Ohio Wesleyan Faculty Develop Online Summer Courses

Whether they are working in Washington, researching in Rome, or interning in India, Ohio Wesleyan University students soon will have the opportunity to take online summer courses taught by OWU professors from anywhere in the world. Ohio Wesleyan faculty will offer up to six online courses in summer 2016 as part of a two-year pilot project supported by a gift from David P. Miller ’54, of Chagrin Falls, OH.

Kyle Smith, associate professor of psychology, said the hardware and software obtained to support these classes also will be available for use in traditional classes, potentially benefiting “flipped classrooms” in which students watch lectures outside of class and use class time for discussions, problem sets, or other interactive activities.

“Most importantly, it lets OWU students take OWU courses from OWU professors,” says Smith. “Each class is limited to 10 students, so the courses will maintain the close student-faculty interaction that is a hallmark of OWU. It will also open up the summer experience to more of our students.”

Faculty selected to teach the courses in May and June will participate in spring workshops funded by the Miller gift to help them prepare for the pedagogical shift.

Miller, an economics major who graduated with honors and is president and CEO of Cleveland-based Columbia National Group Inc., says he’s pleased to help students advance their Ohio Wesleyan educations even while they are away from campus.

“I am confident this initiative will enable students to keep learning during the summer while they work, complete off-campus internships, and continue to build successful futures,” he says.

Thanks to Robert Bauman ’53, the Bauman Family Foundation Endowment also provided support for the program, including enhancements that offer affordability and access for students.

President Rock Jones says the University is committed to ensuring that an Ohio Wesleyan education is accessible to the widest student population possible and that students are able to graduate on time, or even early, while still experiencing a top-notch liberal arts education.

“I commend our faculty and thank our generous donors for supporting such initiatives.”