In the Thompson Rivers University Act (2005):
(1) The purposes of the university are
- to offer baccalaureate and masters degree programs,
- to offer post-secondary and adult basic education and training,
- to undertake and maintain research and scholarly activities for the purposes of paragraphs (a) and (b), and
- to provide an open learning educational credit bank for students.
(2) The university must promote teaching excellence and the use of open learning methods.
(3) In carrying out its purposes, the university must serve
- the educational and training needs in the region specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, and
- the open learning needs of British Columbia.
Open Learning’s history in BC goes back more than 40 years.
TRU Open Learning delivers approximately 550 transferable courses and more than 60 programs so that students can earn credentials by studying at a distance. More than 20,000 students per year enroll in at least one OL course.
Students can register in either continuous registration (self-paced) courses or paced courses (with specific start and end dates). For continuous courses, students can register anytime, start when they want and have up to 30 weeks to complete. Continuous registration courses are offered on a non-semester basis: the day a student registers is the day the student begins the course. Paced courses are cohort-based, and students register at specific times during the year.
PLAR, credit bank and transfer credit
A process called Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) determines whether the knowledge, skills and abilities you have acquired outside of post-secondary education can be used toward academic credits.
Volunteer and paid work, industry-based training, professional development workshops and seminars, Continuing Studies courses and private study can all be considered in an assessment.
PLAR Credit Bank transfers are based on established agreements with other institutions and organizations. The Credit Bank allows students to receive credit toward their Open Learning program for pre-assessed training from selected employers, private training organizations and/or Continuing Studies programs.
Beyond open access and pathways
Open source Learning Technology: we host instances of Moodle, WordPress, Pressbooks, Commons in a Box, H5P, Mattermost, WeBWorK (and just joined LibreTexts consortium), MediaWiki, co-founders of the OpenETC.