Marquette Wire

Faculty, staff consider the future of Marquette’s online class offerings

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Photo by Maryam Tunio/maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Photo by Maryam Tunio/maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Maryam Tunio/maryam.tunio@marquette.edu

Julie Grace, General Assignment Reporter

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Marquette offers more than 200 online classes and is looking to further its digital education choices.

“Other than continuing to work with faculty to develop their new courses and/or programs, our goal is to maintain the quality of the courses that we helped to implement,” Heidi Schweizer, director of eLearning at the Center for Teaching and Learning, said.

This semester’s online classes cover every college except the College of Education. Provost Daniel Myers said universities should offer a high-quality online experience.

“It should be part of how students learn,” Myers said about online education. “It’s going to be part of your life as a method of learning and it should be there for part of your learning portfolio when you’re a student at a university.”

Marquette hosted a Digital Scholarship Symposium in Raynor Memorial Libraries on Oct. 1. The attendees, including Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Richard Holz, discussed and learned about emerging forms of digital education and the future of online classes at Marquette.

Some faculty members embrace teaching online courses. Associate History Professor Laura Matthew is a supporter of online classes and she spoke on a panel at the symposium.

“I enjoy teaching online, as long as the class isn’t too big,” Matthew said in an email. “A good online class, for me, means providing quite a bit of individualized instruction and structuring plenty of opportunities for the students to interact with each other.”

However, Schweizer said Marquette’s strong traditions of face-to-face faculty/staff interaction and students living on campus can outweigh a completely online curriculum.

“We all deserve to get away from our devices every once in awhile and anyone who has done a conference call on Skype knows there are limitations to online interaction, even in the best of situations,” Matthew said in an email.

Myers agreed, saying if students are not learning face-to-face in a classroom, they miss the college experience that Marquette values as an institution.

“Marquette students deserve learning experiences that involve faculty who are actively, frequently and thoughtfully engaged in teaching their online course,” Schweizer said.

According to data from the Center for Teaching and Learning, Marquette offered 160 online courses in 2014 and ranked seventh in online class offerings among the 28 U.S. Jesuit universities.

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