Tuesday, February 7, 2017

new course: IDRL 215: Intro to Labour Relations

A few weeks ago, Athabasca University opened a new course. IDRL 215: Introduction to Labour Relations replaced the venerable IDRL 201 and  IDRL 312 courses (which we have closed).

This change (which should have no effect on students who are in program) is part of our ongoing efforts to revitalize the curriculum.

IDRL 312 and 201 represented some of AU's early efforts to provide a comprehensive introduction to the field of labour relations.

As our course offerings have grown (and the world has changed), some rethinking of what is taught and how we teach it has become necessary. We're hopeful that IDRL 215 will be an enjoyable introduction to labour relations.

In a month or so, we will also be opening IDRL 316: Collective Bargaining and Grievance Arbitration, which will replace two older courses: IDRLs 305 and 404. Again, this change is mostly about increasing the coherence of our program and we have arranged things so program students will not be negatively affected.

We'll be taking similar steps with some of our EDUC courses over the next few years. For example, EDUC/HRMT 310 (The Canadian Training System) was our first foray into the topic of human resource development. It covered a little bit of everything.

Since then, we've added four more undergraduate courses on that topic. This has left the purpose of EDUC/HRMT 310 a bit unclear.

I am currently revising the course to make it EDUC 210: The Canadian Training System. This course will offer a clear introduction to labour market training in Canada and to our other offerings:

EDUC 316: Program Planning and Methods in Adult Learning
EDUC 317: Training and Development in Organizations
EDUC 406: Work and Learning
IDRL 496: Comparative Labour Education

As I revise EDUC 210, I am also writing a textbook, that students will receive in both digital and paper formats. I am hopeful the new course will open in about a year.

-- Bob Barnetson

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