eLearning Expansion

Online course-Steve WilliamsStudying crop diseases, turfgrass, soils, and the basics of agribusiness management at Penn State has never been more flexible or convenient— because you can do it from home. The eLearning unit, which provides online courses from the College of Agricultural Sciences, allows students to complete for-credit courses wherever they can access a computer and the Internet.

The eLearning unit has offered 68 credit courses and three extension programs since it began in 2006. Many of the courses harness technologies like video and Flash animation and include social media such as blogs and wikis. The program—shaped by eLearning coordinator Suzanne Bienert, multimedia specialist Akbar Khouzani, and instructional design assistant Carrie Khouzani—even includes laboratory assignments. Online offerings now include undergraduate, graduate, and advanced certifications in turfgrass management, and a master of professional studies and advanced certificate in community and economic development for professionals interested in issues facing America’s small towns, cities, and rural areas. Additional undergraduate course work is available in applied youth development, pets in society, agribusiness management, horticultural crop diseases, and soils. The Department of Food Science offers a noncredit course in food safety and sanitation for commercial food manufacturers.

Students who took Dr. Gary Petersen’s Soils 101 had this to say: “This was one of the most challenging classes that I have taken, but also one of the most rewarding. I learned a lot of new information related to soil. It was also refreshing to have an instructor who responded so quickly to questions,” and, “It was easy to use the course Web site.”

The college recently released a request for proposals for course and program development in an effort to build the eLearning initiative and meet the demands of students. To expand eLearning, the college solicits its faculty for proposed course offerings twice a year. Learn more about opportunities at the eLearning Website.