Signs of the times

Signs of the times

One of the biggest innovations in modern teaching has nothing to do with bringing students into the classroom. Instead, it’s about bringing the classroom to them.

“We live in an ‘on-demand’ world. People want options that include flexibility and convenience, and the education sector is no exception,” Belinda Elliott-Bielecki, Director of Marketing and Communications for the College of Extended Learning at the University of New Brunswick, tells us. “They want to learn on their terms. For most adult learners, managing the demands of family, work, and other commitments is a delicate balancing act, so programs offered entirely online hold high appeal.”

“Online programs have evolved too, providing more support and interactivity than ever before. We’re continuously monitoring learner feedback, and we adapt existing programs — and develop new ones — in response to what we hear.”

One of those new programs is an online course called Pathway to Coping, centred around health and wellness in the workplace.

“Pathway to Coping is unique and innovative,” Elliott-Bielecki explains, “in that it addresses a societal issue. Some of the data we’ve seen indicates mental health issues are costing Canadian businesses an estimated $33 billion annually in lost productivity and staff turnover. Research has shown that coping skills are a leading indicator for predicting employee engagement and health. Our program gives participants the tools they need to develop coping skills in a structured, developmental program.”

The UNB CEL has fully embraced online and distance learning, offering a variety of online professional development programs in areas such as management essentials for the millennial population and occupational health and safety. They also work with organizations to create customized learning programs to address employees’ education needs.

The College of Extended Learning offers an innovative and valuable service. It’s an opportunity for non-traditional students to pursue higher learning from a reputable institution that meets them where they are — literally as well as figuratively.

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