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ability to study whenever or wherever
they are—even if they are traveling on
business or vacationing with their
families. Online courses also offer
parents the ease and savings of
“attending class” without having to
arrange childcare.
Many online courses allow students to
complete the courses at their own pace,
fitting more courses into a shorter time or
taking longer to complete assignments.
In short, the student controls the time.
Recently, the Graduate College began
offering online courses that provide MBA
students with the opportunity to earn an
emphasis in accounting, agribusiness,
health management, human resources,
management, marketing and advertising,
or public relations, allowing them to learn
key skills relevant to a more specific field
in the business world.
No matter where they live in Missouri or
Arkansas, Graduate College students can
take online classes. They no longer have
to worry whether enough other students
in their geographic area have an interest
in that emphasis area.
A Department of Education report that
looked at the comparative research of
online versus traditional classroom
President’s Perspective
Jahnae H. Barnett, Ph.D.
mong the many William
Woods University hallmarks
is our ongoing effort to
make education more convenient and
student-centered. One way in which we
do that is to offer courses online when it
is appropriate.
Online enrollment is growing faster
than you might think. Based on
responses from more than 2,500 colleges
and universities, a study supported by
the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation found a
9.7 percent growth rate for online
enrollment, far exceeding the 1.5 percent
growth of the overall higher education
student population.
A separate Eduventures study projected
that by 2014, about 20 percent, or nearly
four million students, will be attending
classes virtually. So what may seem a bit
cutting edge now may be commonplace
in a few short years.
One of the benefits of online courses is
the added convenience they offer to busy
students who cannot commit to the rigid
schedule of attending classes.
For some, transportation is a problem.
For others, their work schedules are
inflexible, or they are a stay-at-home
moms or dads. Students treasure the
teaching concluded that, "On average,
students in online learning conditions
performed modestly better than those
receiving face-to-face instruction."
Specifically, online students doing some
or all of a course online would rank nine
percentile points higher than the
average classroom student.
Online courses do require more self-
discipline, however. Students who
choose this method must control
distractions and set aside the time
to do the work the course requires.
WWU is developing online general
education courses in every academic
area so that traditional undergraduate
students can have the alternative during
the summer and/or during the academic
year. Our academic team is looking
at developing alternative delivery for
several programs. At WWU, online
courses have the same assessments
and objectives as in-person courses.
Online classes are not the right fit for
every lifestyle, but they do provide a
flexible alternative. Whatever the
delivery method, be assured that
William Woods will continue to demand
quality in its educational programs.