LaSalle College’s Virtual Campus on the Rise
Geneviève Bernier is the online school coordinator for ilasallecampus and talks with ProfWeb about the rise of their virtual campus.
With globalization, free trade, and internet-based technology in full swing, the economy is changing our working conditions and the way we acquire knowledge. These changes have generated a greater demand for specialized training and given a new-found importance to such technological media as the internet, cyberspace, multimedia and hypermedia in education. Today, ilasallecampus represents the E-learning chapter of LaSalle College, a member of LaSalle International. We are one of the pioneers of E-learning in Québec and have been at the forefront of distance learning in the province since the founding of this division in 1993.
During the early 1990's, online training hadn't yet taken off, so we conducted market research to find out what skills were most sought after in the work place. The demand for skills in multimedia was on the rise, so this became the basis for our first program. Our goal has always been to develop programs that respond to job market demands and for this, we engage ourselves actively in market research. We had no more than 6 students registered for the first semester. Today, ilasallecampus has over 400 students!
In both our synchronous and asynchronous courses, we develop every aspect of the course production from A to Z. As soon as a skill in demand is identified, the production team is set in motion. A subject matter expert in the field is hired to develop the course content and together with pedagogical coordinators, writers, translators, graphic designers, programmers and integrators, a courseware is delivered in English, French and soon Spanish!
Our programs are diverse and include Multimedia Technology, Administrative Assistant, Fashion Marketing, Interior Design, Home Staging and our latest addition, Video Game 3D Modelling, and all of our programs are accredited by the Ministère de l'Education, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS). This assures our students that the program they have enrolled in will provide them with up-to-date training and a realistic perspective on the job market.
The scope of Lasalle International is impressive.
Once the courseware is complete, we look for a person who will deliver the course. Our strength resides in the teaching staff we provide for our students. Our teachers are involved professionally in their fields, and they bring the realities of the industry to their virtual classrooms and provide insight on the type of clientele graduates will be faced with in the future. Most of our teaching staff are, first and foremost, employed in the industry and teach at ilasallecampus part-time.
Our virtual campus is facilitated by Moodle and completely adapted to Adobe's Connect Pro. Each student, teacher and administrator has a personalized account and various forums encourage student-teacher exchanges. Teachers can manage course content and students can access class outlines and notes conveniently. The Web platform we use is continuously updated, and we consider top priority the continuous research and development of avant-garde technological tools, always keeping our students' success in mind.
Lasalle International has 16 educational establishments worldwide in places as diverse as Northern Africa, South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. Although ilasallecampus is headquartered in Montreal, our goal is to localize programs so they may eventually be available throughout the international network in each city's language.
Is there an online learning facility at your college?