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Sec 5: Online Education Policies

Rationale for Online Teaching and Learning

With advancements in technology, the education system has changed significantly over the past 15 years. Learning Management systems provide “virtual classrooms” where the process of instruction can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous classes occur in real-time with an established class session. Asynchronous classes are separated by both time and space and do not have an established class session time. In this setting, learners have the opportunity to take courses and earn a degree any place and anytime. Missional University is committed to offering courses and programs completely online so that post-secondary and graduate level training is affordable, accessible, and applicable to any person in an asynchronous format.

Recent research indicates the growth in enrollment for students learning online in higher education. Eduventures’ finds over the last two decades the enrollment in higher education has continued to grow, even surpassing overall higher education growth. In a Western Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) study, one in seven students of all higher education took an online course. More than one in four students were enrolled in at least one online course in 2014. A total of 5.8 million students have taken at least one online course compared to 1.6 million in 2002 and 4.6 million in 2008. According to the Online Learning Consortium recent research reveals a 3.9% increase for the number of online students in 2015, and 3.7% from year to year. This study also reveals 61% of graduate students were enrolled in online courses and 27% of undergraduate students are enrolled in online courses with private institutions. With these shifts in online learning, MU brings the full online experiences for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing an innovative higher learning experiences.

Mission of Online Teaching and Learning

The purpose of the Online Education Program at Missional University is to provide access to postsecondary education while increasing the opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their academic and career goals. Faculty provide a collaborative learning environment for students that uses innovative technology, and incorporates pedagogy that fosters the skills of self-directed learning.

Philosophy of Online Teaching and Learning

Online learning at Missional University provides both students and faculty with the tools necessary to be successful in an online learning environment. Online courses encompass various aspects of learning. Faculty take part in rigorous training with backgrounds for their subject matters as well as the course design training necessary to build state-of –the-art online courses through MU. Faculty work directly with Instructional Designers ensuring their online course meet the highest standards. These faculty trainings ensure faculty engage students in all activities in the course, provide effective feedback often, and communicate effectively with all students.

Students are provided with the highest standards of innovative online courses at MU. Students maintain professional communication with peers and faculty during the duration of the courses. Students are not only challenged but offered many opportunities with the variety of courses in each department ranging from various fields that prepare students to enter careers upon completion of degree plans and certifications. MU students build strong Christ-centered relationships with their peers, faculty, and staff during and after their education journey.

Goals of Teaching and Learning Online

Goals of Teaching Online:

  • Be present and available to students
  • Build on existing resources
  • Create a course easy for students to navigate
  • Provide learning opportunities for students
  • Provide detailed feedback for students
  • Provide tools and resources encouraging further research on topics
  • Grade assignments and work in a timely manner
  • Model professional communication with students at all times via email, phone, and course room
  • Read and follow all MU policies and procedures accordingly

Goals of Learning Online:

  • Be present and participate in course
  • Communication effectively and professionally with peers and faculty
  • Read materials and submit course work in a timely manner
  • Ask questions to both faculty and peers as needed
  • Read feedback and make improvements on future course work
  • Cite and references sources correctly using Turabian format
  • Read and follow all MU policies and procedures accordingly

Online Programs at Missional University

The online programs at Missional University are offered at four different educational levels:

  • Dual Enrollment for High School Students
  • Associate Programs (which are equivalent to the freshman and sophomore years)
  • Bachelor Degree Completion Programs (which are equivalent to the junior and senior years)
  • Master Degree Programs (which are two and three year programs)

Online Education Administrative Team and Their Roles

Provost & Academic Deans – responsible for selecting faculty and assigning courses for each faculty member to teach.

Dean of Online Education – responsible for setting up the educational framework for developing and delivering online courses through Missional University. Develop policies and procedures for faculty and online learning course development. Provide ongoing training and support for faculty and staff in delivering online course with MU.

Educational Technology Specialists – responsible for assisting in the development and procedures for faculty and online learning course development. Provide assistance with ongoing training and support for faculty and staff in delivering online course with MU.