The province is investing $42 million over three years to support the creation of the Centre of Excellence for Online Learning.
To launch in time for the 2015-16 school year, the service will improve collaboration between colleges and universities by minimizing duplication — allowing students to take the same, centralized online course.
The online platform will also give students the flexibility to receive world-class instruction wherever and whenever works best for them.
It will operate through three inter-related hubs:
-The course hub will offer state-of-the-art online courses that are fully transferable between participating colleges and universities, giving students more options to earn credits and complete their education.
-The instruction hub will allow institutions to develop and share best practices, research, and data on how best to teach online courses.
-The support hub will provide academic and technical assistance to students, instructors, and institutions.
The College Student Alliance, an advocacy organization which represents Ontario's college students, said it's pleased with the announcement.
"We're happy to see the expansion of online learning in Ontario and that systems will be in place to accommodate those students who choose this means of post-secondary education,” said Curtis Bell, president of the College Student Alliance and president of the Student's Administrative Council (SAC) at Cambrian College, in a press release.
"This announcement will offer more flexible credit transfer opportunities making post-secondary education further accessible to students."
The announcement comes after years of recommendations coming from stakeholders like the College Student Alliance, the press release said.
In the summer of 2012, the CSA put forward a submission to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities titled "Innovative Change in Ontario's College System." This submission outlined several recommendations which have been realized in today's announcement.