has a strong network of education, develop into nations which already have established networks, and subsidize part of the revenues of underdeveloped countries and regions, targeting the achievement of the equalization of education throughout the world.

Face 6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning
The distributed learning of BC has already going towards the direction of encompassing and merging with the face-to-face education. This approach is critical.

Alex

8 comments


1 cwickes { 09.20.08 at 8:16 am }

It’s interesting that an aspect of our own MET program is its globally enriched forum with students from all over the world participating. It’s fun to examine these issues while being a guinea pig of sorts at the same time. When distributed learning began to be funded by the Ministry I was at a rural school that jumped on the bandwagon at the time and one of the main problems was the lack of technical support that couldn’t quite keep pace with the goals of the program in trying to offer a quality education. Any type of distributed learning is only as good as the ability to keep it up and running!
C
And a plug for this MET program – I have found the technical support to be outstanding….


2 Deepika Sharma { 09.20.08 at 9:35 am }

In agreement with the global MET forum issue. Howver MET needs to recognise this global nature and establish content that included examples and case studies from other parts of the world as well.

ETEC 522 is the first course that I have taken, has a truly global outreach in its content coverage. For the other courses that I have done over the previous year, I found this aspect to be floundering – this is not to mention that they have been any less interesting or challenging! Something to ponder over …

Cheers!

dee


3 David Wees { 09.20.08 at 7:31 pm }

This sounds like an interesting project to get involved in. It seems to me that E-learning is an obvious way to reduce the cost of home schooling children.


4 Carolann Fraenkel { 09.20.08 at 9:10 pm }

What is Campus 20/20? I feel as though I missed something?

Carolann


5 Alex { 09.21.08 at 1:26 pm }

Hi Carolann,

You can access the pdf file of Campus 2020 at:

http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/campus2020/

Alex


6 Sarah Wood { 09.22.08 at 1:48 pm }

Thank you for the analysis and full description. Although I work in BC and I know my students take these courses, I was not familiar with the process. What I like about the DL system is that it opens up access to classes for students who are bound by timetable constraints, etc.


7 Gillian Gunderson { 09.22.08 at 5:55 pm }

One big advantage of DL courses is that students can customize their educational program – taking courses at different grade levels in the same year, getting credit for outside activities, accessing a variety of courses.

A disadvantage, as is often the case in the education system, is a lack of consistency in the quality of the courses. In addition, the technology is not always used to its full potential. It becomes a delivery system for instructions (ie/ read these pages in a text, answer these questions, submit).


8 Deepika Sharma { 09.22.08 at 11:15 pm }

There appears to be a pun on 2020! Is it campus vision for two thousand and twenty or is it an all round 20/20 vision? Depends on the way one write it – 2020 or 20/20 🙂

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