HRDC: Government of Canada Funds a Distance Education Project From Athabasca University

October 31, 2001

The Honourable Anne McLellan, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Jane Stewart, Minister of Human Resources Development Canada, today announced funding of $199,000, through the Office of Learning Technologies, for a project presented by Athabasca University entitled Remote Access to Instrumental Analysis for Distance Education in Science.

Under this project, Athabasca University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology will conduct a study to determine the best way to adapt the use of remote analytical instrumentation. This new learning environment will provide physics and chemistry students with easy access to real life science experiments and a means to upgrade their laboratory skills at a distance. A user-friendly Web site will help students prepare and conduct real-life instrumental analysis. It will include features such as tutorials, a virtual laboratory, tools to acquire the skills needed to operate the equipment, and a chat group for student-instructor interactions.

“The Government of Canada is proud to provide new opportunities that will help enhance the education and training of science students,” said Minister McLellan. “This project will offer these students greater access and flexibility in laboratory courses.”

Since 1996, the Government of Canada’s Office of Learning Technologies has worked in partnership with other governments, businesses, associations, labour and learning institutions to raise awareness and expand the use of innovative technologies for adult learning.

Projects are designed to increase understanding of how adults learn and how technologies can best support their learning needs. Research has shown that people who are familiar with technologies and are willing to pursue lifelong learning will have the greatest opportunities in our emerging knowledge-based economy and society.

Office of Learning Technologies’ project proposals are contingent upon the partners signing a final contribution agreement.

Funding for this project was provided for in the February 2000 Budget and is therefore built into the existing financial framework.

This project has been reviewed to ensure compliance with the Department’s improved administration of its grant and contribution programs.

Project Summary

  • Government of Canada contribution: $199,000 through the Office of Learning Technologies – Total project cost: $430,350 – Objective: develop a Web site to provide easy access to remote analytical instrumentation