Online Innovations at WGU Indiana Make the News

Barry Lenson

Online Innovations at WGU Indiana Make the News

WGU INDIANAWGU Indiana has been attracting a lot of attention in the last few weeks. Innovations at the school have been covered in the New York Times’s Economix blog and the Evansville Courier & Press. Plus, WGU Indiana made the U.S. News list of best military-friendly universities for the fourth straight year.

Why is WGU Indiana attracting all this attention? One reason is that it is the first state university to deliver virtually all instruction online. But there’s another reason too. Using technology, WGU Indiana has found new ways to keep distance learners connected to their instructors – and to other students too.

Here are some innovations that WGU Indiana has put in place . . .

Each WGU Indiana student meets with his or her mentor by phone regularly - usually every other week - and has contact through email, instant messaging, text messaging, and telephone as needed, even on weekends.

All students have access to special communities that WGU Indiana has created to help students and their mentors build relationships and stay engaged. There are two types of communities:

  • Program communities are focused on helping students expand their knowledge in their field of study, providing information regarding industry research and current events and offering networking opportunities.
  • Learning communities provide a virtual place for students to meet as they work through their studies. These communities provide small group learning sessions and individual academic assistance from subject matter experts called course “mentors.”

In addition, WGU Indiana is using social media tools that allow students, staff, and alumni to connect, using platforms they already work with every day. For example, there are Facebook pages for Western Governors University (WGU Indiana’s parent school) and for WGU Indiana. These pages allow alumni, faculty, students and prospective students to exchange thoughts, comments, and ideas. WGU Indiana also has its own YouTube channel, uses Twitter regularly and encourages students and staff to blog and join online conversations.

We’re proud that this innovative university is one of our Partner Colleges. That means that StraighterLine students can continue their studies at WGU Indiana without going through a standard application process.

WGU Indiana is doing great things. We’ll keep you informed on this blog.

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