By LATRICIA NELL
Students taking online courses will be able to take tests online in the testing center starting in October.
“We wanted to test students in the same way that they were taught — a pedagogical approach,” said Scott Howell, director of the Center for Industrial Design.
“We didn’t want to teach students on the computer and then test them with paper and pencil,” he said.
Students taking online classes are to report to the testing center just like they would to take a normal test, but they will be given the opportunity to complete their test online, Howell said.
Online courses this semester are clearly an experiment, Howell said. “We have a lot to learn.”
Online courses have required support from all parts of campus, students and the community, Howell said. “Everyone has helped us to make online courses work.”
Courses offered are mostly classes in departments experiencing bottle necks, Howell said.
The largest course is Audio Speech Language Pathology 133, which has 100 students, and the smallest course is Business Management 430 with 17 students. There are 767 students enrolled overall for courses online.
Students are enjoying their experiences online, said Linda Whitaker, 23, a senior from Provo, majoring in human development.
“Students expect online courses to be at least as challenging as a day class,” Howell said. “Students should also expect to learn as much.”
Howell encouraged students to take each online course seriously. If a student doesn’t complete a course, he or she will receive an incomplete. Each class must be completed, like a day class, by the end of the semester.
Howell said he was pleased with the progress students are making. Many students are on schedule with assignments for online classes.
Unique to online courses is a discussion board tied to each class. The professor posts questions for each lesson and students are able to answer on the discussion board. Each student enrolled has access to other student’s answers and to the teacher’s remarks.
“It’s a threaded discussion,” Whitaker said.
The discussion board gives students who probably wouldn’t have commented in class a chance to answer questions, she said.
Online students meet two times during the semester with their professors. Teachers are available during office hours for students who need help.