University of Georgia Expands Online Learning with Undergraduate Summer Courses

Compiled by Ryan Garner
January 17, 2013

The University of Georgia has begun to embrace the movement toward distance learning, announcing a slate of new online courses. Up until now, the university has offered a limited number of online courses and degree or certificate programs, but 34 online undergraduate courses will be available to students during the summer semester.


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“The university has lagged behind many other schools in moving into online learning, but now the school has made developing a stronger online curriculum a top priority,” said Laura Jolly, University of Georgia vice president for instruction. “I think people need to see models of success. I think it’s going to be an iterative process,”

A new office of online learning was introduced by the university in July 2012, with the intention of increasing its online offerings. Faculty members were asked to propose potential courses, which lead to the new summer offerings. The new courses include basic accounting courses, a course in English composition and other courses in fields including mathematics, biology, geography, education and poultry science, among others.

Online courses will allow students the ability to complete coursework and gain credits while they’re home for the summer. Students on internships or studying abroad can also take the courses, which university officials are using to determine which online aspects work and which ones don’t. The feedback will be used to develop future offerings, which are in the initial planning stages.

The office of online learning is now requesting proposals for new graduate and certificate programs, and Jolly notes that there has been high demand for online graduate studies. In addition, the university plans to make another call to faculty members, seeking recommendations for undergraduate courses that can be taught year-round.

Across the United States, the number of students who take online courses has steadily increased during the past decade, according to a study the Babson Survey Research Group. Approximately 6.7 million students took at least one online course in 2011, more than three times the number of students who were enrolled in an online course 10 years earlier.


Sources:

“UGA to offer more undergrad courses online,” mdjonline.com, January 14, 2013

“UGA jumps into online learning with slate of summer courses,” onlineathens.com, January 12, 2013, Lee Shearer