"Online learning has culturally caught up to online dating – it's now the default setting," says Dean Gary Hepburn, a global expert in online learning.
TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2020 /CNW/ - Fears that online-only education will keep away adult learners this fall can be put to rest. Ryerson University's Chang School of Continuing Education – Canada's largest – saw enrolment grow by 51% for Fall 2020 despite all of its courses being delivered online for the first time in the school's 20-year history of virtual teaching.
Gary Hepburn, dean of The Chang School, explains why adult learners are looking to upskill en masse:
"While the economy is starting to show signs of recovery, we still have no idea what the long-term impact of the pandemic will be to the job market. Many industries are going to be disrupted. People feel anxious. Now is the best possible time to be looking at continuous learning opportunities," he says.
Hepburn attributes The Chang School's enrolment growth to its strong domestic and international reputation, its course credits that count toward degrees, as well as its many certificate programs that can be completed entirely online.
He also cites a growing understanding of how far online education has progressed technologically and pedagogically since its invention in the 1990s.
"It shouldn't surprise people that online learning platforms like edX, FutureLearn and Coursera are also seeing their users rise at unprecedented levels," Hepburn says.
"Online learning has culturally caught up to online dating – it's now the default setting for just about everyone and we don't know really if we will ever switch back entirely to pre-COVID education models," he adds.
The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education
With 35 certificate programs and over 400 courses that can be completed online, Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is a leader in interactive online learning and accessible university-based adult education. Our continuing education unit provides innovative, quality, lifelong learning that empowers learners to reach their life and career goals. As Canada's largest, most respected continuing education program at approximately 70,000 enrolments each year, The Chang School remains the top choice for the majority of learners compared with other educational providers. For more information, visit continuing.ryerson.ca.
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the University is home to more than 46,000 students, including 2,900 Master's and PhD students, 3,800 faculty and staff, and over 200,000 alumni worldwide.
SOURCE Ryerson University
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Tran, Ryerson University, 416.979.5000 x 3339, [email protected]