“No break, no pause,” Renyi said. “They’re right in class.”
As many of the adult learners have not had to apply for a job in 10 to 20 years, the program has paid particular attention to designing courses around differing levels of computer literacy.
The first level is for adults who have never used a computer at all. The second is for adults who have used one a few times. And the third level is designed around adults who have a basic, modern understanding of computers.
“I think training and support for all of this has to be tailored for the specific audience and their background experience,” said Jared Stein, vice president of education at Instructure, which has primarily focused on systems used by traditional college students. “That’s something the campuses are going to have to facilitate, but on the Canvas end we’re constantly striving to make the user experience very simple and very accessible.”
Seventy students are already enrolled in the program after its first week, Renyi said, outpacing her own estimates. She said she originally planned for 500 students to join the program in its first five months.
The scope of the program and framework of the technology is something she said that has not been attempted before. It’s an experiment, she said, that may result in some mistakes along the way.
Like the students in the program, the commission will be learning as well.
“There is nothing like this anywhere,” Renyi said. “And we’re going to find out if it works.”
Follow Jake New on Twitter at @eCN_Jake.