New Student Virtual Assessment & Orientation

OCENET moves New Student Assessments and Orientation Online

Despite the Covid-19 global pandemic, some students continue to pursue education overseas. The OCDSB has welcomed over 100 such additions to the international student program this year.

However, the process of welcoming and acclimating these new students has looked different this year than in the past. New international students arriving for the fall and winter semesters were assessed, provided their orientation, and registered for their schools online, a change from the in-person process usually used.

OCENET introduced new Reading, Writing, and Math assessments that can be completed remotely, and assessors conducted student speaking assessments online. Jill Doherty, lead assessor, says of the new process, “While the assessment team misses the camaraderie of working together in-person, they feel the online format provides a distraction-free setting that works well for assessing listening and speaking skills.”

Daily online orientation sessions focused on various aspects of the international student experience, including school life, homestay, and things to do in Ottawa. Kari Hanes, OCENET Project Leader, feels that students benefited from the online orientation sessions, saying, “They kept our new students engaged and busy during what could have been a lonely quarantine, allowed us more time to spend with them, and gave us a better understanding of their needs.”



While things generally went well with the online assessment and orientation process, feedback from schools indicates that there is room for improvement. OCENET Operations manager, Kevin Orange, says “As a team, we are committed to improving this new process. We will be working with schools to ensure that their needs are met and to make the process as seamless as possible.”

by Greg Duggan,Director of Studies, Young People’s Language School

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