The Office of Distance Education West Chester University | Spring 2016

In this issue:

  • Student Focus
  • Meet the New Online Support Specialist
  • New Online Program: MS in Community Nutrition
  • Upcoming Events
  • Did You Know?
  • Tech Tools to Turn To
  • We're on Social Media!
  • Extended Support Hours

Student Focus: Autumn Walden

Autumn Walden | Photo Credit: Marisol Padilla

I’m currently in my second semester as an online student in the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program at WCU. So far, I’m confident that I made the right decision in choosing an online degree program. My profession is in digital communications, so I am comfortable using the D2L learning management system for course assignments and faculty/classmate interaction. I learned how to use new tools for video lecturing and virtual meeting, such as VoiceThread and Adobe Connect (respectively), which greatly enhanced my online learning experience.

In addition, my professors have used various methods of communicating—whether it be through YouTube lectures, audio feedback, and discussion threads—making the overall experience flexible for my needs as a full-time working professional. My advice to anyone beginning an online degree program is to:

1. Enter with an open mind and willingness to learn new technology even if it is not directly related to your degree subject.

2. Make sure you have the tools you need such as high-speed internet and a highly functioning computer, with multimedia capabilities.

3. Think of your experience as a social experience. Social media is not just Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—online learning can be just as social and rewarding.

Meet Our New Online Support Specialist: Amber Grove

Amber holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Immaculata University and is completing her Master of Education with a concentration in E-Learning and Instructional Design from Northeastern University. She brings nine years of experience supporting distance education students and faculty, specializing in LMS support and faculty training. She also enjoys trying out new technology and web applications. Please join us in welcoming Amber to the Office of Distance Education at West Chester University! Amber can be contacted at and at 610-436-3374.

New Online Program!

MS in Community Nutrition

The MS in Community Nutrition is a research-focused program for those seeking an advanced degree in community nutrition. The MS promotes nutritional health and disease prevention in communities with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.



Webinars | Every Friday at 11 a.m.

  • 3/18: Beyond PowerPoint Capture, Other Tools to Use
  • 3/25: VoiceThread

Faculty Seminar

  • 3/23: 12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Engaging Online Students: Practical Interaction Strategies to Enhance Learning

Online Faculty Development Program

This program satisfies the CAPC training requirements for online faculty. The next session runs from March 14 - April 1.


Webinars | Every Friday at 11 a.m.

  • 4/01: GoAnimate Yourself: Getting Started with GoAnimate
  • 4/08: Online Assessment: Quizzes Tool: Exploiting the Quizzes Tool
  • 4/15: Plan Your Next Online Course Using Quality Course Checklist
  • 4/22: Implementing Interactive elements
  • 4/29: Generational Learners

Faculty Seminar

  • 4/15: 12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Creating and Sustaining Effective Online Discussions – Active Learning Strategies to Foster Critical Thinking

Did you know?

According to the 2015-16 National Online Learners Satisfaction and Priorities Report:

  • Four-year institution satisfaction and re-enrollment percentages have held steady between 73% to 77% over the past 5 years.
  • Some of the top factors that influence online enrollment at four-year institutions include convenience, flexible program pacing, and institution reputation.

Distance Education Spring 2016 Enrollment Data

141 Online Courses (2558 Students)

53 Blended Courses (1945 Students)

3 ITV Courses (21 Students)


We recently obtained licenses for faculty to use these great tools. Contact your Instructional Designer for more information.

We're on Social Media!

It's common for online students to feel isolated. One of our initiatives is to create a more connected online community for distance education students and faculty. We recently conducted a survey of our online students to find out what applications they're using the most (Facebook is still the front runner) and how they might like us to interact with them via social media. So what do they want?

"It would be good for us to have a community for us in the program to chat in"
"More connections"

Students were also interested in pictures of campus events, ways to get involved, course offerings, and personal and professional development. Talk to your instructional designer for ideas on how to incorporate social media into your online course!

Extended Distance Education Support Hours

Monday - Thursday 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m

Sunday: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Distance Education Support Line: 610-436-3373

Distance Education Support e-mail:

Contact Us:

Wayne Hall 324

125 W. Rosedale Avenue

West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2948

Fax: 610-436-2189


Created with images by Unsplash - "blueberries healthy berries" • diapicard - "fruit basket grapes apples" • Dan Zen - "Grapefruit Slice" • Patrick Feller - "Produce Market, Airline Dr., Houston, Texas 0811091717" • Magnascan - "peas pod pea pod" • dbreen - "carrot kale walnuts" • Unsplash - "day planner calendar organizer" • janeb13 - "pc computer apple" • rocky_johndb8 - "Social Media Marketing" • sandid - "moon clouds night"

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