Online course registration rising

February Senate meeting features presentation on eConcordia and approval of proposed bylaw changes
February 22, 2012
By Karen Herland

Concordia’s online course options are keeping pace with growing demand with the university ranking sixth in Canada for online course delivery.

In a presentation at the February 17 Senate meeting, Provost David Graham said the demand for online courses in the United States is growing at almost 10 times the rate of traditional classroom registration, with numbers for Canada mirroring that trend. The result is that students at Concordia have better access to key courses.

“It is important that the academic quality of online courses must be commensurate with our expectations for classroom delivery,” said Graham. He emphasized that expectations and learning objectives for these courses will reflect standards set by the Faculties and departments offering the same content in the classroom.

In 2000, the university established eConcordia to allow the university to offer online courses. After several years of developing an expertise in online education, KnowledgeOne was established as a for-profit corporation to design and deliver online courses both for Concordia University and for other clients.

Tony Meti, interim president of KnowledgeOne, explained that the company is poised to offer online course development, delivery resources and support services to other educational institutions interested in adapting their content for online delivery. Concordia is currently KnowledgeOne’s principal client, with 57 courses offered under the eConcordia brand.

The Academic Planning and Priorities Committee (APPC) presented a series of proposed bylaw changes, arising for the most part from decisions by Senate at its December 9, 2011 meeting. These decisions included changes to Senate’s composition, operations, and responsibilities, in support of the recommendations made by the External Governance Review Committee. The APPC was then tasked with how to best reflect these decisions in the university’s bylaws.

Senate approved the APPC’s proposed bylaw revisions, which if approved by the Board, will take effect in the 2012-13 academic year. The changes include increasing the number of voting members from 53 to 55 with the addition of two voting members appointed by the School of Extended Learning, including one from the Centre for Continuing Education, and the addition of two non-voting members from the university’s administrative staff. In addition, Senate Steering Committee’s mandate will be expanded to include regular meetings with the Board’s Executive Committee.

Senators also recommended full-time faculty members serve on Senate for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. However, Senators whose terms end in the summer of 2012, and who have reached the normal term limit, will have the opportunity to retain their seats for one additional year.

Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability
Senate approved the recommendation from the Arts and Science Faculty Council to change the name of Loyola International College to the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability. This decision will now be sent to the Board for approval.

Video and audio transmission and recording of meetings
A special committee has been mandated by Senate to study the video and audio transmission and/or recording of its meetings. The committee’s composition will be determined by the Senate Steering Committee.

The next meeting of Senate will be Friday, March 16, 2012.

Related links:
•  “Senate Discusses Changes in Online Course Delivery” – Concordia Journal, November 12, 2009
•  eConcordia
•  “Senate Reviews Governance Recommendations” – NOW, Dec 14, 2011
•  Senate


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