By Melissa Campeau
Photo : iStockphoto.com
An Additional Qualification (AQ) is only valuable if the teachers who hope to take the course are able to access it. With this in mind, the College continually strives to collaborate with provider partners as they expand their delivery methods and bring new providers into the fold.
New AQ providers this year include Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and Durham District School Board.
Also new this year, Six Nations Polytechnic in Ohsweken, Ont., will be offering AQ courses in partnership with Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute on Manitoulin Island.
As online learning becomes more widespread and sophisticated, teachers will have additional access to a broader range of AQs — and at flexible times.
“Online learning suits many teachers who have busy lives — whether they’re in Wawa or downtown Ottawa,” says Roch Gallien, OCT, the College’s director of Standards of Practice and Accreditation. “They can log on to a course in the evening or whatever time of day suits their needs.”
The College collected feedback from AQ course candidates in 2016 and found an overwhelming demand for online courses. Of those surveyed, 66 per cent preferred an online delivery mode, 15 per cent wanted face-to-face courses and 12 per cent preferred a blended approach.
To support providers as they expand both their AQ offerings and modes of delivery, the College hosted a provincial consultation with 70 educators to explore and identify the most exemplary forms of e-learning. “The main message that was brought forward from the consultation was that this is the innovative pathway we need to follow,” says Déirdre Smith, OCT, who manages the Standards of Practice and Education Unit at the College.
“Evolving the ways in which AQs are offered is tied to the standards of practice for the teaching profession,” says Gallien. “Innovation is what the profession looks for in our teachers, and as a profession we are expected to continue to innovate.”
An important element of professional learning is reading and research, and that’s especially true when teachers are engaged in an AQ course. If an AQ curriculum requires books on teaching English as a Second Language or research papers on Special Education, the Margaret Wilson Library can help. With a physical location in the College’s office in Toronto, and an online location at oct-oeeo.ca/brfuq9, members can quickly and easily access the books they need — online or on paper — at no cost.