As posted by the Council of Ontario Universities, May 2011:
Digital literacy and expanding access to higher education are the fundamental benefits of an online education
ONTARIO ONLINE INSTITUTE
With over 10,000 courses and a research portal online, Ontario universities are very committed to online education. In response to the Ontario government’s 2010 Throne Speech announcement for development of an online institute, COU developed a policy position paper entitled The Ontario Online Institute: Achieving the Transformation, which proposed a consortium model to leverage the existing online courses and then build from there.
In February 2011, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) appointed a Special Advisor to the Minister, Maxim Jean-Louis, who is preparing recommendations for how to implement the Online Institute.
In May 2011, COU’s Online Learning Working Group submitted its recommendations regarding the implementation of the Institute to Mr. Jean-Louis.
The Scholars Portal is a digital library developed and sustained by Ontario’s universities and supervised by the Ontario Council on University Libraries (OCUL), an affiliate of COU. It is a cornerstone of teaching, learning and research for Ontario students and faculty. Established in 2002, there are now 12 million searches performed in Scholars Portal each year and the portal supports approximately 245,000interlibrary loan requests annually. It is equipping students with the analytical skills necessary to contribute to the Premier’s goal of a “better educated workforce” and it is exposing them to international resources and advancing their understanding of competitive forces. The Portal is also an important digital resource for professors who want to embed more online content into their courses. Further, it has the capacity to accommodate the growing numbers of students that the government is expecting to enter university over the next five years.