Marylhurst University

Skip to content »

Guest Column: With Online Learning, Classes are Always Open

Excerpt from a guest column by President Johansen in the Business Journal, June 7, 2013.

Avery Cummings of Tualatin earned his bachelor's degree in business management from Marylhurst University in 2012. But he's different than your typical college graduate. He's 36 years old.

He first started college in 1996. And he finished his degree completely online — as did nearly 30 percent of his classmates who earned bachelor's degrees at Marylhurst last year.

Avery's story is not exceptional at Marylhurst, where we've offered online education options for nearly 20 years. Students in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond have voted with their laptops: online learning is here to stay.

Today's universities must offer these choices to attract students of all ages looking for convenience and flexibility.

But just putting course content online isn't the answer.

Much has been made of new massive open online courses that allow anyone, anywhere to access academic content for free. There's great potential to expand no- or low-cost learning opportunities using this model. But we don't yet know whether that model can deliver the quality learning experiences students — and their employers — demand.

At Marylhurst, our online class sizes are only marginally larger than on-campus classes — generally 15 to 25 students. Many online students tell us they think online classes are even more demanding than campus-based classes.

As one of our recent graduates puts it, with online learning, "classes are always open." Online students are reading, discussing, working on team projects with classmates at all hours of the day.

At each year's commencement ceremony, I meet dozens of graduates who are setting foot on our campus — or even in Portland — for the first time. Yet they greet their classmates and instructors as if they were long-lost friends. In their online classes, they have developed a bond shaped by intense and rigorous shared experiences.

Online education is no longer the stepchild of our university system.

Done right, it enriches all of us — especially the students like Avery Cummings we serve.

Read the full article on BizJournals.com
(on-campus access or login with Marylhurst ID)

Read the full article on BizJournals.com
(off-campus access without Marylhurst ID; subscription required)

Related News

See All News

Vieda Baker Recognized for Volunteer Service

Vieda Baker, M.Div. student, was recognized for 100 hours of volunteer service to the Portland Veterans Administration Health Care System in June 2015.

Ty Draszt Receives Governor's Award

Ty Draszt, food systems & society student, received the 2015 Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service for his contributions to food security in the State of Washington.

Calendar

See All Events

July 20, 2015 – September 30, 2015

Paintings by Michael S. Dambach

In his artist’s statement, Michael S. Dambach writes: “Any movie, whether critically acclaimed or less well received can provide source materia...

READ MORE

July 27, 2015 – July 31, 2015

Marylhurst Science Camp

Children will experience the wonderful world of science through hands-on activities. All of the experiments and explorations will be supervised by ...

READ MORE

July 31, 2015

How to Start Innovative Cohousing Communities

Join Charles “Chuck” Durrett, award-winning architect and author of Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living, in a...

READ MORE

GIVE

Support Marylhurst University. Gifts of all sizes make a difference!

DONATE NOW

©2013 Marylhurst University