CIS Takes the Lead in Online Course Innovation at UST
By Brittani Wright
In the face of a fast changing world, universities propel education forward through alternative approaches and disciplines. As more demand is drawn toward online education, the University of St. Thomas finds itself in an advantaged position.
With strong networks and a powerful partnership in instructional design, Dr. Hans Stockton, director of the Center for International Studies, sees a future for UST to expand its Catholic influence and impact.
International Studies Director Finds the Path for Online Initiatives
Stockton has seen the direct benefit of offering classes online, both for students and UST. This success can be measured by how quickly these online seats fill up. Core classes such as World Geography and Sociology have been offered online for four years and continue to reach the course cap within days. By keeping student demand and overall experience in the forefront, Stockton is motivated to expand online accessibility including US Federal Government class for the first time this semester.
“This is in direct response to our strategic plan, The Call Toward Tomorrow,” Dr. Stockton said, “to create learner-centered curricular opportunities, facilitate student access to classes, work with our IT partner, Ellucian, to design a more sophisticated online experience, and expand UST access to learners nationwide through online and online dual credit courses.”
Ellucian Partnership Enhances UST Technology
UST’s recent partnership with Ellucian, market leader in higher education technology, offers faculty best practices and policies for instructional design, so that students work with a consistent online experience.
Dr. Stockton adds, “CIS is helping lead the way in online (undergraduate) course development at UST. We provide the most online courses in the School of Arts & Sciences and are growing.”
Striving to The Call Toward Tomorrow Goals
The movement to online courses impacts education and careers; with this information faculty can now expand their expertise by catering to an online community. It also engages a demographic of 14 to 22 years old.
“This combination of a dedicated faculty and powerful support system positions UST to take on the challenges of schedule flexibility and communicating with students in a new and modern way,” Stockton said.