TTU online offerings ranked as exceptional

One way Tennessee Tech University is living up to the reputation its name implies is by being an international leader in the trend of online education.

“Of the 2,600 institutions globally that use the WebCT course management system to present online classes, TTU is one of 30 that are considered model universities,” said Bob Clougherty, director of the university’s Institute for Technological Scholarship.

That ranking puts TTU in the same category with schools such as Auburn, Purdue and Villanova Universities and means that the quality of the university’s online course offerings are exceptional.

WebCT, like other available course management systems, allows students to asynchronously track and turn in assignments and chat in discussion groups with other students and the instructor at the time and place that best fits their schedules.

And with more students who are technologically sophisticated or who must juggle other responsibilities — such as jobs and family — demand is rising for those types of courses.

The most effective way for increasing supply, Clougherty said, is making faculty aware of the options available.

“People who teach for a living typically want to offer the best to their students, and that means keeping them aware of what’s available technologically,” he said.

He and the Institute staff do that by offering workshops and one-on-one sessions to inform faculty about WebCT and answer any other technology-related questions they might have. In addition, a total of 20 faculty members who have experience with online teaching and WebCT devote an hour of their time each week to helping other faculty at the Institute.

For more information about the Institute and its services, call 931/372-3675.

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