Dr. Michael Catchpole teaches a distance psychology course at North Island College. While he’s based out of the Port Alberni campus, students at any of NIC’s campuses can access the course through live interactive television. Image provided

NIC distance learning technology allows one instructor to teach students in five locations

‘You get all the benefits of being in a class with your fellow students, without having to travel,’ says instructor

One of North Island College’s lead advocates and innovators in the use of distance education methodology has helped the college reach a new milestone in providing educational access throughout its region.

Since 1978, Dr. Michael Catchpole has taught psychology courses at North Island College (NIC)’s Port Alberni campus as well as throughout the college region via distance education.

This term students from across the North Island will come together from across the region to take his Abnormal Psychology (PSY-235) course, delivered simultaneously to all five NIC campuses via live interactive television.

“ITV is a unique way to deliver education,” said Catchpole. “You are learning from a distance, but you’re not alone. You still go to class, hear the lectures, see your instructor and take part in discussions and group projects. You get all the benefits of being in a class with your fellow students, without having to travel”.

This semester, Catchpole has students from Campbell River, Comox Valley, Port Alberni, Port Hardy and Ucluelet all registered in the same course.

RELATED: North Island College Campbell River campus expansion officially opened

“When I originally piloted our ITV system 22 years ago, we could only teach to one other campus,” said Catchpole. “Now, thanks to a leading edge videoconferencing system, I can reach all our campuses and our learning centre in Ucluelet at the same time.

“It is certainly a good demonstration of NIC’s commitment to offer courses to students as close as possible to where they live throughout our region. It also shows that there is a demand from students who want to be able to take courses without leaving their home community.”

Bringing students from various communities together brings another level to the discussion in class.

“It’s always interesting to see the dynamic when you bring students with different backgrounds, communities and experiences together,” said Catchpole. “I find we learn a lot from each other and about the rest of the region, along with learning the course material.”

PSY-235 is a university-level course that covers mental health issues along with their biopsychosocial diagnosis and treatments. Along with being a fully transferable second-year course for students working toward their Bachelor degree, it is also a popular elective for health and human services students, and others interested in the mental health field.

“The course is a favourite of mine to teach,” said Catchpole. “There’s a huge interest in mental health and mental disorders and we focus on theories and research with the students, hopefully, leaving them with an appreciation of how important and valuable psychological research is to developing treatments and helping individuals.”

Along with teaching psychology, Catchpole is a former practicing registered psychologist, published psychological researcher and author of Anxiety: Debug it Don’t Drug it.

According to Catchpole, NIC’s international reputation for its commitment to stay on the leading edge of new teaching technologies is a big part of why he remains excited to be teaching at the college.

For more information on NIC’s psychology courses, visit www.nic.bc.ca/university-studies.

RELATED: Sixty seats added to North Island College health-care assistant program

RELATED: North Island College draft strategic plan available for feedback

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Small group of volunteers clean up Campbell River beach

Other events held in Nanaimo, Comox, Powell River and Victoria

Two Campbell River artists take residency at Walter Morgan Studio

Writer Libby King and sculptor Orland Hansen to use studio space this summer

Inside the undefined world of a Rainbow Family gathering in B.C.

In a remote forest, on North Vancouver Island, music, dance, sacred fires and full moon celebrations have been underway since a couple of weeks to mark the annual gathering of the controversial Rainbow Family of Living Light

RCMP seek man facing sexual assault charges

Police believe he may be living on central Vancouver Island but also has a history in the Cariboo region

Campbell River restaurant to be converted into housing for people experiencing homelessness

BC Housing buys popular eatery for $985,000 to serve as bridge housing

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

Most Read