By: Tom Cicero
Over the past couple of years, online enrollment has been on a steady increase.
With Internet accessible to almost everyone in the city, the option for online enrollment seems to be enticing for people looking to work from the comfort of their own home.
When asked about online enrollment, Assistant Provost for Distance Learning Kristin Broadwell seemed content with the way the program is heading.
“More and more people are teaching and learning online,” Broadwell said. “Students are demanding it more, and instructors are ready to meet the students’ needs.”
Assistant Director of Distant Learning Lynette Washington shared Broadwell’s confidence.
“The numbers have been growing steadily,” Washington said. “Most students like the flexibility, equal opportunity to share and learn, as well as the ability to touch on many topics of discussion through various online tools such as the discussion board, blogging and journaling. Being online at Roosevelt allows students to learn around the globe 24/7.”
Broadwell said that Roosevelt is making changes towards marketing its online programs.
“We are in the process of marketing to the 24-and-older audience and developing new programs,” she said. “The younger generations are more open to online classes, but some people are still skeptical of them, so we are trying to get over that hump and make them feel comfortable. We work with the instructors to build an online environment that is tailored to fit the online student.”
When asked about massive open online courses (MOOCs), Kristen was not on board.
“I don’t favor MOOCs for Roosevelt because we need dedicated students and dedicated instructors that are invested in their learning experience. If courses are offered for free, the instructor and student may not be as dedicated and if a student is testing out the university for the first time, they may believe that all our online courses are not as engaging. “
Washington agreed with Broadwell on MOOCs.
“If you look at the rates of completion of MOOCs, they are not high,” Washington said. “There is a lack of instruction in the MOOCs that Roosevelt does not struggle with. Our online instructors are very invested in their online classes engaging the students while incorporating online and on-campus teaching strategies. In some aspects they are even more invested. Instructors work in an online setting where they cannot see the students’ reactions so they have to make their instruction and communication very clear. This requires them to be really vigilant with their teachings.”
Broadwell and Washington seemed optimistic about the future of online courses, particularly for Roosevelt.
“We look forward to more growth and the continuing partnerships of the various colleges and programs as we expand globally.”