Origin and Objectives of the Portal
A number of measures were considered to enable CLIFAD to carry out its mission, i.e. to promote distance education and foster its development and use. These included a Québec distance education portal. In discussions with the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) and others, the project received substantial support, the primary objective being to provide potential users of distance education with easy access to the information they need.
The Nature of the Project
CLIFAD therefore developed this portal, and member institutions were invited to post their course offerings. The portal is not transaction driven: it provides a full list of hyperlinks so that users have quick access to the learning institutions' Web sites.
While this portal aims primarily to serve potential distance education clientele, it will also meet the information needs of other users, such as guidance and other counsellors, program coordinators and anyone working with people who might require training. Government workers in various departments will also find this efficient structuring of information to be a useful resource. Unions looking for training sessions for their membership, as well as employers in search of information relating to training sectors and areas of specialization, will also find this portal useful—as will be the partners of the education system, who are too often unfamiliar with the realities of distance education in Québec.
CLIFAD will draw on its own funds to finance the development and maintenance of this single-point gateway to distance education in Québec. The portal will host the offerings of all public and MELS-subsidized institutions that wish to post their distance education courses on the portal—provided they are members of CLIFAD.