Northwest to celebrate 20 years of Northwest Online program

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MARYVILLE, Mo. – Northwest Missouri State University will celebrate 20 years of its Northwest Online program with an anniversary reception Tuesday, Feb. 12.

According to a news release from Northwest, the public is invited to attend the event from 3 to 5 p.m. on the second floor of the B.D. Owens Library. Refreshments will be provided, and a program at 4 p.m. will feature remarks from Dr. Darla Runyon, director of the Learning and Teaching Center; Dr. John Jasinski, president; Dr. Dean Hubbard, president emeritus; Dr. Jim Eiswert; Northwest Online faculty member; and Dr. Gregory Haddock, associate provost of graduate studies and special programs.

The University launched Northwest Online Aug. 3, 1999, and the initiative has evolved into an internet portal and a course management system that provides valuable education resources for students as well as faculty. Additionally, Northwest’s Learning and Teaching Center supports faculty through the development and sharing of pedagogical and content-specific knowledge while providing access to professional development support and resources.

Northwest Online launched with nine courses and a total enrollment of 57 students, including one based in Malaysia. The courses consisted of six general education courses and three business management courses.

Today, 536 Northwest Online courses exist with nearly 3,000 students enrolled each semester. Most Northwest Online students are campus-based, but the courses enroll students from throughout the world. It consists of 11 online graduate programs, three bachelor’s degree completion programs and at least one general education course for each academic area. Blended courses, consisting of a combination of online and classroom coursework, also are established within Northwest Online.

Building on the Learning and Teaching Center mission, faculty online course development fellowship grants are offered each year to provide faculty with opportunities to study new teaching methods and enhance their courses with instructional technology. Workshops, training sessions, online tutorials and one-on-one sessions are offered on a regular basis.