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News Archives - 2005

March, 2005

Augsburg Expands Pilot of Online Courses

This week Augsburg College launched its second annual Summer Online session of courses for students in the Weekend College, Rochester, and United Health programs. 82 students in seven classes logged in on Monday to begin studies in Art History, Chemistry, English Writing, Economics, Philosophy, and Political Science. "The Summer Online session is specially designed for adult learners who want to continue progress toward their degree year-round, but do not have the option of attending traditional summer classes," said Bill Jones, director of the Augsburg/Capella Alliance, who helped organize the session.

The Summer Online courses are all being taught using Moodle, the college’s new course management system. Moodle is an open-source application originally developed in Australia and in wide use throughout the world, including many other institutions in Minnesota. After being piloted to rave reviews in the spring, Moodle is set to become the centerpiece of e-Learning innovation at Augsburg.

Scott Krajewski, Liaison for Computing in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences, notes that, "Moodle features a powerful but easy-to-learn interface combined with engaging learning activities. Its flexibility and potential to grow and adapt to Augsburg's needs initially got our attention. But after we saw how both students and faculty reacted positively and dove right in and got creative we knew it was the right choice to make."

Summer Online courses are also a benefit of the Augsburg/Capella Alliance, now in its second year. Each of the seven courses offered were originally developed by Augsburg faculty for delivery online in the partnership between Augsburg College and Capella University. These online courses provided a content base from which Summer Online instructors were free to pursue their own vision of teaching in their field.

Many hands contributed to the development of the Summer Online session. Liaisons for Computing Chris Pegg, Heather Feehan, and Robert Bill held Moodle training sessions for Summer Online students and consulted with faculty on course layout. Day College interns Martin Sotola and Hanna Bratzel, were instrumental in preparing Moodle and course content.

The Summer Online courses will run in ten-week term ending on September 2.