UGA’s newly launched Office of Online Learning is preparing to implement a very important change in the way learning opportunities are offered to students. Targeting select undergraduate courses, as well as full graduate degree and certificate programs that appeal to working professionals, UGA expects to significantly expand its online opportunities over the next three years. While the university currently offers approximately 400 online courses (designated with an “e” suffix in OASIS) in undergraduate and graduate programs, the Office of Online Learning is helping faculty develop additional online courses to enhance their teaching delivery.
Departments and faculty within each school and college will take full ownership of online courses in terms of course development, academic planning and timing of course delivery. A cohort-based format will allow for a meaningful exchange of ideas not only between the students and the course professor, but also between classmates. This format expands the traditional classroom experience and allows flexibility for students who physically may not be able to attend a class on campus. Cohort-based courses will be offered during regular terms with registration through OASIS.
Organized within the Office of the Vice President for Instruction and led by Kris Biesinger, members of the Office of Online Learning began work Aug. 1. These individuals are in the process of setting up guidelines and strategies to be used as they work with faculty to design courses that maintain quality, improve ease of use for faculty and students and increase compliance with federal and state standards. Workshops soon will become available to help faculty design, develop and teach courses online. Information about the office and its services will be posted to ugaonline.uga.edu in mid-October. Departments wishing to have a member of the Office of Online Learning team discuss the services they offer may request a meeting by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 706-542-1841.