H2: Text image that reads: Message from Our Executive Director.

Michelle Fach.Over the past year, OpenEd has experienced substantial milestones and I’m proud to lead a department that continues to remain innovative, adaptable and resilient in the ever-changing landscape of education.

The Fall 2021 semester saw significant changes to our campus with the emergence of staff returning from a work-from-home mandate, and the welcoming of domestic and, more notably, international students back into our classrooms.

Our technical and educational technology teams—Classroom Technical Support (CTS) and Teaching & Learning Technologies (TLT)—were instrumental in facilitating a safe return to classroom learning. CTS successfully rolled out more than 40 new web conferencing classrooms, while the TLT team provided technical training and support to instructors and students throughout the transition. As well, our Instructional Technology Specialist team played a significant role in providing pedagogical expertise in the effective use of educational technologies—through ongoing training sessions and webinars—to prepare our instructors for teaching, both remotely and in the classroom.

We oversaw the implementation of a new Student Feedback Questionnaire (SFQ) platform with the enterprise-class product Blue, a replacement for the University’s previous course evaluation system, CEVAL. The new system provides greater functionality and increased flexibility to meet the institution’s commitment to teaching and learning, with OpenEd as the primary point of support for the platform.

We engaged in multiple new partnerships and funding proposals. We received close to $15K from the Government of Ontario through eCampusOntario to develop and pilot the new micro-credential course, ‘Who Do You Think You Are? Identity and Unconscious Bias at Work’. This new course provides foundational skills to reduce bias in the workplace and increase intercultural competency.

Additionally, we received funding from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to develop a new micro-credential program that intends to address critical PSW workforce shortages and improve quality of long-term care by mitigating employee burnout and improving resiliency and retention. This new micro-credential program is being developed in collaboration with The Canadian PSW Network and St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph, a partnership originating from a proposal to the Ontario Micro-Credentials Challenge Fund.

We continue to raise the bar with award-winning courses and programs, such as our recent program award from the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE), recognizing excellence in educational programming with a consideration of value, complexity, innovation, and delivery.

As we look to the future, we need to leverage our many successes with the reimagining of teaching strategies and the intentional adoption of technology in courses and programs. 

I encourage you to read through our annual report and learn about how we work together to make every project and initiative count. Our commitment to quality and innovation can be seen in everything we do, from designing and developing award-winning courses and programs, to meeting the evolving needs of the university community.

I truly appreciate the OpenEd team for their determination in pursuing excellence and quality in teaching and learning. Their dedication and hard work continue to be an inspiration.

As we progress into 2022, our confidence in the innovation and expertise that we bring to the institution will continue to foster opportunities for a wide variety of learners and remains persistent with an ongoing effort to improve life.

Michelle Fach | Executive Director

H2: Text image that reads: Land Acknowledgement.

The University of Guelph resides on the ancestral lands of the Attawandaron people and, more recently, the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. We recognize the significance of the Dish with One Spoon Covenant to this land and offer our respect to our Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Métis neighbours as we strive to strengthen our relationships with them.

Today, this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and acknowledging them reminds us of our important connection to this land where we learn and work.

H2: Text image that reads: New Partnerships.

Partnering with Industry to Pilot a Micro-Credential

In partnership with the University of Guelph’s Centre for International Programs and guard.me International Insurance, OpenEd received close to $15K from the Government of Ontario through eCampusOntario to develop and pilot a micro-credential. Who do you think you are? Identity and Unconscious at Bias at Work provides foundational skills to reduce bias in the workplace and increase intercultural competency. The micro-credential was piloted in March 2021 with guard.me as part of their workforce development efforts.

Successful completion of the final assessment results in a digital badge in Diversity Skills in the Workplace. In a post-course survey of pilot participants, 80% of learners agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I have begun implementing techniques I learned in this course in my work life.” Survey questions on the relevancy and quality of the training provided within our micro-credential course revealed that learners value this training with 100% of learners agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “the content in this course is relevant to my job and 80% of learners agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “this micro-certification is valuable to my professional development.”

Since the pilot, the micro-credential has been openly available to the University of Guelph community and made available to external audiences. Over 200 digital badges have been issued.

Creation of an Upskilling Education Platform

OpenEd established a new partnership with D2L to develop D2L Wave, an ecosystem that connects large employers with micro-credentials offered through OpenEd. The environment enables corporate clients/employees to search, select and fund programs that address their organization's skill gaps. This initiative creates greater awareness of the micro-credentials offered at universities, expands our reach to new markets, and generates new revenues.

Filling the Gap: Solving a Critical Problem in Health Care with New Micro-Credential Program

With personal support workers (PSWs) facing staggering burnout rates, prompt action
is needed to quickly reskill and upskill a workforce that is in high demand but also
experiencing low job satisfaction and retention rates.

In August 2021, we partnered with the Canadian PSW Network and St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph to submit a proposal to the Ontario Micro-Credentials Challenge Fund to design new programming that meets the needs of a struggling health care industry.

Funding was awarded and development of the new Advanced Interpersonal Skills for PSW Practice Certificate began in the fall of 2021. The new micro-credential certificate program is expected to launch in the summer of 2021.

H2: Text image that reads: United Way Campaign.

Every year, OpenEd participates in the fall United Way campaign and we often exceed our goals. This year we won two awards and hosted a couple of virtual events.


Our Goal: $9,624
Total Raised: $10,169


OpenEd won the following awards, which were announced at the 2021 Campaign Kick-off even:

  • Spirit Award: Award for outstanding United Way Support
  • Campaign Co-Chair Award: Carmela Delle Donne


We partnered with Urbex Walking Tours to offer the Guelph Reformatory Grounds Walking Tour as a fundraising event.

Our Halloween Social Event was held on October 27, 2021. We were joined by guest Jessica Schumacher, Youth Engagement and Education Facilitator from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Waterloo Wellington. Jessica provided information regarding how the United Way helps with their organization initiatives.

Our department participated in a raffle draw to win a prize as a campaign fundraising event.

H2: Text image that reads: Workplace Wellness.

Our OpenEd Health & Wellness Committee continued to meet virtually throughout 2021 for the following workplace wellness activities:

  • Monthly Wellness Book Club
    • We were joined by Canadian author Cathy Marie Buchanan to discuss her novel 'Daughter of Black Lake' 
  • Work week and weekend Fitbit Challenges
  • Crossword challenges 
  • Colouring contests for staff and families 
  • Virtual games lunches hosted by staff 
  • Photo contests posted to Kudoboards 

Bruno Mancini Award

Our own Jessica Martin, academic assistant to the executive director, was the winner of the Bruno Mancini Award. This award recognizes the achievements of an individual (or group) who puts forth a substantial effort to advance accessibility at the University of Guelph.

Read more about Jessica's achievement on the 2020-21 Student Wellness Recognition Awards page.

H2: Text image that reads: Results Overview.

Infographic with Facebook stats.

Infographic with Twitter stats.

Infographic with LinkedIn stats.

Final Enrolment Data 
Department Total # of DE/OLp Enrolments Total # of DE/OLp Offerings Total # of CE Enrolments Total # of CE Offerings
Department of History  2,406 16  –
Department of Philosophy  474 5
School of English and Theatre Studies  1,066 8  84  7
School of Fine Art and Music  1,040 7  –  –
School of Languages and Literatures 1,081 6  –  –
College Sponsored 532  3  –  –
College of Arts Total 6,599  45 84  7
Department of Integrative Biology 1,468 6  27  1
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences 129 1  –  –
College of Biological Science Total 1,597 7  27  1
Department of Management 5,890  29  –  –
Department of Economics and Finance 2,007 15  –  –
Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies 3,566  17  –  –
School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management 636  4  –  –
Executive Programs 1,050 28  –  –
College Sponsored  –  –  –
Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics Total 13,149 93  0  0
School of Computer Science 1,239  6  –  –
Department of Chemistry  174  4 9  1
Department of Mathematics and Statistics 3,504  7 186  10
Department of Physics 468  4  –  –
School of Engineering 135 2
College Sponsored 18 1  –  –
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Total 5,538    24  195   11
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition 4,162  14  447  13
Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics 2,394  16  –  –
Department of Political Science 2,064  9  –
Department of Psychology 6,182  19  –  –
Department of Sociology and Anthropology 2,904  8  –  –
College Sponsored 76 1
College of Social and Applied Human Sciences Total 17,782  67  447  13
Department of Animal Biosciences 40  1  –  –
Department of Food, Agriculture and Resources Economics 7 2    
Department of Food Science 788  15  –  –
Department of Plant Agriculture 315  3  169  5
Guelph Turfgrass Institute  –  –  301  2
School of Environmental Design and Rural Development 1,125  9  –  –
School of Environmental Sciences 2,281  20  –  –
College Sponsored  –  –  –  –
Ontario Agricultural College Total 4,556  50 470  7
Department of Biomedical Sciences 1,310  8  –  –
Department of Pathobiology 319  2  –
Department of Population Medicine 718  4  –  –
Equine Guelph  –  – 1,050  24
Ontario Veterinary College Total 2,347  14  1,050  24
Open Learning and Educational Support Total  –  –  4,535  106
University Sponsored  – 325 2
TOTAL 51,568  300  7,133  171
2020 Totals 54,262 291  5,193  131
YOY -5%  .03%  37%  30%