For some, being a full-time student isn’t an option. Work, family commitments, or lack of funds can make traditional classes hard to schedule. For many students, the solution is online courses, such as those offered through UNB Online.
Ken Reimer, founding director of UNB Online, says there are many benefits to taking online courses. “Online courses are very flexible. So if you’re working, have a full time job or family or what have you, the open-access courses don’t require you to be at a certain place at a certain time.”
UNB Online a natural outcome of the student demand for learning that was beyond the local region usually served by the University of New Brunswick. From a few courses online, the program has grown to include entire programs, and over 80 undergraduate online courses, as well as nationally-regarded non-credit professional certificates and diplomas for working adults.
Engaging Students Online
Adult learners online are typically highly motivated, and the completion rates for UNB courses has been very high. Part of the effort of the UNB Online group has been to build in engaging activities into the courses. For courses are heavily discussion-based with required participation from the students. Others are quite industry-based with exercises that require interaction with colleagues at the learner's workplace.
Building in rich media experiences is also one of the current drives, using video where appropriate, and even sharing student-created video assignments to drive the spirite of collaborative learning.
Students take online courses for a number of reasons, perhaps to complete their degree, perhaps to meet an employment requirement, or for others it is a way to advance their career with new skills and knowledge. With students coming from more than 15 countries, it is so rewarding to get student feedback about how the UNB online courses have made a difference in their lives. Reimer notes that the UNB Online team gets student emails every week, and even though the team has not met the students in person, it is rewarding to be part of their learning path.
The UNB Online website gives the full range of courses and programs.