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New grants to support online and distance courses

A new grant scheme, announced today by the Office of Open Learning, will provide assistance to departments who want to expand their online and distance offerings.

The Open and Online Learning Strategic Development Grants will provide support in three categories:

  • Developing courses in new fully or substantially online programs (up to $50,000);
  • Developing new online courses, or substantial redevelopment of existing courses to an online delivery mode (up to $10,000); or
  • Developing or incorporating Open Educational Resources into an online course to enhance student learning.

Nick Baker, acting director of the Office of Open Learning, says these grants are part of the University’s investment in bringing online learning into the mainstream.

“Well-designed online learning experiences can open up a whole new world of educational opportunities, and can be just as rigorous and satisfying as their on campus counterparts,” he says. “I like to think not in terms of how we make online courses as good as on-campus courses, but really, how can we make them better than on-campus courses using the power of the tools available on the web.”

Baker says that the grants aim to help departments design high-quality online offerings that meet the needs of students, who are often unable to be physically on campus or commit to full-time education.

“Windsor has done a fantastic job of attracting traditional students from the local market, and most of our students come from Windsor-Essex,” says Baker. “The world of higher education is rapidly changing though, and we are seeing more and more students wanting or needing to study online, so it is important that we are able to offer that flexibility if we are to continue to grow.”

Applications for open learning grants are now open and close April 26 for the smaller grants, and May 3 for program-level grants. Application forms and guidelines are available from Alicia Higgison in the Office of Open Learning; e-mail higgison@uwindsor.ca, phone 519-253-3000, ext. 2008, or online at http://www.uwindsor.ca/provost/office-of-open-learning.

Contact Baker at 519-253-3000, ext. 4925, or nbaker@uwindsor.ca for more information about the grants, or to find out what services the Office of Open Learning can offer to assist faculty and departments in designing online and distance courses.