Text image that reads: Welcome from our executive director.

I am pleased to share our annual report for 2020. Looking back at the past year, as we’ve all adapted to a new world, I am proud to say that OpenEd has continued to raise the bar through unprecedented times.

In March, we facilitated a rapid shift to remote learning as the world faced the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff adjusted to working from home and all courses quickly pivoted to a remote instruction format. To meet the immediate needs of our instructors, we developed resources that provided easy solutions to delivering the remaining few weeks of the semester in a remote environment.

After the winter semester ended, we began to design a more thoughtful and comprehensive strategy that included webinars, workshops and resources that formed our Remote Teaching & Learning website, supporting instructors in the consideration of various pedagogies and how to make effective use of technology to deliver their courses. We installed technologies into classrooms to facilitate the recording of lectures for remote delivery. We also worked closely with instructors in a rapid development approach to designing fully-online learning courses.

We worked with various colleges to expand our Integrated Admission Pathway (IAP) with the intent to attract more academically qualified students to the University of Guelph. Additionally, we continued to work with a wide variety of international agents who are actively promoting the University of Guelph as an institution with a strong reputation for language development and academic programs.

As we progressed into the summer semester, we kept the momentum going and shifted our face-to-face continuing education courses and conferences to remote delivery. These learning opportunities saw steady or increased enrolment, despite the new delivery formats—including an 18% increase in the number of individuals who graduated from our certificate and diploma programs. Looking ahead, we anticipate significant growth in micro-credential offerings and online learning enrolment, as the demand for flexible educational opportunities continues to grow.

As you read through our annual report, I am sure you will gain a better understanding of the expertise, initiatives, programs, projects and, most importantly, the impact that OpenEd has had over the past year; however, what you may not truly appreciate is the dedication, commitment and talent that makes up the OpenEd team. I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to work, collaborate, build, and create with such an amazing group of individuals who have worked tirelessly to support quality teaching and learning experiences for all.

I look forward to another great year, as we continue to identify innovative uses of technology and work together through new challenges and opportunities.

Michelle Fach | Executive Director

Michelle Fach.

Text image that reads: numbers for 2020.

Final Enrolment Data 
Final 2020 Enrolment Data for OpenEd
Department Total # of DE/OLp Enrolments Total # of DE/OLp Offerings Total # of CE Enrolments Total # of CE Offerings
Department of History  2350 13  –
Department of Philosophy  354 4
School of English and Theatre Studies  938  5  61  6
School of Fine Art and Music  996  6  –  –
School of Languages and Literatures 1494  12  –  –
College Sponsored 430  2  –  –
College of Arts Total 6562  42  61  6
Department of Integrative Biology 1562 7  23  1
Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences 525 3  –  –
College of Biological Science Total 2087 10  23  1
Department of Management 5418  26  –  –
Department of Economics and Finance 2346 20  –  –
Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies 4179  17  –  –
School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management 874  6  –  –
Executive Programs 684 29  –  –
College Sponsored  –  –  3  1
Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics Total 13501 98  3  1
School of Computer Science 1828  7  –  –
Department of Chemistry  265  4  1  1
Department of Mathematics and Statistics 3209  5  30  5
Department of Physics 437  4  –  –
School of Engineering 102 1
College Sponsored 11  1  –  –
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Total 5852  22  31  6
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition 4173  14  280  11
Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics 1737  10  –  –
Department of Political Science 2934  13  –
Department of Psychology 5739  14  –  –
Department of Sociology and Anthropology 3770  10  –  –
College Sponsored 221 2
College of Social and Applied Human Sciences Total 18574  63  280  11
Department of Animal Biosciences 63  1  –  –
Department of Food Science 1470  11  –  –
Department of Plant Agriculture 291  3  150  5
Guelph Turfgrass Institute  –  –  401  2
School of Environmental Design and Rural Development 1361  10  –  –
School of Environmental Sciences 2247  18  –  –
College Sponsored  –  –  –  –
Ontario Agricultural College Total 5432  43 551  7
Department of Biomedical Sciences 1102  7  –  –
Department of Pathobiology 478  2  –
Department of Population Medicine 674  4  –  –
Equine Guelph  –  – 932  21
Ontario Veterinary College Total 2254  13  932  21
Open Learning and Educational Support Total  –  –  3312  78
University Sponsored  –
2020 TOTALS 54262  291  5193  131
2019 Totals 36117  252  5223  130
YOY 50%  15%  -1%  1%

Infographic showing the Facebook data.

Infographic showing the Twitter data.

OpenEd Experts Present Masterclass on Transitioning to Remote Learning

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With the current inability to deliver courses in person due to the global pandemic, schools around the world are seeking new ways to effectively use technology for remote or online education—an area in which the department of Open Learning and Educational Support (OpenEd) at the University of Guelph (U of G) has significant expertise.

OpenEd’s continuous dedication to advancing remote and online education through new technologies has gained the attention of India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The CBSE recently organized Masterclass training sessions for principals and teachers from its approximately 20,000 member schools.

Masterclass topics include remote instruction, online teaching, and approaches to student engagement—topics in which OpenEd executive director Michelle Fach and associate director of educational technologies Lena Kushnir are well versed.

“During these times of uncertainty, it’s important to expand our teaching strategies and create meaningful learning experiences,” says Kushnir. “COVID-19 has no borders and our jobs are now to teach with no barriers so that everyone has access to education. I choose to share (my intellectual property) so that everyone can have access to learning; education is for all.”

Moderated and organized by Maria Mathai, U of G’s liaison in India, Fach and Kushnir co-presented Transitioning to Remote or Online Learning, a session that covered best practices in course frameworks, tips for success in pivoting to remote teaching and learning environments, and effective teaching strategies and online activities to keep student engagement and active learning at the forefront.

“I predict that our new reality of learning will include an increasing number of online opportunities and a more intentional use of technology in all forms of teaching and learning,” adds Fach.

For more information about OpenEd’s remote teaching and learning framework, visit the Remote Teaching & Learning website.

Text image that reads: United Way...

United Way logo.

OpenEd raised a total of $8,760 for United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin. Although traditional fundraising events were put on hold due to the global pandemic, the staff at OpenEd rose to the challenge and donated generously to support the greater Guelph community.

Text image that reads: workplace wellness...

With Public Health restrictions in place and the majority of OpenEd staff working from home, the OpenEd Health & Wellness Committee creatively continued their pursuit of workplace wellness and organized activities that participants could enjoy from the safety of their homes. Lunchtime Bingo, Friday night pub nights, and monthly book club meetings took place via videoconferencing. Thank goodness the staff at OpenEd is well versed in the tools of technology!