VIU online program fills distance learning teaching void

A unique online learning and teaching program at Vancouver Island University is helping fill a provincewide shortage of qualified distance education teachers.

The university launched the Online Learning and Teaching Diploma graduate program last September.

Mary O’Neill, program coordinator, said distance learning is one of the province’s growth areas and teachers with expertise and education in this area are in high demand.

“Our first cohort is in their second semester and we are recruiting students with a passion for online learning for the next intake in September 2013,” said O’Neill in a press release. “Applicants must be practicing teachers or instructors who hold an undergraduate degree.”

There are currently 53 distance learning schools in B.C., many of which looking for qualified distance learning teacher/facilitators.

O’Neill added there is a wide variety of opportunities for distance-learning teachers.

“Certified distance-learning teachers can expect to find employment in a variety of educational settings including K-12, post-secondary, training schools and other online learning organizations locally, nationally and internationally. There are great opportunities for qualified graduates,” she said.

VIU’s two-year part-time, fully online program trains students to use existing and emergent technologies to optimize online learning and teaching opportunities for a range of diverse learners. The program is taught by a team of eight faculty members who have achieved provincial, national and international acclaim.

Interested applicants are encouraged to discuss opportunities with the OLTD program coordinator prior to applying. Applications will be accepted throughout the year with the next intake beginning in September. There is room for 25 students.

An OLTD program information session will be held Monday (March 25) at 5 p.m. in Building 356, Room 236 at VIU’s Nanaimo campus.

Please e-mail mary.oneill@viu.ca or phone 250-753-3245 ext. 2550 for details, or visit www.viu.ca/education/OLTD.