Summer is here, and although there are fewer students and faculty on campus, there are still many exciting things happening in the English department.
The new website is finally here, and it offers new opportunities for everyone to stay connected with the department through Facebook, Twitter, and our blog. If you haven’t yet connected to us through our social media outlets, we invite you to do so.
In our efforts to stay innovative and utilize the technology available to us, the department has branched out by offering more online and blended courses this summer than ever before. In a blended course, a portion of the course is taught in the classroom with the remainder taught online. This is a great opportunity for students to still get important face-to-face contact with a professor, while still taking advantage of the flexibility that an online course offers.
Additionally, this upcoming school year, Missouri State is one of a number of schools participating in a Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) grant, designed to offer blended learning experiences. Through this grant, we will be developing a blended Writing I course. The instructors who are participating in the grant will partake in some Web training of their own in preparation to teach these courses next spring in our department. Dr. Keri Franklin is coordinating our department’s involvement with the grant.
Dr. Franklin is also heading up the Ozarks Writing Project (OWP) this summer. OWP is a collaborative program between Missouri State University and the National Writing Project (NWP). OWP’s school of thought is that “every student deserves a highly skilled teacher of writing.” To fulfill this mission, OWP provides teachers with professional development in writing instruction at its Summer Invitational Institute and community exploration through digital storytelling at its Digital Storytelling Institute.
With the department offering so many course options and programs, there is no surprise as to the increase in enrollment and credit hours this summer compared to last. According to opening-day enrollment reports, the English Department is serving 63 more students this summer than last (555 last year compared to 618 this year). The number of credit hours has increased as well (1722 last year compared to 1854 this year). That is over an 11% increase in enrollment and almost an 8% increase in credit hours.
According to our department head, W.D. Blackmon, “This summer we will continue our principal focus to improve student learning and to incorporate the University’s Public Affairs Mission in our courses and programs.”