This report summarizes an IRCC-funded Service Delivery Improvement (SDI) project that focused on emerging technologies and helping clients transition to work through Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) and Formation linguistique axée sur les professions (FLAP). The report includes details about the activities undertaken by Colleges Ontario and the 12 participating colleges as well as what was learned and how it could be applied to ongoing OSLT/FLAP delivery. It also includes information about the guiding design principles developed during this SDI project – ideas that curriculum developers could consider when developing and planning the delivery of online language courses.
The overall objectives of this SDI project were to
- deepen the understanding of the effectiveness of online learning formats in meeting the occupation-specific language-learning and socio-cultural workplace communication needs of newcomers looking for work and those already employed in their sectors and occupations. Specifically, the project would examine whether
- an online, faculty-led, OSLT delivery format using 40-hour modules could meet the needs of newcomers looking for work and could achieve the same learning outcomes as established classroom-based and blended OSLT courses.
- an online, faculty-led OSLT delivery format using 21-hour modules designed to improve workplace communication skills would better fit the circumstances of newcomers already employed in their sectors/occupations and help advance their careers.
- explore how emerging technologies could optimize learning for newcomers and target skills gaps by developing self-directed learning materials, tools and apps in English and French.
- develop and test additional supports embedded in regular OSLT/FLAP courses for transitioning to employment/entrepreneurship.
- investigate the gaps to online and blended language learning for Francophone newcomers and develop tools to address them.
- meet newcomer and employer needs as well as the project objectives that Colleges Ontario, working together with colleges, proposed by undertaking the following activities:
- Integrate the curriculum, delivery format and evaluation processes for faculty-led, exclusively online delivery into the established OSLT framework.
- Build on selected, existing, OSLT classroom-based and blended courses in developing online modular delivery.
- Test the online modular approach to curriculum and faculty-led online delivery, the new modules and the new tools.
- Use emerging technology to develop self-directed tools and apps to enhance learning in English and French.
- Test expanded employment/entrepreneurship supports by integrating them into existing OSLT delivery formats.
- Review research and literature on barriers to online language learning for Francophone newcomers and develop online language tools to enhance learning.
- Evaluate the success of project elements and identify learnings to inform and improve future delivery of OSLT/FLAP in Ontario.
The document provides a number of project insights in these areas:
- Faculty-led Online Delivery
- Design-based Research Methodology
- Synchronous Elements in Online Learning
- Online Modular Approach to Curriculum Design
- Curriculum Approach for Employed versus Job-seeking Newcomers
- Self-directed Online Language Practice
- Language Level and Learning Readiness for Online Courses
- Faculty Preparedness for Online Instruction
- Francophone Newcomers and Online Learning
- Integrated Employment and Entrepreneurship Supports in OSLT/FLAP
- Marketing, Recruitment and Administration Practices for Online Learning
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