We had the opportunity to interview Ann Morgan, the Director of Online Academic Management at Rasmussen College. In this role, she oversees the academic delivery of online degree programs at the college. Learn more about her thoughts on the quality of online education and new advancements in online learning here:
Q: Studies have shown that employers now value an online degree equally to a degree from a traditional college. Can you speak to the public perception of online degrees?
A: Success in online education has a lot to do with a student’s initiative and ability to manage his or her time and commitments. An online student’s use of organizational skills, personal motivation, and self-determination to learn the skills and concepts and demonstrate their learning through various assessments are indicators of a high-quality employee. In this age where employees are managing a diverse workload and likely taking on job duties once assigned to another role, a candidate’s flexibility and resourcefulness goes a long way.
Q: What makes you excited about working in the field of online education?
A: In an online program, we have the ability to identify and recruit faculty with impressive credentials in addition to their inspiring work experiences. We can build a team of the most highly qualified faculty who are also tremendous in the classroom. Because we are not limited by geography and we can leverage technology to build community and connectedness among faculty and students, we can focus our faculty recruiting and training for the best quality in course delivery without restriction based on locale.
Q: What has been your favorite piece of online technology that you’ve come across in 2011? Anything that you foresee being big in 2012?
A: My favorite technology right now is anything that keeps things organized. The Evernote® application has saved me from many-a close call as I have searched for content in hand-written notes and emails. I take snapshots of receipts, meeting notes, contracts, recipes—and I file it away for future use.
In 2012, I am eager to see continued development of live virtual classroom tools. Students and faculty alike have appreciated the connection and communication that can be had via type-chat, voice, video, polling, screen sharing or through other functions in live classroom tools. I think there is room for continued improvement and innovation as we continue to identify the best teaching techniques for successful online learning.