One strategic priority around online learning at VCU is online learning during summer sessions. As VCU President Rao has framed online learning as an issue of access and degree completion, we have put considerable resources towards working with departments and faculty members to offer online courses over the summer. Based on feedback we’ve received from students and data from registration last summer, it is quite clear that this is an important strategy. Many VCU students go home and/or work long hours over the summer, but would still like to continue their progress towards degree completion.

So, currently, there are 250 sections of courses on the schedule for Summer 2015. That’s considerably more than any other previous summer.  Many of those courses are graduate-level courses that are part of online programs. Increasingly, though, we are adding courses aimed at VCU undergraduates.

The VCU ALT Lab team is proud to be offering three such online courses this summer. They will all embrace a Connected Learning orientation, meaning they will be open for public viewing, participation, input, etc. Consistent with my recent post on Courses as Narratives, each course has a course trailer that works to recruit students and orient students to the narrative of the course. I highly recommend Yin Wah Kreher’s post about the process by which her course trailer came into being.  The courses we will be offering are:


UNIV 291: Complementary & Alternative Medicine: Health, Hype, or Hocus Pocus?


Complementary and alternative medicine is a subject of interest to all people in all walks of life, especially as the concept of integrative health increases in popularity. In this online course, students will explore the scope of the field of complementary and alternative medicine by following the story of a young woman who seeks to increase her own awareness of integrative health practices and how they interface with modern western medicine.


 

UNIV 291: Clear Thinking for Powerful Learning


We can’t see our thoughts but we can make them seen. In this course, I want to help learners who are struggling to articulate their thoughts. Together, we will explore how to communicate our thoughts in concrete and creative ways so as to extend and challenge our thinking and learning.


 

Sociology 101: General Sociology


Sociology is about how we create our social world; how the culture, structures, and relations of power that characterize our world influence who we are and how we live our lives; how societies maintain some semblance of social order amid constant change; and how some people break out of predictable routines to help change the world. Sociology 101 introduces this sociological perspective to help us better understand ourselves and our constantly changing world.


 

I hope you’ll register, follow along, participate, etc.