Update on Temporary Policy on Online Classroom Instruction During Extraordinary Time
Dec. 1, 2021
With reference to current public health orders in force in BC, the Education and Examination Committee recently reviewed information provided by the Provincial Training Institute Branch (“PTIB”) as well as feedback from TCM educators and students regarding the Temporary Policy on Online Classroom Instruction.
Most educators and students have expressed appreciation for the Temporary Policy on Online Classroom Instruction, initially approved by the Committee on March 14, 2020, and intended to accommodate the Social Distancing Directive in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In consideration of the requests raised by schools and students, and of the currently uncertain status of the pandemic, the Committee amended its October 20, 2021 decision and will allow the continuation of virtual didactic classes currently in place. This gives more time for schools to plan and arrange for their programs. The amended Temporary Policy is shown below and will be reviewed by the Committee as required by Public Health Orders on or before June 2022.
Temporary Policy – Online Classroom Instruction During Extraordinary Time
(Amended November 30, 2021; expiring in June 2022)
TCM schools in Schedule H have discretion in how to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as individual institutions, provided they remain current and compliant with Public Health Orders and WorkSafeBC guidelines. The College approved online classroom instruction during this extraordinary time to provide schools with one more option in responding to this health situation.
Current approved courses in a Schedule H TCM recognized program can include the use of online virtual classroom technology for course material delivery with the sole intention of avoiding crowd gathering on a temporary basis. The policy will be reviewed again if required by Public Health orders on or before June 2022. Currently there is no permanent policy to allow online instruction on an ongoing basis. All TCM programs in BC listed in Schedule H were originally approved to offer courses in-person.
Schools offering in-person courses when the public health situation permits should adhere to the infection control protocols according to provincial safety guidelines for educational institutions.
The TCM schools in Schedule H have discretion in how to respond. It is their responsibility to decide how to meet students’ learning need for quality instruction during this extraordinary time.
The TCM Programs must follow all guidelines and policies from the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) for online course instruction to ensure the permitted change in delivery format does not affect instruction quality, course content, and/or learning outcomes. There might be requirements to log student attendance and participation during the online instruction for school administration purpose.
The courses must be taught by the same instructors (or instructors with the same qualifications), using the same course reference materials, following the same course outlines with the same learning outcomes as in the approved curriculum previously reviewed and approved by the Education Program Review team. This change only involves using an online technology to substitute in-person classroom instruction to deliver the course materials. The scheduled time, course content and course duration should not be changed.
When the health risk associated with the virus is lower, such that there is no public health directive to close or lockdown particular schools or educational institutions, but there remains a health directive to continue practising physical distancing, the involved school(s) may continue to offer courses online for students who cannot attend classes in person due to self-isolation and/or when they are following public health safety guidelines and restrictions.
In the case of a school(s) closure by the Public Health Authority, the school(s) can consider offering courses online due to safety concerns and students’ inability to attend in person. Offering online instruction is an option and each school will make its own arrangements for currently running classes, which might include postponement and/or cancellation of classes.
This guideline is applicable for didactic courses. When clinical portions of the programs need to be re-scheduled or cancelled, schools should try to offer the clinical courses at a later appropriate time as soon as possible. Virtual delivery of clinical training is NOT permitted.