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Distance Learning

Independent Study Option (ISO)

Independent Study Option (ISO) provides the opportunity and flexibility for learners to access a wide range of independent study distance learning courses from grades 9 to 12.This option is available to students attending a Manitoba school, school-aged learners in Manitoba not currently enrolled in school and adult learners. Learners complete courses independently and at their own pace while having some access to a tutor/marker via email or phone. ISO courses and reference copies of ISO courses can contribute to and add flexibility to education planning and learning in a variety of ways for teachers, parents and distance learners.

The Distance Learning Unit issues the credit to distance learners who complete an ISO course and reports the credit to Manitoba Student Records. For students attending a Manitoba school, schools may also report the credit on school-issued transcripts.

The Distance Learning Unit may also issue diplomas to distance learners who complete Manitoba graduation requirements.

  • Diplomas must be requested in the same school year (September 1 to August 31) that the final credit is completed in.
  • Diplomas cannot be issued retroactively.
  • The final credit must be completed through the Distance Learning Unit for the Distance Learning Unit to issue the diploma.
  • Students are request to submit the Diploma Request Form.

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Rationale

The current reality of education in Manitoba poses a number of challenges for learners – particularly those located in rural and northern communities. Low student enrolment and shortages of teachers with specific subject expertise can limit accessibility to senior years courses. These factors present challenges for schools as they endeavour to provide learners with a range of course offerings that enable them to meet graduation requirements, explore areas of interest, and meet specific needs. Similar challenges also exist for adult learners and school-aged non-attending students (any school-aged learner not currently enrolled in a Manitoba School). To mitigate these factors, Education and Training continually seeks ways to create more opportunities for learner success through relevant and engaging distance learning options.

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Guidelines

Education and Training maintains high and consistent standards for quality Independent Study Option (ISO) courses by:

  • creating policies, procedures, and operational guidelines for the Independent Study Option and for future independent learning options as they emerge
  • leading the development and renewal of ISO courses and resources to reflect effective pedagogical practice for distance learning, to provide congruence with Manitoba curriculum and to support learning and engagement
  • collaborating with stakeholders (Individuals or organizations involved in distance learning, which may include: learners, teachers, schools, school divisions, adult learning centres, and parents) to coordinate the delivery of ISO courses with the support of the Distance Learning Unit
  • providing professional learning and support to educators who are working with ISO distance learners
  • promoting and distributing information related to the ISO program
  • managing the ISO program through the Distance Learning Unit

Schools/School Divisions may provide Independent Study Option learners with relevant and engaging distance learning experiences by:

  • acting in accordance with Education and Training's policies, including the procedures and guidelines for the ISO program
  • providing information and facilitating discussions that lead to informed decision-making by distance learners and/or parents considering the ISO program
  • identifying on-site ISO School Facilitator(s) to support the ISO program and distance learners
  • ensuring that any independent study course not developed by Education and Training, but accessed by their distance learners, is congruent with Manitoba curriculum, and satisfies Education and Training's procedures and guidelines for recognizing and granting credits to meet graduation requirements in Manitoba
  • offering distance learners access to ISO courses to enable them to meet graduation requirements, explore areas of interest, and meet specific learning needs
  • ensuring that the marks distance learners receive in ISO courses are recorded on their records, and are reported following established guidelines
  • developing local policies to support the ISO program within their school/division, including how courses fees if any will be handled

Schools may choose to provide this distance learning option according to school/division needs.

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