Ontario Extend logo with a micro-credential
14.04.2021 - 4 min. Read

Conestoga College and eCampusOntario Launch Stackable Micro-credential Partnership to Support Expert Online Teacher Training

Educators can now exchange eCampusOntario micro-credential for Conestoga credit
April 14, 2021

TORONTO — eCampusOntario and Conestoga College are pleased to announce their partnership in the development of a micro-credential pathway for the advancement of digital teaching skills. Today, educators with an Ontario Extend digital fluency micro-credential can stack that achievement as credit towards Conestoga’s Certificate in Post-Secondary Teaching.

Ontario Extend, is a professional learning opportunity for educators to gain expertise in developing, designing and teaching online. It is offered through eCampusOntario, who is partnering with Ontario postsecondary institutions to endorse Extend as a micro-credentialed professional learning achievement. Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is the first Ontario college to provide an endorsement and pathway for Ontario Extend micro-credentials.

The institution’s endorsement of Ontario Extend, a customizable and open license program that fosters foundational pedagogies for quality digital teaching and learning is critically relevant for Ontario’s postsecondary educators as they work towards new horizons in education and digital literacy.

“We are pleased to provide an endorsement for Ontario Extend, which provides important professional development opportunities for postsecondary educators engaged in technology-enabled and online teaching,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “Supporting educators to deliver quality learning experiences and achieve course outcomes across a variety of delivery modes is an important contributor in our efforts to meet the needs of adult learners and prepare them for successful futures.”

Program participants will now be eligible to apply the Ontario Extend “Empowered Educator” micro-credential for credit toward Conestoga’s recently launched Certificate in Post-Secondary Teaching. Available to all educators, this 30-credit certificate program prepares educators to teach credit and non-credit courses in colleges, universities, apprenticeship and other programs for adult learners.

eCampusOntario defines a micro-credential as a certification of assessed learning associated with a specific and relevant skill or competency. Micro-credentials such as Ontario Extend enable flexible, rapid retraining. Institutional and industry partner micro-credential endorsements are a key component of eCampusOntario’s Micro-credential Principles and Framework, which guides educators, employers and policy makers in the development of new micro-credential initiatives.

“Where the pandemic forced us into emergency remote teaching, we are now building the future of virtual teaching and learning, helping Ontario educators to realize global leadership in online postsecondary education. Conestoga College’s endorsement and recognition of the Ontario Extend Program emphasizes the importance of supporting Ontario’s postsecondary educators with relevant, recognizable and foundational digital fluency programming as they work tirelessly to improve the virtual learning experience with every semester,” says Dr. Robert Luke, CEO, eCampusOntario.

This arrangement affirms Conestoga College and eCampusOntario as provincial leaders in providing quality online teaching resources and toward nurturing digitally literate talent.

Quick Facts

Ontario Extend is a six-module, self-directed micro-credential program that encourages educators to think differently about their pedagogical approaches and practices through a learning journey focused on a combination of foundational digital fluency upskilling and reskilling. Since 2017, eCampusOntario has engaged over 900 educators to enhance digital fluency for teaching through the Ontario Extend professional learning program.

To date Conestoga educators have collectively been awarded 110 badges. Eight of them have obtained the full Empowered Educator credential, the highest number for any postsecondary institution in the province.

The eCampusOntario Micro-credential Principles and Framework has been the common framework at the core of the organization’s success which drives micro-credential activity. This Framework was co-developed in 2019 by academics and employers to cement shared value and facilitate common currency of micro-credential supply and demand in the labour market. eCampusOntario is a provincial leader in the micro-credential landscape, with proven successes with initiatives at more than half of the colleges and universities in Ontario that utilize the Framework for ensuring workforce relevance.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Conestoga’s Post-secondary Teaching College Certificate program at: https://continuing-education.conestogac.on.ca/programs/post-secondary-teaching

Learn more about The Ontario Extend Program at: https://extend.ecampusontario.ca/

Learn more about eCampusOntario and Micro-credentials at https://micro.ecampusontario.ca/

Media contact: mediarelations@ecampusontario.ca