"Remote delivery" didn't mean the course became an online course. It only meant the term would be finished using electronic means where
And time is a factor here.
Many instructors found the shift to remote delivery increased their marking time and their time devoted to working with student issues. Remote delivery requires students to be
The situation meant dealing with students in quarantine, students with limited or no reliable internet access,
It's easy to complain that some courses became nothing more
Instructors with experience in online delivery may have had some advantage, if they had time and if they had taught those specific courses online. But that's not a given.
There wasn't time enough moving into Spring/Summer
Most instructors are not trained to be online delivery experts. Even if they were,
Now add these complications as we go forward: budget constraints, how sessional instructors are used, and intellectual property rights.
Many postsecondary institutions are looking at
The institutions don't have the resources to develop online versions of so many courses at once. That work is done by distance
Some might have the skills, but not as many as you might think.
And so many courses are taught by sessional instructors.
Sessionals are contract workers with expertise in their area. They have been used to cut costs at postsecondary
They have zero job security. They are hired to teach to predetermined course outcomes. Because they are not contracted to develop materials, any material they develop is their own
When postsecondary institutions develop courses, they usually pay for that work in some way - whether it's a separate contract for sessional faculty or considered part of the workload for ongoing faculty. Then the university owns it.
So can postsecondary institutions afford to pay sessionals to develop online versions of courses for fall delivery? Not in Alberta, where budgets are being
(for information purposes: I was told this year that a sessional working a full-time load at one institution is paid about $40k LESS than ongoing faculty. For most, that's because they
So can postsecondary institutions expect sessionals to spend summer developing Fall term online courses for free? Courses which universities could then hand to other
No. Despite the wishes of governments, people have a right to be paid for their work.
And these underpaid sessionals are already being expected to subsidize the institutions. How? Because the institutions aren't paying the extra internet and phone bills. They
Another issue will be what tier the
So the conditions aren't there if we want a rich online experience in Fall 2020.
Now add the negotiations with the
Each institution has a theoretically independent Board of Governors. The Board begotiated the Collective Agreement with the faculty association. These structures are governed by the Postsecondary Learning Act and labour legislation.
I say theoretically because
These are variable, and they will affect sessionals more than
It's a system problem.
In AB, the govt has, over decades, created the conditions that make it hard for institutions to do a good job of this shift. Every indication from the Minister is
On a side note, I have experience with remote delivery and online courses, both as an instructor and as a student. I was an early adopter of our online systems and use them in every course to facilitate and enrich the classroom
So when you're wondering why some remote delivery courses are less than thrilling in Fall 2020, consider all of the above PLUS that instructors themselves are not immune to the restrictions and anxieties occasioned by the COVID-19
So if the discussion boards are not exciting in some courses, that's a small issue compared to the expectations being put on precarious workers under attack by governments.