Developing Online Degree Programs in Agricultural and Natural Resources
Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences has been teaching classes online since 1995 and began offering degree programs online in 2009. OSU now offers six undergraduate degrees, one Master degree and three Graduate Certificates online. I present an overview of how these programs developed, including a revenue model that provided financial incentives for instructors and departments, instructional design support, student services and marketing. Incentives for faculty are keys to convincing faculty to teach online and include summer salary, salary savings, overload compensation and support for graduate students. Faculty who were taught and teach in classroom settings often have a difficult time conceptualizing how their courses might be taught online, and therefore, instructional designers, video, and graphics support are also keys in assisting faculty in converting their classes for online delivery. I explain how our online programs have resulted in innovations in teaching on campus. Finally, I present a comparison of our online and on-campus student demographics.
1) Population and habitat ecology of wildlife in forest and agricultural ecosystems;
2) Mammal conservation and management;
3) Administration and policy;
4) University education pedagogies, especially distance education.
Dan Edge is one of the earliest adopters of distance education technologies at OSU – his first online class was taught in 1994.
Dan Edge received The Wildlife Society Excellence in Wildlife Education Award, 15 October 2012, Portland, OR.
Dan has distinguished himself as an innovative leader in wildlife education. One of his nominators wrote, “Dan might be considered the Father of Distance Education in Natural Resources for his role in developing and advancing that form of education delivery. He was one of the first college educators in the nation to develop a course for distance delivery.” Dr. Edge also has been on the cutting edge of helping TWS to identify the education needs of students as they progress to being wildlife professionals in the 21st century. For his extraordinary contributions to The Wildlife Society, and especially for his leadership role in developing distance education we are pleased to announce Dr. Dan Edge as the 2012 recipient of the Excellence in Education Award.
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