ACU psychology professors are starting a new introductory course through an online platform called Campus, allowing students from various Christian universities to enroll.
“The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities has well over one hundred member universities and oftentimes those students want to take classes that their home institution may not offer or they may need in their plan of study, but they might be at a smaller school or a school that doesn’t offer that on a regular basis,” said Dr. Robert Rhodes, provost of the university. “They were looking for some larger Christian universities that might be able to help produce these courses and make them available for students to take as transfer courses back to their home institution.”
The first of these is an introduction to psychology course created by Dr. Richard Beck and Dr. Rachel Riley. The pair created videos, discussions and course materials for the class to be used in the new online format. Before starting the fall semester, they tested out the course on ACU students.
“What we love about it is not everybody gets to take Richard Beck and Rachel Riley, and they really just do such a fantastic job individually and together,” Dr. Rhodes said. “This class is kind of taking some of the best faculty we have to offer and putting them in this course that’s carefully produced and then offering it outside of ACU.”
Offering the course to ACU students first allowed the university to compare the new format to current online courses operated through Canvas before launching it for the winter semester through Campus.
“It gives us a good chance to compare our normal online offerings with this new online offering,” said Dr. Rhodes. “So far I’ve had very good feedback. I think students are enjoying it and I think the quality of the videos and the conversations they’ve appreciated.”
The course will be released in November on Campus for non-ACU students for the first time due to a number of universities ending the semester before Thanksgiving. Registration is currently open to those students, and the course will go from Dec. 7 – Jan. 19, according to the Campus website.
“At Campus, we believe the market is looking for the quality of a traditional course taught by traditional faculty with the flexibility and price of an online course,” said Darren Campbell, CEO of Campus. “We visualize an online course that students enjoy and share with their peers. We do not accept that online courses are by default boring and uninteresting.”