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Helping Students “Stay Connected” This Summer

Posted by:
August 25, 2015

by Dana Bodewes, Instructional Designer

student sitting on dock

You may have noticed PLU promoting a new summer session campaign called “Stay Connected”. The campaign hopes to improve retention, decrease time to matriculation, and increase enrollments in summer session courses.

A February 2015 survey of PLU students found:

    86% have never enrolled in a PLU summer course.

    76% plan to work over summer break.

    59% plan to return home over summer break.

To meet the challenge of staying connected to students during the summer, PLU will be offering twelve fully online courses taught by PLUTO trained faculty. Courses range from Christian Ethics to Beginning Watercolor Painting and allow students to fulfill general education requirements. Enrollment and budget challenges provide PLU with an opportunity to consider the evolving needs of our students. Pioneering faculty are helping PLU to explore how online learning might offer a high quality, engaging PLU experience when students cannot come to campus. Registration is right around the corner, and the PLU community is interested to see whether these new online offerings will entice students to give summer session a try.

     40% are undecided about whether to enroll in summer session.

     31% are interested in online summer courses.

     25% are interested in blended summer courses.

Summer is a great time for faculty to begin thinking about whether teaching an online or blended summer course might be something they want to consider. PLUTO trained faculty report gaining skills in pedagogy and technology that not only prepare them for online teaching but improve their teaching in traditional courses as well. Information sessions for the next PLUTO Institute during JTerm will be offered in the fall. This is an exciting time to be teaching at PLU. We would love to hear your ideas for summer session in the comments section below. For more information, check out the websites for PLU Teaching Online (PLUTO) and Summer Session.

Originally published 4/1/2015 in PLU’s Instructional Technologies blog

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