Online course enrollment continues to climb

By By Aaron Vaughn

By Aaron Vaughn

With the number of online courses offered by the U increasing every year, the traditional sense of college attendance is rapidly changing.

According to UOnline, the amount of students taking online courses increases each semester because of higher demand.

“The departments feel the pressure from the students,” said Joseph Buchanan, administrator of UOnline at the U’s Technology Assisted Curriculum Center.

From UOnline’s inception in the fall of 2000, when a little more than a thousand students participated, to the 3,000 students who are expected to enroll in an online course this fall, the growth has been exponential.

TAC Center research shows that each semester, online enrollment grows nearly 30 percent. This Summer Semester’s growth is projected to rise 27 percent from the year before.

However, some students are still wary of taking courses online.

Art history student Ikuko Kubota backed out of her online class because she did not like how online courses are run.

She feels that communication is slower and less effective in online courses, especially when communication is by e-mail.

Because the work was preset and rarely negotiated between student and teacher in the online class she enrolled in, Kubota expressed concern that completing the large homework assignments could be a formidable task.

Online enrollment continues to climb, despite experiences like Kubota’s.

“We average 50 to 80 students per online class,” said Shawn W. Carlyle, an anthropology adjunct professor who teaches an evolution class online.

“Enrollments were fairly high, higher than our night classes,” Carlyle said.

To meet the high online demand the Health Sciences Center offers the option to earn a certificate in gerontology online.

Psychology, mathematics and anthropology departments are at the forefront of much of the online coursework at the U, according to TAC Center research.

Most of the online courses are offered in the spring because departments know by then what classes are taught best online, said Johnny Palsgraaf, the UOnline program coordinator.

Further information can be found at http://uonline.utah.edu.

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