I have been watching with great interest over the years how Mohawk College has been slowly implementing and improving their Online Learning programs. I was always familiar with Distance Education in the traditional correspondence format, but the course offerings were somewhat limited. This has drastically changed with Online Learning. The course offerings have grown not only in numbers, but also in the type of course being offered. It was soon time for me to get involved with this!I had been working in production manufacturing for over 20 years. In that time, it was difficult for me to attend Continuing Education courses at the college in the evenings due to my shift schedules. There were times when I actually had to drop out of a few courses because it was getting nearly impossible to arrange my shift schedule to accommodate my evening classes. This was getting extremely frustrating, since I really wanted to give myself a chance to better myself and achieve something better than production work. I was getting interested in Manufacturing Management and some of the people in management at the time saw the potential in me. I just needed to get some formal training. Online Learning was the only way I could get this training without conflicting with my shift schedules.
The thing that I’ve found different about Online Learning, at least with the courses that I’ve done so far, is that there is a lot of emphasis on Discussion Boards and Forums. I wasn’t really expecting this, but I now understand that this is likely the best way to simulate an actual classroom discussion. Some of the ideas that have been brought forward by the instructor and some of the other students have been very informative and useful. I’m looking forward to seeing what else will pleasantly surprise me about Online Learning.
It’s true that other educational institutions have also begun their own Online Learning programs. However, I have noticed that Mohawk has taken things a few steps further by implementing courses and programs that are not only designed by the school’s instructors, but are also collaborations between the school and members of various types of industry. This can only serve to make the courses more effective and relevant to actual workplace scenarios. It also helps to make the courses more recognizable by employers, particularly if they lead to some type of certification. None of this was possible without actually attending a live classroom a few years ago.
It’s a huge relief that I no longer have to worry about my work schedules to get involved in Continuing Education. I can see some great potential with the growth of Online Learning.
– Todd Midgley
Electrical Engineering Technician ’91