Online learning and a look at quality

The Internet has changed many things over the years. From online banking and bill paying, to entertainment options, to how you may be reading this editorial, digital devices, though not without flaws, can benefit us.

Education is one of these categories, and recently a Southeast Missourian story looked at what Southeast Missouri State University is doing to improve quality in online courses.

Online education offers many individuals a better opportunity to take college coursework, fitting it between working and family responsibilities. But it's equally as important that quality be at the forefront.

Dr. Allen Gathman, associate dean of online learning, said the university is using a peer-review process via Quality Matters standards. Faculty members go through the training and then can evaluate the classes to make sure they are meeting the needs of students to help them achieve outcomes designed for the class.

We hope the training helps the university continue to improve the courses, offering students the benefit of easier access. Gathman is hopeful that the training will help reduce the course drop rate, which is higher than face-to-face courses.

We look forward to seeing how online learning will develop, and we applaud Southeast for its efforts to reach more students through all platforms.