Asynchronous Learning in the Virtual Classroom

Former Dean James Pappas of CLS

One of the most rapid paradigm shifts in education delivery is taking place in the asynchronous learning environment. In an asynchronous learning environment, students learn material at their own pace, generally through directed readings and online research, while physically separated from an instructor and a classroom setting.

The growing acceptance and popularity of online degree completion programs is evidenced by the flood of private institutions that have saturated the market. Adult learners appreciate the freedom and convenience of working online at their own pace, when their schedule permits. The offering of online degrees available through the College of Liberal Studies makes it possible for students to get a real degree, from a real university, while working with real faculty.

As a leader in asynchronous learning, the College of Liberal Studies provides students the opportunity to earn a degree from the University of Oklahoma anywhere at any time. The accessibility of these online degree programs extends their reach around the globe. In fact, numerous service members are earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from the College of Liberal Studies at military bases around the world and while deployed on ships and submarines.

In an even greater sense, the University of Oklahoma Outreach and the College of Liberal Studies are truly at the forefront of this trend in online learning with their current ability to offer students the ability to complete a high school diploma, undergraduate degree and graduate degree 100 percent online, anywhere in the world.

This spring semester the college had its largest online student enrollment with more than 700 students in both the bachelor’s and master’s programs. The current application, admittance and enrollment trends lead us to believe the college’s online population could exceed 1,000 students as we move into the fall semester this year.

In response to this rapid growth in the online programs, we have added several new staff members to support the development of user-friendly, individual Web pages for each of the online courses. We also realize that online students have unique needs and we have added staff to provide the technical support they may require. The talent and expertise of the College of Liberal Studies staff will enable us to provide the highest level of service possible to our online students. Our commitment to quality, cutting edge technology and unparalleled service will continue to differentiate the College of Liberal Studies as a leader in asynchronous curriculum development and adult degree completion delivery.

Whether you are an alumnus or current student of the college, please be a vocal advocate of the positive experience you had with the College of Liberal Studies.

James Pappas signature for virtual classroom article

James P. Pappas, Ph.D.
Vice President for Outreach and
Dean, College of Liberal Studies

Update: The College of Liberal Studies was renamed the College of Professional and Continuing Studies in 2017. 

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The College of Professional and Continuing Studies is a fully accredited academic unit of the University of Oklahoma, offering 100% online, hybrid and onsite degrees for working adults and non-traditional students.