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Academic Digest

“Online Live!” Course Modality to Debut in Fall 2021

Woman at her desktop participates in online meeting

As Wilmington University continues to develop and deliver convenient, student-centered learning opportunities, faculty and staff have collaborated to launch a new course delivery model called “Online Live!”

While many of WilmU’s current online courses involve regular live meetings between faculty and students, this new modality will feature a scheduled weekly synchronous online class meeting that is listed in the course catalog for students to plan for in advance.

The first round of “Online Live!” courses will be offered in fall 2021 and will contain pilot courses from all colleges. The wheels were in motion before the COVID-19 pandemic as Dr. Sallie Reissman, assistant vice president and dean of the College of Online and Experiential Learning, led a workgroup that studied course modalities and sought out student feedback, instructor insights, and academic/industry research. Their findings led the group to recommend the implementation of a live online course modality that included regularly scheduled synchronous online meetings.

COVID’s impact played a big part in the implementation, though. “Due to the pandemic, students have come to enjoy the convenience of learning at home,” says Diane Bansbach, who chairs WilmU’s Math department. “However, many students have math anxiety or find math challenging and benefit from being able to ask questions and collaborate with others in a synchronous setting.”

To address these concerns, she started implementing weekly live sessions in her math courses over the past year. These meetings bolstered existing tools and techniques typically found in face-to-face math classes.

“As a result,” says Bansbach, “many math instructors have successfully integrated Jamboard, DESMOS, Kahoot quizzes, applets, and other online tools. ‘Online Live!’ provides the safety and flexibility of learning from home with a classroom environment that allows students to be actively engaged in the learning process.”

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