It’s a question many people are asking: what will school look like in the fall?
Ontario Tech University and Durham College have announced they are going to be incorporating a hybrid learning model.
A hybrid approach to course delivery combines face-to-face classroom instruction with online activities.
Some post-secondary students feel the past few months have prepared them for what lies ahead.
Afgan Talpur was weeks away from wrapping up his undergraduate before things changed drastically in March.
“It was kind of difficult, because a, professors and teaching assistants weren’t prepared for it, and b, we weren’t prepared for it,” said Talpur, a Master’s student at Ontario Tech.
The 25-year-old is now gearing up to start his graduate degree in computer science this fall.
Having gone through the transition three months ago, he says he now knows what to expect.
“A lot of our classes, lectures, and the tutorials that I’ll be taking and labs I’ll be taking are able to be transitioned online without too much hassle,” said Talpur.
That’s the direction Ontario Tech University is planning for the majority of its courses, but Dr. Steven Murphy, the university’s president, says they will also be offering some hybrid learning.
“What we’re doing a lot of this summer in preparing is having our graduate students, in socially-distant manners, practicing different techniques of how to make lab learning go online,” said Murphy.
So does that mean tuition costs will go down? Students shouldn’t hold their breath, he said.
“The online model is actually more expensive for us, so like the rest of the world we’re grappling with really, really difficult budgets,” said Murphy.
At Durham College, enrollment for the fall seems to be on track with year’s past.
“The markers that we look at: first choice applicants, confirmed applicants, and even paid applicants has remained steady for us,” said Emma Cronin, Durham College Admissions manager.
Cronin’s daughter, Elizabeth will be attending remotely in the fall.
While some of her friends are contemplating taking a year off, that’s not something the 17-year old wants to do.
“I want to get into school and get into my career, I don’t want to put it off for another year,” said Cronin.
While Durham College and Ontario Tech are going with the online hybrid model in the fall, both institutions are waiting to decide what to do with the winter semester.