Ryerson to offer more online courses due to the pandemic

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By Soofia Omari

The Chang School of Continuing Education added 39 online courses for the upcoming spring semester as Ryerson announced courses will be fully online for the spring and summer. 

Some of these courses address topics like occupational health, community development, food security and health promotion. 

According to a Ryerson spokesperson, more courses will be developed before the start of the spring semester on May 3. 

“Individual faculties are all looking to expand the number and types of courses they offer students to keep up with changing times,” said Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi. 

Both undergraduate and graduate students can enroll in courses offered by the Chang School online. Courses are generally identical in curriculum to their undergraduate course counterparts and can be used to fulfill credit requirements. 

In the fall 2020 semester, Ryerson ran 1,747 courses and 4,274 course sections across all undergraduate, graduate and law faculties.  

The influx of new courses isn’t limited to this academic year. In the 2021-22 academic year, the official Ryerson undergraduate calendar will include 94 new courses. The format in which these courses will be delivered is still being determined. 

The future of online courses post-pandemic

Post-pandemic planning will be done by two groups, the Scenario Planning Working Group and the Opportunities Working Group. 

According to the Ryerson website, the Opportunities Working Group focuses its work around four main areas including virtual learning, the student experience, with a particular focus on first-year students and preparing students for the workforce.

Due to the pandemic, Ryerson had to adapt mandatory courses to an online format. Some students feel it would be beneficial if they were given the option to switch back-and-forth between online learning and in-person classes post-pandemic.

“Now that many professors have experience with running classes online, I don’t see any reason why Ryerson wouldn’t offer online courses if there are enough students who would prefer to have certain courses online,” said Riva Lizette Karim, a first-year business management student.

“However, later on during my university life…I would like to have the option to switch back and forth. In-person one semester and online the next. Something similar to that.”

“I don’t think online learning is better than in-person because nothing can replace the in-person experience of school”

Prior to the pandemic, select courses were offered virtually in the spring and summer semesters, providing some familiarity of switching between online and in-person courses.

Third-year business management student Khushreet Sandhu said being able to take a mix of both online and in-person classes would be the “best of both worlds.”

“I don’t think online learning is better than in-person because nothing can replace the in-person experience of school,” said Sandhu. “Personally, I would take a mix of online and in-person courses if more things were offered online.”

According to a Ryerson spokesperson, the university will continue to “make every effort to ensure that students feel supported and that programs continue to be delivered online.” 

More details about the delivery format of Ryerson’s 94 new courses will be announced soon. 

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