Easy Group Launches Symposiums in the Age of Hybrid Learning: Are Overseas Students Receiving a Fair and Equitable Experience?
TORONTO, July 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Easy Group will be sponsoring symposiums at major universities across Canada and delivering programs that cater to overseas students enrolled in online and hybrid programs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The company not only understands the academic needs of students enrolled in hybrid and/or online programs, but also the great need and longing for social interaction. Loneliness is suffered by many in the online and hybrid environment. Through the use of technological innovation and a strict set of corporate philosophies, students will be able to gather in virtual groups and experience true friendships with a collaborative spirit leading to an experience equal to those of on-campus students.
It is without a doubt that hybrid learning is here to stay. Canadian universities are faced with multiple challenges from ensuring that their students are fully vaccinated to designing programs that maintain the integrity of the program content while balancing accessibility to the classroom, “labs and studios” and online learning from a safe location such as home. These “bridges” are stop-gap measure that will enhance the ability for all students to learn and complete their programs safely — especially for students that aren’t yet fully vaccinated by the time the fall semester arrives, visa students that waiting for their visas to be processed and even students that aren’t yet sure if they want to return to in-person learning.
During this unprecedented time, some students and universities have found online learning to be advantageous for a number of reasons, but it was very obvious from anecdotal evidence and the results of a survey of 384 students conducted back in October 2020 by the Easy Group Inc. of Toronto, Canada, that many aspects of online learning had not been properly thought out by the universities hosting online programs.
Canada’s vaccination program is rolling out well. As of the time of this press release being disseminated, 26.5% of the Canadian population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the number of new cases had dropped from a high of 8,869 new cases on April 17, 2021 to 435. What does this mean for the future of undergraduate and post graduate studies in Canada? A Globe and Mail article published on March 20, 2020 suggested that while hybrid learning suffered from a “lack of preparation for a seamless experience” to “technical glitches”, there have been some serious advantages to hybrid learning — the primary being an affordable way to deliver education to the masses. The transition to online and hybrid learning began with graduate-level education many years ago, that initially suffered from the perception that “online” meant an inferior education. However, that stigma has changed dramatically and we now see world-class education being delivered in online-only programs. Online and hybrid learning comes with unique challenges when it comes to overseas students. Challenges that can severely impact a student’s ability to thrive and pass examinations.
“Students from other countries tend to be at a significant disadvantage when it comes to learning and studying. In addition to some of the obvious factors such as a lack of socialization and the interpersonal skills attained during the first-year of undergraduate studies — there remains the question of ‘Who supports the students, such as those from China that need help during their time zones, which can be as much as a 12-hour time difference?’ and ‘What type of learning support is available for overseas students when they can’t directly access on-campus resources?,” suggests Easy Group CEO., Jacky Zhang, “If hybrid and online learning is going to be the way of the future, students are going to need a way to put them on the same equitable playing field as other students from a neighbouring Canadian city, for example. We have developed comprehensive and innovative solutions to these issues and our hope is that Easy Group can be part of that solution, working hand-in-hand with universities, adhering to all rules and following the highest standards of academic integrity. In this way, we can ensure that overseas students receive an experience equal to those of their domestic peers.”
The modern student has taken on some significant financing during their educational years. The ability to take hybrid or online courses allows them more time to jump onto work or paid internship opportunities during their undergraduate or post-graduate studies. Furthermore employers are now demanding some work experience, even for entry-level jobs. These are only a small number of reasons why online and hybrid learning are a good idea anytime of the year, as well as post-pandemic.
“For over a year now, most of our graduate students have adapted to the online environment while flourishing in their academic studies, expanding their leadership skills, and engaging in co-curricular events. To facilitate the graduation of two cohorts – class of 2020 and class of 2021 – in this virtual environment, we needed to be innovative in our teaching methods, student activities and use of technology. As we think about the future, whether it’s online, hybrid or in-person education, international students can optimize their academic journey, personal development and overall wellness when they have opportunities to learn about Canadian culture, educational expectations, and supportive communities,” says Susan Lee, PhD. Dr. Lee provides leadership for student engagement and wellness at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
About Easy Group Inc.
Easy Group Inc. was founded in Toronto in 2014 as a best in-class tutoring service for international students. The company has provided online services to over 170,000 university applicants, students, and graduates, and served over 100,000 clients offline at our physical campuses. Its footprint has expanded from Canada, where it operates at 11 of the country’s most prestigious schools, to the U.S., China, and the United Kingdom.
Easy Group has 3 pillars that guide its mission: Integrity, Inclusivity and Innovation. Under each of these pillars is a mission to ensure that students can experience the full benefit of their learning journey.
With a deep understanding of learning practices and a commitment to embracing technology, the company now provides a holistic educational and personal development platform which guides its clients through every stage of their time studying abroad. Easy Group helps with everything from applying to undergraduate university, graduate school and new careers, to integrating with a new community and overcoming cultural barriers.
For more information, please visit: https://www.easygroup.ca/
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