Online Education & Innovation
A Message from the Associate Provost of Online Education and Innovation
Welcome to the Department of Online Education and Innovation!
The Department of Online Education and Innovation is committed to supporting faculty in designing fully online and hybrid courses using the highest quality standards of online course design. Our pedagogical mission is student-centered and based on the Quality Matters Rubric. Through the continuous professional development of Moravian's faculty, we strive for continuous improvement of online courses. As Flower Darby wrote in Small Teaching Online, "Helping faculty prepare to teach effective - no, excellent - online courses can and should be a primary goal of educational developers and institutional leadership."
Moravian University offers undergraduate students a transformative liberal arts educational experience through a variety of pedagogical practices and research opportunities, such as small seminar classes, study abroad programs, one-on-one independent studies, internships, honors projects, student opportunities for academic research (SOAR), student clubs, just to name a few. Online education compliments this rich and diverse learning environment, immersing faculty and students in a variety of technologically advanced educational settings that produce an innovative online, hybrid, and blended learning using a myriad of technologies and software to enhance students’ learning experience. Moravian University also offers graduate students and adult and degree completion students a variety of flexible online and hybrid options to accommodate students' working and busy schedules. We are here to support faculty teaching and student learning by ensuring that the excellent teaching that takes place in the face-to-face environment transitions successfully to online modalities. Nilson and Goodson in Online Teaching At Its Best: Merging Instructional Design with Teaching and Learning Research, state: “We start from the premise that excellent teaching is excellent teaching-and, conversely, ineffective teaching is ineffective teaching-whether the environment is classroom-based, online, or hybrid. … The evidence for our claim is that excellent teaching transcends the environment abounds.” We are committed to excellent teaching and learning, whether online, hybrid or in-person.
What sets Moravian University's online courses and programs apart from other institutions?
Moravian University offers students flexibility through online learning while providing academic quality and standards, technologically advanced learning systems, and a robust support team that offers students academic accessibility, advising, tutoring, and other academic support programs that enhance students' learning experience (see Moravian's Center for Academic Excellence).
How do we measure and guarantee the quality of an online course?
This was the central question that motivated MarylandOnline Inc. to start Quality Matters, a non-for-profit organization measuring and assuring rigorous standards in online education. According to Quality Matters, the most important factors that affect the quality of an online course are the following:
- Course Design
- Course Delivery
- Course Content
- Institutional Infrastructure
- Faculty Readiness
- Student Readiness
At Moravian, we seek to continuously improve in all of these areas to produce quality online education for our students. Here are some of the most recent highlights in our Institutional infrastructure that have made Moravian University a leader in online education.
Moravian University's Online Teaching and Learning is at the Forefront of Higher Education
Moravian University's 2015-2020 strategic plan set out, as one of its primary goals, to REVITALIZE students' academic experience by (1) embedding liberal arts in 100% of our programs, and (2) delivering programs and certificates through online, blended and face-to-face methods. In working towards these goals, Moravian University has invested significantly in its online educational capacity through infrastructure improvements, investments in technology, hiring instructional designers and instructional technologists, and promoting digital professional development for its faculty, staff and students. These investments have resulted in making Moravian University a leader in online teaching and in pedagogical innovation, as demonstrated by its various awards and grants. Here are some of the highlights of these investments and accomplishments.
2020 Moravian creates the Online Education and Innovation Department
- The team of Instructional Designers, David Castaneda and Sarah Rentz, and Instructional Technologist, Elizabeth (Liz) Tate, lead the faculty in continuing to advance their undergraduate and graduate online education at Moravian University.
2018 Moravian partners with Extension Engine to launch its first online Business Program
- In 2018, Moravian University partnered with Extension Engine, a leading innovator in online education, to create its first totally online Business Program: Master's in Data Analytics (MSDA). The program was officially launched in January 2019.
- The Economics and Business Department is currently working on transforming its Master in Business Administration to totally online modality by 2021.
2018 Moravian launches its first Doctoral Program and first fully online program
- In 2018, Moravian University launched its Doctor in Athletic Training (DAT). The Director of the DAT is Dr. Jennifer Ostrowski, Ph. D., LAT, ATC.
2018 Moravian receives Apple Distinguished School Award
- In 2018, Moravian University became an Apple Distinguished School. This endorsement constitutes one of the most important milestones in our effort to become an innovative leader in higher education. Apple Distinguished Schools have documented results of excellence in teaching through various technologies; they have cultivated a technologically creative cultural environment in which teaching, learning and technology are seamlessly integrated; they have adapted discipline specific needs, whether in the sciences, art, music, humanities or social sciences, with the use of digital technologies. In short, Apple distinguished schools are “ the most innovative schools in the world.”
2015 Moravian receives Mellon Foundation $100,000 grant to advance technology in the classroom
- In 2015 Moravian University received $100,000 from the Andrew Mellon Foundation as part of a CIC Grant to Optimize Humanities for the 21st Century. The purpose of the grant was to provide humanities faculty the opportunity to explore innovative and experimental digital learning tools for existing and new courses. Through the implementation of new technology, digital storytelling, and the introduction of new models, Moravian faculty had the opportunity to further integrate digital technology into their courses and classrooms.
2014-2016 Moravian receives Humanities Online Instructional Grant from the Council for Independent Colleges
- In 2014, Moravian University was selected by the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC) as part of the first Consortium for Online Humanities Instruction, along with 20 other small liberal arts colleges. The two-year CIC on online humanities instruction project was funded by an $800,000 grant for The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Council for Independent Colleges is comprised of over 700 colleges and universities. Being a part of this first cohort of innovative and cutting-edge institutions set Moravian apart as a leader in online teaching. Dr. Kelly Denton-Borhaug, Chair of the Global Religions Department, and Dr. Bernie Cantens, Chair of the Philosophy Department, represented Moravian and constructed two fully online humanities courses that were taught during the two-year period. For more information on CIC's Online Humanities programs - goals, outcomes, and results see CIC Online Humanities Programs)
2015 Moravian is honored with the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Global Breakthrough Award
- During the summer of 2014, Moravian University invested in a high-quality “Unified Access” network system, which provides extremely effective and efficient internet access to wifi and all of the educational resources students and faculty need anywhere on campus. For its innovative technological infrastructure, Moravian was awarded the 2015 Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Global Breakthrough Award. The purpose of this award is to “honor excellence and recognize the innovation, hard work and success in a range of AI and machine learning related categories.”
2014 Moravian provides all incoming students with MacBooks and iPads
- In 2014, Moravian University implemented a policy that would give every incoming first-year student a MacBook and an iPad. This plan reinforced Moravian’s idea that technology goes hand-in-hand with innovation, creativity, global engagement, and global connectivity. Moreover, providing all our students with the same top-notch technological equipment advances our mission to create an equitable and just society, in which all individuals, regardless of their social and economic status, are given the same opportunity to excel and fulfill their dreams.
2013 Moravian makes a major upgrade to its technological infrastructure
- In 2013, Moravian University’s Information Technology Department increased the campus bandwidth from 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to 6000 Mbps. This major digital infrastructure upgrade on our campus’s bandwidth was part of a comprehensive plan to make Moravian an All-Mac and iPad campus and to integrate technology into all of our classrooms. The increased bandwidth permits much faster wifi transfer speeds, larger upload and download capabilities, and an overall improvement in the use of Moravian’s website for faculty, students, and visitors. Renewing, upgrading, and expanding our technological infrastructure is a central ongoing mission of Moravian’s Information Technology Department. Recently, they upgraded our wireless wifi to triple its spread and expanded its scope to cover parking lot spaces.