eCampusOntario’s Extend Program now available in summer 2021
Program offers Micro-credential learning that is free, flexible and facilitated for postsecondary educators.
The Ontario Extend Program, a free professional micro-credentialed learning program designed for Ontario’s postsecondary educators who are interested in expanding their digital fluency, is launching a Summer 2021 online offering of all its modules.
The courses will be available from June 7th to August 28th and are designed to be completed at one’s own pace: start, pause and pick up your learning whenever it suits your schedule. Each course has facilitators available to support learners as needed. No sign-up is required, educators may “drop-in” at any time using the virtual meeting link provided in the course calendars, once they register for the Summer 2021 offering and are enrolled into Brightspace.
The Extend program is grounded in the belief that digital fluency is a process, not a product, and that learning to teach effectively with technology requires an experiential learning approach. Educators, instructional designers, educational technologists, librarians and grad students are just some of the professionals who participate in the Extend program.
Lindsay Woodside, a Digital Learning Associate with eCampusOntario, who leads the Ontario Extend Program says, “We are excited about the interest in the course work to date and that educators will have an opportunity to continue to build on their learning leveraging this customizable and critically relevant programming. After operating within the COVID-19 teaching and learning environment, it’s really encouraging to see how we are building a provincial community of practice for educators in the pursuit of professional learning for digital fluency.”
Expert Extend Facilitators will guide educators through course content in one of two ways. Either over a two-week period, using short synchronous touch-points and a suggested course completion schedule, or through a “Saturday Extender”, a six-hour synchronous session to complete the course in one day.
Educators who complete sessions receive the corresponding Extend Badges & Micro-credential in recognition of the skills they’ve added to their educator’s toolbox. Once all six modules are completed, learners earn the Empowered Educator Micro-credential.
The Extend resources are intended to be a starting point, an activity-oriented set of challenges to stimulate further thought and collaboration. These resources are freely available through a Creative Commons license for adoption and customization and a French version of Extend is publicly available here.
Ontario Extend also compliments the Government of Ontario’sVirtual Learning Strategy which recognizes the importance of digital fluency skills in faculty and students in Ontario’s postsecondary education sector. To learn more about the Virtual Learning Strategy, click here.