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Trent University Responds to Increased Demand for Online Learning

Enrollment in Online Courses Set to Reach New Heights

Human anatomy, human physiology, and computer crime and forensics — they may all sound like topics from a crime show, but they have a surprising thing in common: they’re among the most popular online courses offered by Trent University. And online learning at Trent is set to grow even more.

Since its launch in 2011, Trent Online, Trent University’s online course gateway, has seen rapid growth in student enrollment. Now, four years later, Trent Online is set to have its most successful term yet, as it expects to offer more than 50 courses to well over 2,000 students during the summer of 2015.

Online learning at Trent has given students increased flexibility since they can take courses during the summer to complete their course requirements or supplement their studies. For example, notes Mary-Jane Pilgrim, Trent Online’s coordinator, the human anatomy course is useful for those who wish to study life sciences, and is a requirement for Trent’s Nursing program.

The computer crime and forensics course has been another standout success – once it was offered online, enrollment in the course nearly tripled.

“It’s been phenomenal. We’re definitely offering what the students are looking for,” says Ms. Pilgrim.

Dr. Elaine Scharfe, Trent’s interim vice-provost and dean of Graduate Studies, agrees: “One of the reasons why I think it works really well, and why we at Trent Online are focused on increasing the number of courses, is because it supports the students. This is what the students want. In particular, in the summer, when they’re also looking for a job, it’s nice to have the course online. They can fit the course into whatever work schedule they have.”

Trent Online also allows students from the Symons and Durham campuses to take courses together and enrollees do not have to be students at Trent to take part. Now it is easier than even for students who study at other institutions to enroll in summer courses at Trent. “It’s perfect for students living in Peterborough who study at other universities,” says Ms. Pilgrim.

Trent Online’s goal is to provide the same high-quality experience that students get in-class, says Scharfe: “We all have the same perspective: how can we support the students? What can we do to help them get their degrees in an efficient and effective way? It’s about offering the same great Trent experience, now online.”

To learn more about what Trent Online has to offer, visit

Posted on Monday, February 23, 2015.

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