If Indiana University does not readily come to mind when it comes to online education, it probably will once you consider these facts:
Today, more than 27,000 students take at least one IU course online. Within Indiana, only Ivy Tech Community College has more online students — and IU’s numbers are growing steadily. They have plenty of courses from which to choose — 2,031 to be exact — which in turn lead to 106 certificate and degree programs.
Simply put, it’s a great way to finish a degree or build new skills for the changing workforce — and through the IU Online initiative, faculty and programs from all IU campuses are united in one online presence.
Earlier today, the inaugural IU Online Conference took place at Hine Hall on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The keynote speaker was Chris Foley, IU’s assistant vice president and director of the Office of Online Education, who gave an overview of how it supports IU students, faculty and staff. Foley also spoke on how IU offers educational opportunities online, while John Applegate, executive vice president for university academic affairs, detailed IU’s vision for online education.
For three programs in particular, the future is now. Next year, IU will offer bachelors degrees in three new, highly requested programs recently approved by the state Commission for Higher Education: informatics, medical imaging technology and applied health science.
I was also pleased to address the attendees, as I reflected on Veterans Day and how IU Online is the perfect solution for current service members, dependents and veterans who are striving to complete a degree or continue their education. At present, more than 450 service members are taking IU classes online. Our challenge is to make sure IU’s offerings are even more accessible.
Throughout the day, additional talks and panels addressed some of the finer details of online education such as library services and research, team and collaborative assignments, developing and teaching online courses, maximizing interaction in an online environment, government and accreditation compliance, course collaboration between campuses and student recruitment and retention practices.
Many of these sessions were led by experts from many of IU’s regional campuses statewide, as well as IU’s Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses.
To learn more about the various classes, programs and degrees that IU offers online, please visit the IU Online website. Faculty who are interested in teaching online at IU can visit a dedicated webpage as well.
Kirk White is assistant vice president for strategic partnerships at Indiana University. A colonel in the Indiana Army National Guard, White also serves as IU’s military liaison.