Wednesday, November 9, 2011

sloan-c and the state of online learning at su

First session of the Sloan-C conference starts shortly. I'm going to make a concerted effort to post thoughts, comments and concerns. Before I get too far along, I'm going to set up the framework or online teaching and learning at Syracuse University for my proposal to my IELOL colleagues, which I'll present tomorrow.

When I first met with a senior University official to discuss aspects of online teaching and learning, my initial feeling was that we (the University) were being naive and little short-sighted in regard to online initiatives. Having now (nearly) completing the Sloan-C IELOL program, I have an entirely new perspective on the University's position.

At the graduate level, Syracuse University has a highly interdisciplinary set of programs with clear differentiation points. It's clear that the University will be more aggressive in pushing these opportunities, but we will not accommodate a free-for all among the schools and colleges. The University Provost has indicated he will be strategic and deliberate in assisting the schools and colleges with vetting and planning their graduate programs (and this is a space in which I believe University College can provide considerable support and assistance). Yet SU remain's committed to our graduate residency requirement because we place a high value on our campus experience and access to faculty, staff, and facilities -- this is one critical point of differentiation -- it creates a connection to the University. At the undergraduate level, the University administration continues to support the schools and colleges as they develop online course offerings that provide increased flexibility for our students -- students who are increasingly asked to engage in scholarship beyond the classroom. These visions align with our overall vision and mission in that they support the principles of Scholarship in Action.

More to follow in what I hope to be a useful and productive couple of days.

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