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Board Meetings

May 19, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cindy Aitken (Committee Chair), John Chapman, Rick Galbraith, Marg Gaviller, Jan Johnstone, Ross King, Marilyn McComb, Gail Nadjiwon, Tim Reaburn, Theresa Root and Jennifer Yenssen
Student Senators:
Megan Myles, Riel Warrilow
Jean Stephenson (Co-ordinator), Mary Anne Alton, Marnie Coke, Alana Murray, Richard Gerson, Lori Wilder, and Joan Farrow (Executive Assistant)
ABA Representative:
Donna Farrow

The Educational Issues Committee received the following reports:

•     E-Learning in Bluewater
•     MISA/ONSIS Update


The province and Bluewater District School Board are committed to finding new and innovative ways to “reach every student”.  The E-Learning strategy gives secondary students more learning opportunities while they work towards their graduation requirements by giving them equitable access to courses that may be not be available in their school.

In the first semester of the 2008/2009 school year, seven Bluewater secondary schools offered a total of nine E-Learning courses and 109 students from nine secondary schools participated.  Semester two has seven schools offering ten courses with a total of 208 students participating.  Next year all secondary schools are committed to offering E-Learning couses.

Alana  introduced Velvet Rollin, System Lead Teacher for Science and Technology and the E-Learning contact for BWDSB,  Jeff Rosenburg, ICT Department contact for E-Learning and students Andrew Loucks, Chris Walker, Kayla Swigger and Peter McCombie, who have all taken Bluewater E-Learning courses.

Velvet shared some of the challenges and successes experienced during the development phase of E-Learning in Bluewater.  Currently only Bluewater students are enrolled in the Bluewater courses in order to offer needed technological support.  Some of the challenges include reducing course content to make it manageable for students, regular feedback from instructors, and altering course content in order to meet the learning needs of all students.

Jeff Rosenburg provided background information regarding the technological challenges connected with E-Learning, specifically regarding the registration process and how correction of issues related to the transferring of data from Trillium has improved the process.

Student feedback is an important element of the E-Learning experience in Bluewater and the student guests provided an overview of their recent E-Learning experiences.  Positive feedback included the increasing variety of courses offered, the support provided by instructors, and the positive preparation it provides to senior students for post-secondary studies with regard to self-motivation.  Challenges included heavy workload if E-Learning courses taken in combination with regular classroom studies, group work opportunities are more difficult to organize in the E-Learning setting as students are often working in different places with the course material, convenient access to drop boxes used for submission of assignments, the physical space being provided for E-Learning students often used for other classes, and effective, regular email communication with instructors.

Alana thanked Velvet and Jeff for their leadership in support of the E-Learning program and the students for sharing their experiences and providing honest feedback that will continue to support the program. Success rates for students taking E-Learning courses are being closely monitored and on-going support provided to assist students who are taking multiple courses.  Communication, regular feedback, addressing of instructional issues and assessment practices are all key components for the success of the Bluewater program into the future.

Staff Reports:  MISA/ONSIS Update

Due to time constraints, the MISA/ONSIS update agenda item was deferred to the May, 2009 meeting.  Cindy apologized to staff members in attendance to support the presentation and invited them to the May 21st Educational Issues Committee meeting beginning at 11:00 a.m.

As there were no Communication items, the meeting adjourned at 12:47 p.m.

Submitted to:
Bluewater District School Board
19 May 2009     
For further information please contact
Cindy Aitken, Chair or Jean Stephenson, Superintendent of Student Success


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