What’s new with BCcourses?

The biggest change in 5 years to our online tool for looking up information about credit courses that can be taken at a distance from the public post-secondary institutions is seen in the new launch this week.

The search is fast, with as-you-type match display, including the ability to search by course code as well as keywords. An entirely new search mode has been added: looking up potential courses by their transferability.

Here’s how I might use the new tool as a University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) student needing to take Math 104 as an online/distance course (because I can’t go to campus next term). What are my options? Using the new tool, I enter ‘math 104’ into the Keyword search box: I see that UFV has this course listed as a distance education option (top result), but there are no sections available for me to register in currently. Next, I decide to see if any other BC college or university offers an equivalent course (that will give me equivalent credit at UFV), so I enter ‘ufv math 104’ into the Transfer Search, and I get 7 hits of distance education courses that UFV considers equivalent – so I can now look into taking the equivalent course from TRU-OL, Selkirk, Rockies or NLC. I have options, and I can find them in a heartbeat.

After the beta launch this week, the tool will undergo a round of structured user testing as well as review by education advisors at provincial colleges, universities and institutes. Based on feedback, the next release is planned for late January, 2011, along with a broader rebuilding of awareness.

The current Finder embedded in our student services portal will continue to be available, as it supports the registration workflow transactions, as well as a directory of institution-supplied distance/online programs.

Please give the new a try – and let us know what you think.