Students turn to remote learning for the summer term

Faculties adapt to increased enrollment, summer ILOP issued for online courses only

Enrollment in ASO courses is 35 per cent higher than it was last summer.
Journal File Photo

Many of the students who have had to change their summer plans because of COVID-19 are now seeking remote learning opportunities instead. 

Following the cancellation of all in-person summer courses, the University is offering a number of remote learning options to students who have lost work, internships, or other opportunities originally scheduled for the summer term.

“Queen’s has seen an increase in registrations for summer term courses as students evaluate the options available to them this summer,” Mark Green, provost and vice-principal (Academic), wrote in a statement to The Journal. “Students may be looking to take advantage of summer term courses to accelerate their degree or reduce their course load next fall or winter.” 

According to Green, enrollment in ASO courses is 35 per cent higher than it was last summer. While courses will be taught by Queen’s faculty, Arts and Science Online (ASO) classes are open to both Queen’s students and applicants from other higher-education institutions.

Online courses that were already scheduled for the summer will proceed as planned with increased capacity, while some of the previous in-person course offerings have been adapted to remote delivery.  

The University has increased enrollment caps for most courses to meet the new demand, as well as hiring more teaching assistants and extending its program enrollment deadline for Queen’s students to April 27. The start date for the summer term has also been delayed to May 11 in order to give students more time to enroll in summer term courses. 

Queen’s currently offers more than 140 online courses that are open to anyone, in addition to courses that are restricted to Queen’s students only. The University also offers several fully-online degree programs, six of which are offered through the ASO platform. 

ASO hired an additional 40 graduate students as teaching assistants to ensure more students are able to access their courses.

Other faculties have made similar adjustments to increase online course offerings during the summer period by adding new courses and programs. 

With enrolment 71 per cent higher than last summer, the online Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) program is in the process of increasing the number of available courses from 18 to either 21 or 23 to accommodate more students.

"Queen’s undergraduates are driving most of this increase, but there are also many students from other institutions requesting to enroll,” Green wrote.

The Smith School of Business has also adjusted many of their programs to function online, including the Graduate Diploma in Business (GDB).  

The Faculty of Education’s Continuing Teacher Education (CTE) and professional studies units are making their programs more accessible online by creating a new class of teacher candidates who will start in May. Their orientation will be conducted remotely. 

All programs in the Faculty of Law are now functioning online because of COVID-19. According to Green, enrollment in both individual courses and the Certificate in Law program are steadily increasing for the upcoming summer term, while interest is also mounting for the online Graduate Diploma in Legal Services Management.

For students hoping to study abroad, the University has also announced that International Letters of Permission (ILOP) will only be issued for online courses during the summer term. This decision followed Principal Patrick Deane’s statement on March 12 indefinitely suspending all University-sponsored international travel.

The ILOP allows students to take courses at post-secondary institutions outside of Canada with the guarantee that courses are eligible for a Queen’s transfer credit. Students who have already submitted an ILOP application for in-person summer courses will be contacted by the International Programs Office (IPO) to review their application, with the opportunity to cancel their request and receive a refund. 

Individuals interested in applying for an ILOP in order to take an online course at a different university are still able to do so. However, as of April 13, the IPO is only accepting a single application. Applicants are not permitted to make revisions after submissions because of the high volume of applications.

“It is anticipated that COVID-19 will have some impact on [ILOP] applications this year,” Sandra den Otter, associate vice-principal (Research and International), wrote in a statement to The Journal. “Student safety was and remains paramount in making these decisions at this challenging and unpredictable time.”

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