Response to online education

By Katie Schimmelpfennig

News that Trevecca will offer all of its general education courses online this year has students and faculty debating the pros and cons.

Adminstrators announced last month that Trevecca will offer 30 general education courses online this summer.  Students will still have the option to take some courses in a face-to-face setting on campus as well.

The online program launched last summer when 120 students took online classes.

The reviews were mixed as there was little time to prepare, said David Phillips, dean of the college of lifelong learning.

This year faculty have taken courses to prepare and students will get a one-week orientation.

“Online education is definitly part of the future,”  said Carol Maxson, associate provost and dean of academic affairs.

Trevecca prides itself on knowing students’ names, Lena Welch, dean of the school of arts and sciences, said, and she is confident online courses will still offer community to students.

“I think Trevecca will do well,” Welch said.

Faculty expressed different views to Welch, she said. Some were “very excited,” others “uncomfortable” or “apprehensive.”

Doug Lepter, a professor of communication at Trevecca, will teach Principles of Intercultural Communication for the first summer session of online courses. He said he thinks his course should be a good experience.

“It’s all new to me, I haven’t actually taught one yet…Depending on the material, especially intercultural communication, it could lend itself nicely,” Lepter said.

Rick Bradley, a professor of chemistry at Trevecca, will teach Physical Science for the third summer session of online courses. He said, because his course is a lab course, it brings challenges.

“Well, the hardest part of it is that it’s a lab course. So you have to figure out lab activities that they can do on their own,” Bradley said.

But through group discussion, physical science will still be a quality class, he said.

“You have to work a little bit harder, but it will still be a very good class,” Bradley said.

Classes will be shorter, but more intense.

Students will be required to log on at least five days a week  for six weeks, Phillips said.

Students said they like having the option to take classes online durring the summer, so they don’t have to stay on campus.

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