Last updated: 21.09.12

UR president commends online education

University of Rochester (UR) president Joel Seligman has celebrated e-learning in a recent annual report to the university community.

The president highlighted the three key principles presented in a review by interim senior vice-president for research Rob Clark that online education must be developed in coordination with relevant faculty and schools, it should be of the same quality as in-class teaching and it must be financially sustainable.

However, he added that he was uncertain whether the same success in other departments across the university is achievable.

“Our School of Nursing has been the leader at our university in developing a significant online curriculum,” he said in the address.

Mr Seligmann concluded by saying that e-learning would be further discussed throughout the year and that it has had "an augmentative, not disruptive, role, in leading research universities".

For around ten years the institution has offered students a range of online nursing courses in various areas, including elective modules in physiology and anatomy, which are the basic requirements of a nursing degree.

These measures have proved successful for the school, where the 41 per cent of the curriculum that offers online education provides 26 per cent of its revenue.

Andrew Wolf, coordinator of online learning at the school, spoke of how the department had advanced its online learning portal, Campus Times reports.

"We started building online programmes over time, but there was no central planning. It’s important to be coordinated in our efforts and to plan online learning on a programme level so there is a consistent look and feel," he was quoted as saying.

The school has further built on their foundations to create two "hybrid online degree programmes", a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science completion course and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programme.

It has further plans to launch another two courses by 2015, the Doctor of Nursing Practice programme and a Leadership in Health Care Systems course.