University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

October 10, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


We are here at the University of Central Florida. They’ve been a pioneer at growing their student
body while maintaining really great degree price and very high quality. And they’ve done that by adding blended
learning, where part of your class hours are online. And then fully online, where you don’t need
to come to the campus at all. I can work anywhere from 30 to 50 hours in
a given week. I have no set hours, no set days off. Online classes work for me because I can go
at my own pace, do the work whenever I have the time off from work. Many of our students here have a lot on their
plate. And they can’t always find time to come to
campus and take classes in a traditional way and so, I see online education as making a
degree more accessible. Like I like Math a lot. We were given the opportunity to take
intermediate algebra and college algebra in the same semester. With the online, it just got adapted to the
way I learned, and like what I knew, and what I needed to improve on, and how I can improve
on it. It was a huge advantage. Over 40-percent now, of all credit hours are
online or mixed-mode. They’re woven into the fabric at UCF. Figuring out in the online format how you
create a sense of connection, that’s where people have had to be innovative. And this university’s been a leader in experimenting
with that. They put together a Center for Distributed
Learning to help the professors to learn about how to do a good online course. Some professors are great because of their
charisma and their lecturing abilities. When you translate to an online environment,
you actually have a blank canvas to work from and you have to work really hard to project
your personality. One of the most important parts was being
connected with my instructional designer. I saw myself as the expert in Anthropology,
but she is the expert in online teaching and learning. Getting feedback on what material works, bringing
those professors up to speed, it’s taken a lot of years to get these things right. But now a lot is known about how to do this
well, and this university’s been a leader in that.