Online professors recognized

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mohammad Mahroof-Tahir�s preparatory chemistry and Mario Hesse�s history of criminal justice courses have achieved national certification for online teaching with an �online course of excellence� designation.

Two St. Cloud State professors have achieved national certification for online teaching with an “online course of excellence” designation.

Mohammad Mahroof-Tahir’s preparatory chemistry and Mario Hesse’s history of criminal justice courses were certified by Quality Matters, a faculty-centered, peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended courses.

Mahroof-Tahir and Hesse will be honored with a short ceremony 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, January 26 at Brown Hall room 115.

Quality Matters is a national organization based in Maryland with a goal of maximizing the quality of online university instruction. There are thousands of online courses taught in the United States each year, but less than 1 percent of those have been nationally reviewed and certified as “online courses of excellence.”

“Online teaching is a way of the future to deliver our high quality educational product to students,” said Hesse. “Wherever they are, whenever they have the time to work on them, we boldly go where teaching has not been before.”

St. Cloud State offered more than 500 online courses in the 2009-10 academic year.

“There were some challenges in organizing chemistry lab experiments for my online students,” Mahroof-Tahir said. “Testing shows that online student in this class are scoring as well as students in the face to face section of the same class."

“Online classes are attractive to students who are too far from SCSU to attend traditional classes,” said Michael Penrod, St. Cloud State director of online studies. “We have students in Iraq and Finland as well as Granite Falls and Albert Lea. Large shares of our online students are on campus full-time students. They can stack four courses on Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule, but need the flexibility of an online class to work their fifth class in and to meet their demanding work schedules.”

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