Mandatory online courses in Ontario high schools raise concerns for educators

Is Ontario's move to mandatory e-learning off the mark?In a massive shift to digital coursework, Ontario will soon require high school students to earn four online credits before they graduate — a first in North America.But with few details about the move, which begins in 2020-21, critics are questioning the rapid push to so much virtual learning so soon."Although e-learning classes provide a modernized learning experience for students, these courses are not a good fit for everyone," said Amal Qayum, president of the Ontario Student Trustees' Association, which found in a 2017 survey of teens that three-quarters felt online lacked when compared to a regular classroom setting. The group called on the Ford government to "reverse the rule mandating that all secondary school students take four e-learning courses" out of the 30 required for graduation "as different learning styles cannot be accommodated by an all-encompassing change in graduation requirements." The government's plan would see teens earn one e-learning credit a year in online classes with an average of 35 students.

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