Kansas University (KU) is increasing the usage of online teaching tools by faculty members, reports the Lawrence Journal-World, of Lawrence, Ka. The inclusion of more distance and online education methods throughout the school comes as the university begins exploring ways to offer online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
While the fall 2012 semester will see Kansas University offering approximately 50 online courses, the school currently offers only one degree program completely online, a Master of Education with focus in special education. However, the school is in the midst of an ambitious drive to expand its digital footprint.
In May 2011 KU opened its Center for Online and Distance Learning, a facility created to assist faculty with designing and implementing both hybrid and completely online courses. The center replaced KU’s previous efforts in online education, the university’s independent study office, and was initially helmed by the school’s director of academic outreach and distance education for continuing education.
However, in November 2011 KU appointed the university’s director of enterprise web services to head the center and coordinate the school’s online learning efforts. With lectures and discussions on topics like the use of social media in a classroom, how to incorporate blogs and wikis into learning management systems, and how to design a successful hybrid course the university’s Center for Teaching Excellence has also been involved in the school’s discussion of the pedagogy of online education.
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