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Royal Roads led Internet learning

September 11, 2012
Times Colonist
Gerald Kelly
Article Source: Read the Original Article

Letter to the editor, Re: "Bricks, mortar and the future of learning," Sept. 7.

Thomas Klassen's article about the Internet transforming universities is an excellent one, albeit somewhat out of date. He notes that web-based learning is now beginning to change universities.

Seventeen years ago, Victoria's own Royal Roads University was challenged by the B.C. government to design a new kind of learning institution, one that would address the lifelong learning needs of people in the workforce. Just as necessity is the mother of invention, RRU, in the forefront of change, became a university unlike the rest.

Beginning in 1995, Royal Roads became a world leader in educational innovation by pioneering use of the Internet to reach learners in different places around the world.

Interestingly, Klassen argues that web-based learning is less personal than classroom learning. Ask a student sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of others what they think about that?

Royal Roads invented a unique blended model of short campus-based classes augmented by web-based courses. This allows people to continue working while studying at home to gain degrees enhancing their job opportunities.

The model incorporates the best of worlds, face-to-face classroom experience and what turns out to be highly interactive personalized learning over the Internet.

Gerald Kelly
President emeritus Royal Roads University Victoria