|Online\Off-Campus Online Studies Extension Courses Statesmanship Seminars||
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By offering our degree programs online, we extend our ability to prepare future leaders around the globe. Online courses are designed to closely mirror the on-campus experience. Options include Fall and Winter semesters as well as an accelerated two-month Summer semester that begins in mid-May. Full and part-time students are equally welcome and experience the following features:
Giving and receiving support is essential when embarking on a life-changing leadership education. The classics can be intimidating, assignments can be daunting and the prospect of months or years of rigorous study can be overwhelming - especially to the online student who may be physically distant from classmates. Each class is part of a larger online community where students reach out to each other frequently to share stories of success and words of encouragement and support from those who are more experienced.
Every full and part-time online student is placed in a cohort of approximately 15-25 students. A GWU mentor directs this cohort and oversees the online environment of learning. There are two types of cohorts: focused and interdisciplinary. We hope that all George Wythe students are able to experience both types during their educational career.
All full and part-time online students, regardless of cohort type, engage in a live, rich, interactive online classroom using the Elluminate software which we provide online. Below are some of the highlights:
In addition, some foreign language and applied math and science courses are facilitated by online partners including Rosetta Stone, Aleks and others.
A focused cohort is created when there are enough students in a given semester who are enrolled in the same class period. Classroom lectures, discussions and mentor-led readings are centered on the common curriculum being studied by all students. This type of structure most closely resembles the on-campus cohort experience.
An interdisciplinary or mixed cohort may consist of students in differing degree programs or in the same degree program but enrolled in different classes. The advantage of this cohort type is the heightened exposure to interdisciplinary perspectives that is inherently critical in a liberal arts education. It is only in modern academia that the various disciplines are treated almost mutually exclusive. In any given interdisciplinary cohort you may have students studying economics, political philosophy, mathematics, literature or world religions. Each student approaches class with his or her unique subject of inquiry, related to their course of study. Students are encouraged to draw connections between disciplines, which increases the understanding and appreciation they have for their own. Within an interdisciplinary cohort two methods are primarily used to facilitate this interdisciplinary approach. These are mentor-led readings and quote threads.
On occasion a student may wish to take a course that is not being offered as part of an active focused cohort that semester or that may not lend itself to the interdisciplinary cohort approach (e.g. foreign language). In such cases, students are encouraged to make use of recorded lectures, discussions and other materials from past semesters available via OLS My Media. Students using the independent study method are expected to make special efforts to discuss their material outside the classroom environment. Writing assignments are submitted and graded in the normal fashion.
A short reading is selected by the mentor from a classical text, modern periodical, recent bestseller, etc. and is assigned to the class in addition to the regular readings that are part of their individual program syllabi. Students read the selection, seeking connections between it and their discipline and subject of inquiry. In the classroom the mentor directs a colloquium or discussion based on the selection. Often students will read the short selection as a group while in class and under the direction of their mentor. This method also helps students learn to read more deeply and to question and cross-reference as they read.
Quote thread sessions provide students with an opportunity to share significant passages from their studies, books, papers and other coursework that have been particularly meaningful or transformational to them. Students come to class with two or three quotes from the same or various sources that fit together to create an idea or question that may call for discussion. This also provides a venue for students to practice verbally articulating their ideas and insights while attempting persuade and learn from others.