The look and style of online learning is transforming at the College of Business starting with courses in the highly-ranked MBA program. The new online format combines a consistent and organized structure with new technologies to make the online process clearer for students, so they can stress less and learn more.
“When taking online courses, students may feel isolated and overwhelmed. They may be unsure about how to start or how to connect with their professor. The new format outlines the course in a clean and organized way to relieve their stress, so they can focus on learning,” said Dr. Tawnya Means, assistant dean, assistant professor of practice in management, and director of the Teaching and Learning Center.
Professors follow a template which includes a welcome to the course, introduction to the professor and numbered directions on how to start. It also outlines the course objectives, readings or lectures and more. Lectures appear as videos, much like YouTube, and while the professor talks on the right side of the screen various points or questions appear on the left side.
“Our faculty are strong content experts who care about our students and who want them to do well in the course and in their future. The new template allows them to focus on teaching and not worry about how to design it best online,” Means said.
Means, who started implementing the format in August, said the format will be used for all online courses offered by the college. She also plans to continue creating other improvements.
“We need to develop our own tools. They could be brand new or an existing program out there that we could use in a new way. For instance, we want students to be engaging online while the professor is talking and asking questions. This technology is being developed but needs further funding," she said.