Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS)
eCampusOntario Releases $50M Virtual Learning Strategy call for Expressions of Interest (EOI)
eCampusOntario released its call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) on January 6, 2021 in support of the Government of Ontario’s Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS).
Please use this link to access all VLS Expressions of Interest (EOIs):
Announced on December 11, 2020, the VLS is an historic $50 million investment by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) intended to drive growth and advancement in virtual learning across the province’s post-secondary institutions. The strategy will expand the possibilities of traditional and life-long learning through the accelerated use of both online and hybrid learning.
Members of the eCampusOntario Consortium, which includes the province’s 45 colleges and universities and one Indigenous institute, can now apply for funding to create eligible content. A more detailed eligibility list is included in EOI documentation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on Ontario’s postsecondary education sector as institutions rapidly transitioned to remote delivery. In close consultations with the postsecondary sector in summer 2020, the MCU heard the need for virtual learning supports to enable access to high-quality learning. These results informed the launch of the Virtual Learning Strategy.
The Virtual Learning Strategy is built on three key pillars:
Being the future
Providing sector supports to drive a continued co-existence with hybrid learning: Ensuring learners have high-quality education: anytime, from anywhere. This requires quality and innovation, better data, and digital access to enable lifelong learning and fuel Ontario’s global competitiveness;
Being a lifelong learner
Enabling learners to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving labour market at any stage of their careers by providing digital supports and infrastructure for new short duration training.
Being a global leader
Strengthening Ontario’s leadership domestically and globally, by expanding access for Ontario’s institutions to the global marketplace for virtual learning. With this, we aim to position Ontario as a global leader for virtual innovation in teaching and learning, including Ontario educational technology companies.
The VLS will prioritize collaboration for sector transformation that impacts all institutions.
The VLS will drive virtual learning excellence for all learners in Ontario, now and into the future.
Digital by design
The VLS supports the development of online content and supports that are digital by design.
The VLS is one-time strategic funding made available to the post-secondary sector in part through four Expression of Interest (EOI) processes:
Development and adoption of a portfolio of high-quality online materials at Ontario post-secondary institutions in English and other languages (for example, French, Indigenous); high-quality virtual simulations and/or lab content to reduce the strain on campus space and infrastructure and enable more flexible delivery to attract new markets for online learning in Ontario.
Support institutions with low current capacity to receive targeted supports in three areas: instructional design, open education librarians and learning technology rovers (paid students)
Support development and adoption of professional development resources and supports for faculty and students to improve virtual teaching and learning.
Support the identification, procurement, and deployment of educational technologies to support digital course and program and offerings.
Targeted funding to support virtual learning initiatives by Indigenous Institutes
High level timeline
Rollout and Technical Briefings for sector engagement
The Virtual Learning Advisory Committee
eCampusOntario has assembled a group of experts to support in the design and administration of the VLS. The Virtual Learning Advisory Committee (VLAC) supports eCampusOntario in the implementation of Ontario’s Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS) by providing advice and support for the allocation of virtual learning supports funding for the postsecondary education system in Ontario.
The Virtual Learning Advisory Committee provides strategic implementation advice with:
- Sector-specific knowledge
- Expertise in systemic supports for virtual learning
- First-hand experience with teaching and learning online
- Educational technology, startup or industry engagement expertise
- Expertise in the management of granting programs and familiarity with best practices
- Industry engagement and educational policy experience
- Familiarity and commitment to Equity, Decolonization, Diversity and Inclusion
eCampusOntario is here to support the post-secondary sector in responding to the Virtual Learning Strategy.
- Provide orientation and support for the sector through Technical Briefings
- Draw on VLAC expertise to administer efficient and transparent funding distribution process
- Support the execution of project work
- Work with and draw on sector progress to communicate systemic VLS impact
eCampusOntario is a not-for-profit centre of excellence and global leader in the evolution of teaching and learning through technology.