Enrolment more than doubled for summer courses in some faculties

Queen’s continues to adapt remote learning for summer term 

Enrolment in the Faculty of Arts and Science is up 50 per cent this summer, compared to 2019.

Most faculties across Queen’s are seeing a large increase in enrolment numbers for summer online programs this year.

“Compared to May 2019, the Faculty of Arts and Science has seen enrolments for Arts and Science online rise by 50 per cent,” Mark Green, provost and vice-principal (academic), wrote in a statement to The Journal.

Green noted the Bachelor of Health Sciences enrolment has more than doubled for the summer, with the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Education, and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science also witnessing an increase in demand for summer courses. 

According to Green, most summer courses have always been online and are proceeding as usual. 

“[As a result] there hasn’t been any need to adjust the course requirements or final exams,” Green wrote. “Students in online summer courses receive the same quality and learning outcomes as they would [if they were] taking on-campus courses.” 

However, Green said the Smith School of Business has been an example in adapting its programs for remote accessibility. They have adjusted the Graduate Diploma in Business (GDB) program using teaching studio technology and virtual support for enhanced online access. 

“It’s designed to be a completely immersive and engaging experience that a student can do from anywhere,” Green wrote. 

He also said the Faculty of Education now offers Continuing Teacher Education and Professional Studies courses online as well. 

“One of the more popular courses this year is Teaching and Learning through e-Learning,” explained Green. “It provides timely skills that can help teachers improve their remote instruction abilities.”

Green confirmed students can access resources like Queen’s academic advisors, their instructors, IT support, and Student Academic Success Services (SASS) throughout the summer 
for support.

The University has also extended its IT support service hours to ensure students have no difficulty accessing online course materials.

To ensure technical issues don’t impact student grades, most components of the courses are run asynchronously, Green explained. This means assignments and class engagements aren't held at one specific time. 

“With this model, students who run into technical challenges will not be penalized if their IT issues occur at a specific time such as a timed test,” Green wrote. 

Green added if students run into technical difficulties, there will be an opportunity to reset the assignment or have an alternative prepared. 

Grace Chen, ConEd ’23, told The Journal the initial transition to remote learning in March came as a shock. 

“[I learn] best with in-person lectures, tutorials, and conversations that take place between fellow students and TAs during in-person interactions,” she said.

According to Chen, her summer courses are delivered using online modules, readings 
from textbooks, and guided learning material. 

“There are also occasional Zoom call meetings offered for students who have any questions and concerns,” Chen explained, adding that staff and professors have been supportive and accommodating throughout her experience with remote learning. 

“My professors have been cooperative with my needs,” Chen wrote. “They allowed me 
to have extra time to complete essays because of the amount of responsibilities I had to suddenly take care of.”

However, in her case, Chen said she has found online chats with her classmates to be more helpful than the content itself presented online. 

“Although online learning is not ideal for most people, like myself, I am confident in our University's ability to offer an effective remote learning environment that’s unlike the format of what students faced at the end of our winter semester,” Chen wrote.

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