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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

University Teaching Scholars Chair
Summary of Activities

Dr. Medhat M. Morcos
Chair, 2001-2002

Interest in distance learning is at an all time high, especially with the popularity of the World Wide Web and the Internet. Technology has enabled a radical shift in the way education for people of all ages can be addressed. Distance learning offers great potential to improve access to educational programs and resources, enhance the quality of academic instruction, and improve the productivity of educational institutions. Conflicts between remote and local schedules have highlighted the need for asynchronous delivery. Coordination of remote activities burdens the course coordinator during the initial startup but should become minimal as the learning curve flattens for all involved.

Keys to successful implementation of courses in the interactive distance environment
include redesigning of materials to provide high interactivity; training and technical support for instructors, students and staff with regard to the medium; and, on-site facilitation and production support at local sites. The real key to successful application of
technology is good teaching, using technology only when it is cost effective. Finally, reward systems must exist to support distance-learning activities. Most institutions provide relatively little support, recognition, or reward of professors who teach at a distance.

I organized a Distance Learning Lecture Series during my year as chair. Ten university wide lectures were presented. A list of the presentations is given below:

  • Distance Education Directed Toward Adult Learners: Experiences from the Master in
    Agribusiness Program
    (videotape available)
    Dr. Daniel Bernardo and Dr. Allen Featherstone
  • Delivering Environmental Training that Fits the Learner
    Dr. Dennis Franz, Capt. Tony Randall, and Dr. Bert Biles
  • Lessons Learned: Online Teachers Speak Out (videotape available)
    Dr. Rebecca Gould and Dr.Victoria Clegg
  • Library Support for Distance Learners: The View in 2002
    Marcia Stockham, Beth Turtle, and Daryl Youngman
  • Educating Head Start Teachers to Work with Children and Families in the 21st
    Century: A Collaborative Model

    Dr. Mary Deluccie
  • Developing and Sustaining Inter-institutional Post-baccalaureate Distance Education

    Dr. Virginia Moxley and Dr. Jim Guikema
  • Rethinking Institutional and State Policies
    Dr. Karen Paulson
  • Developments in Distributed/Distance Learning and Higher Education Policies
    (videotape available)
    Dr. Sally Johnstone
  • What our Students Know–and Don’t Know–About the Internet: Implications for
    Distance Learning
    (videotape available)
    Dr. Naomi Wood and Dr. Karin Westman
  • On The Effectiveness and Efficiency of Distance Learning (videotape available)
    Dr. Medhat M. Morcos

An average of 35 people from across campus attended each lecture, indicating continued interest in distance learning. According to Vice Provost Elizabeth Unger, distance learning at Kansas State University is continuing to grow at better than 10% a year, and serve both traditional and non-traditional students throughout the nation and the world. In Fall 2003 K-State has 1,024 courses using the course mediation system K-State online. A total of 127 courses and seven distance degree programs are offered completely online. There are 4,145 different students taking distance learning courses this year; 2,300 are not traditional students. In Spring 2003, 98 students graduated from K-State via distance programs, many never having set foot on campus. The year before 89 graduated. Appropriate support of faculty is requisite to meet the challenges of expanding our degree offerings in today’s marketplace.

I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to Provost James Coffman and the UDTSC committee for selecting me to have the privilege of serving as the 2001 – 2002 University Distinguished Teaching Scholar Chair.