Online education and distance learning have become integral parts of SUNY Canton over the last several years and three members of the College’s faculty/staff gave presentations recently about its benefits, logistics, and impacts on campus.
Debra M. Backus, assistant professor of nursing, Marela Fiacco, director of international programs, and Kyle Brown, director of online learning, presented at the Conference on Instructional Technologies (CIT) 2010, hosted by SUNY Plattsburgh in late May.
CIT is SUNY’s largest and most prominent event on instructional technology in education, providing a forum for faculty, instructional support professionals, and policymakers to present, discuss, and explore innovative avenues for integrating technology into the teaching and learning environment.
Backus’ presentation, titled “SUNY and United University Professions (UUP): Partners in Online Education Phase II”, was the result of collaborative efforts with two faculty members from other SUNY institutions.
The presentation focused partly on data collected from a CIT 2009 survey regarding online education and distance learning. It also included nationwide trends in online learning as well as trends at SUNY institutions. Part of the presentation highlighted the exponential growth of SUNY Canton’s online learning and the impact it has on the faculty, staff and the College. The presentation also addressed the issues of employee workload and ownership of course content as both have come to the forefront in discussions surrounding online and distance learning.
Fiacco and Brown teamed up for “Crossing Global Boundaries”, a presentation focused on methods of distance learning and SUNY Canton’s success internationally with several partner institutions. Part of the presentation included information on how the College was able to work so closely with the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2006 and graduate its first cohort in May 2010, using online delivery methods and videoconferencing.
“Course management platforms have made international programs possible today that, only a few years ago, were inconceivable,” Fiacco said. “Students with access to the internet can now participate in an international learning experience without the cost and inconvenience of international travel and gain the skills necessary to compete in the highly-specialized and increasingly globalized job market.”
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