Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 11:00 am
Updated: 12:59 pm, Thu Oct 17, 2013.
The University of Georgia Office of Online Learning is developing new courses for summer 2014.
The 20 new courses will be a part of the OOL’s UGAonline Learning Fellows Program, which launched last year with 36 courses and 38 faculty members.
“[The Learning Fellows Program] is an incentive model to give some incentive for faculty to develop online courses to help meet the needs for increased enrollments in summer offerings and strategically targeted courses that are either high enrolling, bottle-neck courses or have a high demand,” said Keith Bailey, the director of the OOL.
Nancy Byron, the marketing manager of the OOL, said the office tries to offer classes to fulfill core requirements, like the walking class offered online. It fulfills the one-credit out of PE that every UGA student needs to graduate.
Developing and running quality online courses is expensive, but Bailey said there is a portion of the OOL budget reserved for developing the courses.
“I have heard ranged of around $40,000 to $45,000 to develop a course,” Bailey said. “I can’t say that that was what we have spent here, but if we’re looking at across the nation, those are some of the numbers that you hear. It’s about something like that.”
He said the cost covers everything from videography and graphic design to payment for the faculty.
Bailey said the process for developing online courses is going to be different this year. Last year, the faculty, which is comprised of UGA professors, had a semester to develop their courses and worked individually with an instructional designer who helped them develop a quality online course. This year, professors will have a year to develop their course and will meet in groups of five or six with one instructional designer.
Yuha Jung, a visiting assistant professor at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, developed an online version of “Art Appreciation” and taught the class last summer. This year she is in the process of developing an online version of “Cultural Diversity in American Art” to be taught next summer. Jung said developing a course online is time consuming and having a year to work on and organize the class is much less stressful.
“I’ve taught online courses before, so I knew what was expected and how to make online learning more active because you can be very passive,” Jung said. “But I made it explicitly rigorous and interactive, so I put a lot of group projects and all of that. So it was challenging for me to put all of that because it’s very time consuming. In online teaching, you have to have everything in advance. In a face to face setting you have more flexibility to change things, but in an online setting you can’t do that. So that was challenging to do it in one semester..”
Deanna Cozart, a part-time assistant professor at the College of Education, developed a course last spring and taught it over the summer. She said it was important that students left the course feeling like they had actually learned something and to break the stereotype of the easy and passive online course. Jung, Cozart and Bailey said it was important for an online course to not lose the quality and difficulty of a face-to-ace course.
Bailey said about 74 percent of students who took the courses rated them as being “very good” to “excellent” and 88 percent agreed the courses challenged them to think and learn. He said he sees that as being a huge success in creating online courses that are equally as challenging as face to face courses.
“These numbers would suggest an equal learning environment for [students],” Bailey said. “They were very satisfied with that.”
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Thursday, October 17, 2013 11:00 am.
Updated: 12:59 pm.