Online resources

Feb 13, 2009

A new online resource office at Kettering University will improve web technology and instructional design for online courses.

Kettering University faculty members now have access to an online resource office that will assist in the development of instructional design and web technology for online classes.  Tracey Rodgerson, from Kettering’s Video Operations, and Donna Wicks, senior systems administrator in IT, are collaborating in the pilot project that is strengthening the creation and delivery of online courses.

“Enhancing our online offering capacity is a great value moving forward," said Dr. Michael Harris, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. "This new office has already added inspiration and support for our faculty members. I am appreciative of everyone involved in this collaborative effort.  It will help us strengthen our ability to better prepare Kettering students for the knowledge economy and the jobs of tomorrow.” 

Rodgerson and Wicks have been working with about 10 faculty members to develop a mixture of hybrid and online courses.  One group, led by Dr. Terri Lynch-Caris, associate professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, created a fully online version of IME-540, Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing, which was offered to students during winter term.  

Representatives of diverse academic disciplines got the project rolling.  Dr. Jackie El-Sayed and Dr. Craig Hoff, from Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Jennifer Aurandt from Chemistry, and Dr. Andy Borchers from Business worked together to develop course content.  “Working with Tracey and Donna made the online delivery of our materials better than if we had created it ourselves,” Lynch-Caris explained, “plus having the technical expertise helped to ease my anxiety about creating such a unique course using the newest version of Blackboard.  We ended up believing that this interaction made the course better than if it had been developed singularly,” Lynch-Caris added. 

Aurandt concurs.  “Teaching with the hands-on, student-centered pedagogy has made taking the bricks and mortar class on-line a natural transition,” she noted. 

Kyle McLeod, a senior Mechanical Engineering/Aerospace major from Linden, Mich., thinks students will appreciate the flexibility associated with online courses.  “Personally, I’m for expanding Kettering's online curriculum because it provides more freedom in course selection.  Offering a greater number of online courses will provide students more academic flexibility. 

“Students won’t have to miss out on an elective they want, because it conflicts with a required course they need,” McLeod continued.  “Any initiative that strives to provide students more opportunities to take a course they desire should be seriously considered, although I believe that in order to maintain Kettering's reputation for academic excellence, a number of courses need to remain in the classroom." 

And online classrooms are a great environment if designed and conducted properly, said Kaleen Caneveri, a senior Mechanical Engineering/Bioengineering major from Woodland, Calif.  “They can be great options for students who are on-the-go with busy schedules,” she said.  “I would absolutely love to take more online classes through Kettering, especially over work term.  It would create a more flexible schedule for me.  An option might be to have online lectures and face-to-face labs,” she added. 

The new online resource office is located on the fourth floor of Kettering’s Academic Building. 

Written by Pat Mroczek
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