New Online Course Offerings for the Summer

Arts & Sciences at William & Mary has expanded its undergraduate online course offerings for summer 2015. During last year’s second summer term, Randy Coleman and Till Schreiber taught our first fully online summer courses. Students rated their overall learning experience favorably in those courses as indicated by a student satisfaction survey. Randy and Till enjoyed the experience and are offering the same online courses again this summer.

Thanks to the support of Dean Griffin, three more more faculty members will be teaching online courses this summer: Peter Kemper, Jacquelyn McLendon, and Iyabo Osiapem. Our online course development team, consisting of John Drummond, Rachel Kleinsorge, April Lawrence, and myself, have assisted each with the arduous task of converting a face-to-face course into a fully online one. Here’s a breakdown of which courses each professor will instruct:

W&M Undergraduate A&S Online Summer 2015 Courses

Summer I

  • AFST 306 – Topics in Africana Studies: Cultural Identity in Nature Writing – Jacquelyn McLendon
  • CS 301 – Software Development – Peter Kemper
  • ECON 102 – Macroeconomics – Till Schreiber

Summer II

  • AFST 205 – Intro to Africana Studies – Iyabo Osiapem
  • CHEM 414 – Biochemistry – Randy Coleman
  • ECON 102 – Macroeconomics – Till Schreiber

Course Revisions from Last Summer

Randy and Till’s courses have undergone revisions since last summer’s versions, including updated videos to reflect current data, additional discussion forums, and revised tests. Minor revisions were made to the courses in terms of navigation, structure, and accessibility. William & Mary branding was also incorporated into the design of both courses.

Similar to last year, Randy and Till’s exams will be proctored online. This year we’re using a service called ProctorFree – an automated exam proctoring solution that uses special software to monitor events, behaviors, and patterns typically associated with cheating. ProctorFree integrates into Blackboard to streamline the exam taking process. Prior to enrollment students were made aware that a proctoring service would be used in these courses.

Our online course development team made revisions to the online course template. This template is used as the initial structure for online courses in Arts & Sciences and the School of Education. The template follows Quality Matters standards and contains an orientation module that covers academic support, student services, and technical requirements and support. All students are required to complete the orientation module at the beginning of the course.


Screenshot of the “Orientation to Online Learning at W&M” module in the online course template.

Course Development

In addition to revising Randy and Till’s courses, our team began working with Peter, Jacquelyn, and Iyabo at the end of January to develop their online summer courses. Individual and group meetings were conducted several times per month throughout the spring semester. Each professor was given an e-learning kit to create digital content. They kept their students in mind as they planned activities and decided on assignment deadlines. Their goal has been to maintain rigor while providing enough flexibility to accommodate students’ varying schedules. Peter, Jacquelyn, and Iyabo are excited to begin and can’t wait to meet their students online. Our team appreciates our colleagues who have supported our efforts during this process.

A similar student satisfaction survey as last year will be conducted in order to help us evaluate the effectiveness of each course.  Check back later this year for an update on our progress!