New opportunities

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thanks to modern technology, the opportunities in education are increasing exponentially -- including at Southeast Missouri State University.

Southeast launched a pilot program last semester combining online teaching methods with an on-campus component. The course -- "Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages" -- used a primary instructor from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg to teach the three-credit course online. Students also completed a face-to-face component on the Southeast campus.

This fall semester Southeast will use this model to offer seven courses, including Chinese, German, French, an advanced physics course and some economics courses.

"We can offer more courses, more subject matter, and we're able to do it in cost-effective manner that works well for our students and the taxpayers of Missouri," said Southeast provost Ron Rosati.

The new collaborative effort to expand course offerings might just be the start of more opportunities to come for Southeast students. A final report from the committee tasked with presenting ideas as part of the "Southeast in the Year 2020" campaign could be ready as early as late fall, according to Rosati. From technology to curriculum to the role of faculty, among other things, the committee spent much of last semester discussing their ideas.

The face-to-face interaction of students and teachers is important in a student's overall education, but technology that broadens opportunities not previously offered in a traditional classroom setting can also be beneficial to students and the university alike.

We commend Southeast for embracing technological opportunities to enhance student learning and look forward to the committee's report on what they envision as the university of the future.

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