The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Delivering Online Skills to Groups Facing Barriers

Wendy Cukier, Ryerson University (Canada)

Mohamed Elmi, Ryerson University (Canada)

Brian Robson, Ryerson University (Canada)

Rim Abid, Ryerson University (Canada)


When the current global health crisis began one year ago, academic degree programs were not the only learning systems affected. The instant migration to alternative delivery methods affected all scheduled training programs, and posed particular difficulties to learners from groups facing barriers to employment [1] One specific case study is the ADaPT program, whose model was presented at the Future of Education Conference in 2018. As one ongoing effort to address the skills gap in Canada, the Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) Program out of Ryerson University has recently evolved to a multi-modal delivery design, offering the same skills workshops and support for diverse, entry-level job-seekers concurrently through in-person, online, and blended models. Once the Covid-19 crisis began, the program had to quickly pivot in-person to alternative online delivery methods, and seek an effective mixture of synchronous and asynchronous learning, in conjunction with all of the diverse instructors.. ADaPT’s focus is on providing alternative pathways into ICT and digital roles for those from diverse academic and demographic backgrounds, and the strategic move into online and blended delivery methods is to make this successful work-integrated learning program more scalable and accessible to more underrepresented post-secondary graduates [2]. In the midst of all this, the program also expanded to other parts of Canada. This session covers some of the challenges overcome and lessons learned from the transition to multi-modal delivery for skills development for non-traditional job seekers in the digital economy. Results from comparative data collected over the past year will be summarized, with some surprising insights gleaned in this case.

Keywords: diversity, synchronous, asynchronous, skills, training, online.


  1. Cukier, W., Elmi, M.,Munro, D., Sultana, A. (2020). Skills for the Post Pandemic World. Public Policy Forum.
  2. Shortt, D., Robson, B., & Sabat, M. (2020). Bridging the Digital Skills Gap: Alternative Pathways. Public Policy Forum.

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