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BYU-Idaho Online Learning

BYU-Idaho is a student-centered, high-touch university with a unique purpose. Guided by its affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU-Idaho seeks to develop students who are faithful disciples and capable leaders. All BYU-Idaho employees and students, including those participating online, are expected to abide by LDS Church standards and the BYU-Idaho honor code. In 2000, the First Presidency of the Church and the Board of Trustees of Ricks College announced that Ricks College was to be changed into a four-year institution, to be known as Brigham Young University - Idaho. Since the transition, BYU-Idaho has been challenged to continually improve the quality of students' experience, extend educational opportunities to many more members of the Church, and to lower the relative cost of education.

 

Learning Model

The BYU-Idaho Learning Model improves the quality of students' experience by fostering faith-building and life-changing learning. It guides learners and teachers to exercise faith to act, serve, and teach one another under the influence of the Holy Ghost. It includes an upward spiraling process of individual and group preparation, teaching one another, and pondering and proving. Instructors are expected to guide students through learning activities and provide opportunities for them to teach one another following this pattern.

 

Online Courses

President Kim B. Clark has identified online learning as one of six campus-wide initiatives to serve as an action plan for BYU-Idaho's progress. Consistent with the BYU-Idaho Learning Model and its high-touch culture, online courses developed at BYU-Idaho are to be semester-based and discussion-rich. They are to be more akin to a virtual classroom experience than to correspondence study. I-Learn is the suite of tools, including a current BrainHoney core, used to conduct online learning at BYU-Idaho. Online courses are developed by a team of faculty and curriculum development specialists in this environment before adjunct faculty are invited to teach a section of the course.

 

Online Adjunct Faculty

Online adjunct faculty must have a master's or doctorate degree. They support and convey the ideals of the LDS Church, the mission of BYU-Idaho, and the BYU-Idaho Learning Model as they guide students. Each new Online Faculty will participate in a 40 hour training course conducted over a 6 week period prior to their first contract. Online instructors are expected to get to know their students, prepare before each class session, guide students through at least three interactive online learning sessions per week (usually asynchronous), and otherwise conduct the course as outlined by the authoring faculty. They are compensated for their time ($900 per course credit hour) and encouraged to embrace the university's cause of guiding BYU-Idaho students to become faithful disciples and capable leaders.

 

Serving More Students

BYU-Idaho has committed to grow online offerings to deliver 20% of all its instruction online. As part of this Online Learning Initiative, more than 100 new online courses are being developed and many more are being upgraded to serve more on-campus students, and to accommodate the new Bachelor of University Studies (BUS) Online Degree program. The greatest initial need for online adjunct faculty will correspond with BYU-Idaho's new Foundations general education program and the Online Degree subject areas. However, BYU-Idaho will continue to serve an increasing number of on-track, off-track, and pre-matriculated students online, offering them a growing selection of online courses and subjects from among those offered on campus. The success of the initiative will depend on recruiting a pool of qualified and dedicated adjunct faculty. 

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