Online instruction, technology tools, and active learning techniques provide opportunities and alternatives to the traditional ways we have educated students. To support faculty and staff in the primary work of ensuring student learning and success in changing times, we recently launched a spring series of workshops entitled “Enhancing and Expanding Student Learning in Changing and Challenging Times.

I invited Lynette Krenelka, Director of the Office of Extended Learning, to write a guest blog about digital learning and workshops that are available to faculty and staff as we grow online instruction at UND. Read more…

As UND addresses its strategic initiatives, growing digital learning is exciting in so many ways – we can reach more learners and provide access to education that they may not have even thought they could get, we can increase diversity in our student population, and we can develop quality online education which is a goal as we continue down this journey.

In supporting the initiative of growing digital learning, UND has held multiple forums and workshops that have had great attendance with the goal of providing information on how to prepare for quality online education the best way that we can. View a full listing of the forums and workshops now!

There is a process to follow for putting online degree or certificate programs online internally through UND and at the state level through the North Dakota University System and, this all takes time. There are experts to help with market research if an academic department is thinking about a new degree or certificate program. UND does not necessarily need to offer everything online, but instead we should think strategically as to what makes sense, by understanding what the market is telling us.

The Center for Instructional and Learning Technologies and the Office of Instructional Development can assist with teaching pedagogy, assessment strategies and creating quality online courses with high student engagement. Current Program Directors of online degree or certificate programs have a wealth of experience and can provide guidance to academic departments looking to expand online such as:

  • the importance of students knowing what to expect in the online program (how much time will coursework take and the importance for time management, since some students think online courses will be easier – when in reality, they are not easier)
  • the importance of faculty members being responsive to students but yet able to set guidelines on expected communication turnaround time
  • one department had a complete culture shift in embracing online, and as they hired new faculty members, the faculty knew they would teach online with specific standards established

Growing UND’s online programs will continue to occur and we want to make sure it is done right. There are multiple resources within UND that can help. Please reach out to me at the Office of Extended Learning – lynette.krenelka@UND.edu, Lori Swinney at CILT – lori.swinney@UND.edu or Anne Kelsch at OID at anne.kelsch@UND.edu.

Upcoming workshops, forums, etc. can help colleges, academic departments, faculty members and graduate students prepare for online education. Please visit http://und.edu/provost/enhancing_student_learning_mar17.pdf for more information on upcoming sessions.