Twelve Things to Know About Online Education at the U of A – University of Arkansas Newswire

Clockwise from top left, instructional designers Camie Wood, Alex Dowell, Amalie Holland and James Martin record an episode of the Pedagogy Toolkit podcast; online students are highlighted on the Student Success section of the U of A ONLINE website; Kati Williams, online student coaching coordinator, answers questions for students; and The Online Learner blog features stories about programs, students and faculty.
Online education is our thing at the University of Arkansas Global Campus, and we're celebrating National Distance Learning Week by sharing how we can help you if you are an instructor or student in an online course or degree program.
The first of four stories during this week's National Distance Learning Week shows how Global Campus lives up to its commitment to its five core values: excellence, people, innovation, empowerment, access and reach, while advancing the U of A mission. The next three stories focus on Global Campus leaders' and staff involvement with professional organizations on national and regional stages. You can also read more about student success and online programs offered by academic colleges at the U of A on our websites.
National Distance Learning Week, which is sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association, runs from Nov. 6-10 with free virtual webinars available. This year's annual celebration will focus on how artificial intelligence is affecting distance education.
The U of A offers more than online degree, certificate, microcertificate and licensure programs. They can be viewed at U of A ONLINE. The Global Campus, which is located on the downtown Fayetteville square, supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online, distance and workforce education programs and courses. It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.
Services also include helping instructors create courses, helping prospective students navigate enrollment, helping online students find all the resources they need to be successful including how to build community with their classmates and instructors, providing additional resources to instructors, and increasing awareness of online education across the state and beyond.
"Online education is extremely important to the land-grant mission of the University of Arkansas because of its natural ability to expand access to people in rural communities across the state," said Cheryl Murphy, U of A vice provost of distance education and head of the Global Campus. "We talk to students and graduates who are determined to improve the quality of their lives and strengthen their communities by furthering their education. Many tell us that earning a degree would not have been possible without online education."
Did you know about all of these services (listed in no particular order) that Global Campus offers or works in collaboration with other units on campus to provide?
The Pedagogy Toolkit podcast: Latest episodes include "Eradicating the Gremlins: How Blackboard Support Saves the Day," "From Trolls to Tact: The Art of Civil Discourse in Online Discussions" and "A Human Touch: Teacher Presence in Online Classes."
The Blackboard Help Desk, which is part of the Learning Technology Support team, includes a support coordinator and three support specialists available seven days a week to help students and instructors with questions about the university's learning management system. Last academic year, the team received more than 4,000 tickets related to Blackboard Learn and resolved more than 3,500 of them without escalation to another team.
Online coaches and student liaisons work one on one with students through email, chat or video calls to navigate the enrollment process through admission and then throughout their degree programs.
Coaches put on a webinar series called The Insider to discuss the latest topics in online learning, tips and tools students need to be successful, and upcoming events at the university. Students can join live to ask the coaches questions.
The Online Student Union offers a safe, inclusive gathering space to make connections, share ideas and find answers and support.
The Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support (TIPS) website: Recent posts include "Ultra Banner Maker" and "Available Teaching Technologies."
The Professional and Workforce Development division offers fully online, self-paced courses for people who want short-term training to enter or upskill in the workforce. Professional and Workforce Development reported 2,205 total course registrations with ongoing grant funding totaling $15.8 million. In addition to online and in-person training courses presented at the Collaborative in Bentonville, the division offers a series of courses for free through its RazorLearn program.
The annual Better Online Learning Together (BOLT) conference takes place virtually each October.
Weekly Updates is an email sent each Monday from the Global Campus Instructional Design Team that features what's happening this week, did you know, Ultra information, upcoming trainings, approaching deadlines, and other helpful items. Faculty members teaching online classes are automatically subscribed and can opt out.
The Online Learner blog highlights students, faculty and programs in weekly posts.
Global Campus offers the W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship open to students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Online Student Orientation offers an immersive course experience for new online undergraduate students to learn the ins and outs of studying online at the U of A the two weeks before the semester a student starts taking classes.
This year's Global Campus annual report provides a wealth of data about online education at the U of A. For example, 4,285 students were studying exclusively in online degree programs in the 2022-2023 academic year. That's 13% of all U of A enrollments and 153% growth over the past 10 years. The U of A offered 26 online minors and 906 online courses. Gross online revenue for the academic year was $37.8 million, a 130% growth over 10 years, with more than $15.7 million going to the university's general fund.
You can watch videos, see pictures and read stories about graduates and students of online degree programs and workforce training courses on our social media channels: Facebook for ONLINE, Facebook for Professional and Workforce Development, Instagram for ONLINE, LinkedIn for ONLINE and LinkedIn for Professional and Workforce Development.
Heidi Wells, content strategist
Global Campus
Hellmann's and iHeartMedia came together to make a donation that helps support the pantry's mission. The gift represents a typical entire year's budget for the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry.
Sydney Johnson, a senior hospitality management major, took her own experience as a new college student and looked for a way to ease the transition for other college-going women arriving in Fayetteville.
The Office of New Student & Family is celebrating First-Generation College Student Week! We are dedicating this week, Nov. 6-10, to recognize first-generation college students, graduates and supporters.
The Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders Program in the College of Education and Health Professions has recently been reaccredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation.
Kariah Brust of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will be on Level 4 of Mullins Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday to talk about the Art Reference Library and the museum's resources and collections.