UWindsor Together: Student Mental Health and Remote Learning Services

What do we do?

Championing online, open, and hybrid learning and teaching

Over the last five decades, teaching and learning being facilitated beyond the walls of traditional bricks and mortar institutions has become the norm, rather than an anomaly provided only for a small number of non-traditional students. In Canada, the pace of change in online and distance learning has recently accelerated to the point where most post secondary institutions are now offering courses, if not full programmes, in off-campus, online, or hybrid modes. These developments make learning and getting a university education possible for a much broader spectrum of society than was previously possible.

In an increasingly connected world, there are new and exciting possibilities in teaching and learning that could not have even been imagined just a few years ago. In 2012, the University of Windsor made the strategic commitment to establish an Office of Open Learning to help the University community engage with these possibilities. The Office has a mandate to champion the pedagogical, curricular, cultural, policy, and infrastructure changes necessary to take full advantage of online, distance, and blended approaches to teaching and learning. We aim to increase the quality and quantity of courses using these approaches across the University. We also aim to help departments develop new programmes and redevelop existing programs to be delivered entirely or substantially in online, open, and hybrid modes.

We support the University of Windsor community in a number of ways to achieve their goals of enhancing and increasing online, blended and open learning. We support individuals, departments, faculties and administration to achieve these goals, aligned with the institutional strategic plan and our Strategic Mandate Agreement 2017-2020, and the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan.

 

The Office of Open Learning (OOL) provides leadership in the design, development and delivery of high-quality online, open, and hybrid learning opportunities for all learners. OOL fosters a teaching and learning environment that provides the tools and policies necessary to empower educators and learners to achieve their aspirations for innovation, excellence, impact, and openness. Underpinned by scholarly practice, we advocate for, explore, and implement the emerging technologies our institution needs to be on the leading edge of educational innovation.
The University of Windsor will become a destination of choice for learners seeking high quality, online, open, accessible, and transformative learning opportunities, with no barriers to education regardless of life stage or circumstance.

The mandate of the Office of Open Learning is to:

  • Provide support and professional development for instructors of online, open, and hybrid learning and teaching through formal and informal development opportunities
  • Use an iterative instructional design process underpinned by scholarship, accepted quality standards, and a commitment to accessibility and openness in all learning designs
  • Work collaboratively with faculty and students to design, develop, deliver, evaluate and iterate high-quality, engaging, media-rich learning environments that respect the diverse disciplinary cultures and contexts of the University’s faculty and students
  • Provide rapid eLearning multimedia production services, including emerging techniques such as 360-degree video, immersive learning environments, simulations, augmented and virtual reality, and custom learning objects
  • Provide a comfortable, safe and supportive environment in which faculty can explore innovations in technology, pedagogy and curriculum
  • Provide faculty and student support for adoption and implementation of emerging educational technologies
  • Obtain funding for research and development of online and open learning environments
  • Provide project management of online teaching and learning grants and projects
  • Assist faculties and departments to design, develop, and increase enrolment in innovative, high-quality online, hybrid, and open courses and programs
  • Support faculty in scholarly teaching practice, educational research, and embedding high impact practices in online, hybrid and open courses
  • Champion the adoption, adaptation, and development of Open Educational Resources (OERs), including open access texts, simulations, and other learning tools
  • Continuously evaluate the needs of online and hybrid learners and educators for highly reliable, usable, and accessible educational technologies, and collaborate with appropriate campus partners to meet those needs
  • Expand the boundaries of teaching and learning practice, including emerging educational technologies, pedagogies, and credentialing practices, and provide evidence-based consultation and advice to faculty on their adoption
  • Enhance the University of Windsor and OOL’s profiles as provincial, national, and global leaders in the design and delivery of online education, the Scholarship of Online and Open Teaching and Learning (SoOOTL), and open educational practices

The OOL has several core values that help us deliver on our mission and mandate. We believe in:

  • Aiming high and delivering results
  • Providing educational opportunities for all learners and removing traditional barriers to education
  • Openness, sharing, and ethical educational practice
  • Developing strong relationships with our stakeholders — faculty, students, and administrators — based on trust, experience, expertise, and results
  • Innovative evidence-based, scholarly practice
  • Engaging students as partners in the full educational life cycle, including curriculum development
  • Creative problem-solving, nimbleness to change in the educational environment, learning from productive failure, taking measured pedagogical risks
  • Responsiveness to the current and future needs of our stakeholders
  • Embracing diversity in all its forms, both within the OOL and across our stakeholders
  • Respect for each other and our stakeholders