Many University students take online classes along with their classes on campus, but Vice Provost of Digital and Continuing Education Sasha Thackaberry and her team are working hard for student success in classes both on and off campus.
The University currently has 1,023 students enrolled exclusively in online courses, its highest enrollment ever. About 1,200 students have graduated from the online program so far, Thackaberry said.
The University is currently working to expand the number of online classes it offers. Some students’ only option is to complete their degree exclusively online.
“I couldn’t do this without support,” Thackaberry said. “[LSU President F. King Alexander] is 100 percent behind us.”
Thackaberry and her team hope to replicate an online environment where professors are passionate about their job and the University.
The University’s online majors have been successful so far. Graduates from as far as Japan flew to Baton Rouge to receive their diplomas on stage.
They also plan to update Moodle, making it easier to navigate and be more user-friendly. Although there is not currently a launch date for the update, it is being worked on and will be released when ready.
These changes include more streamlined ways to contact professors and strong discussion forums for students to interact with each other.
“There’s a lot of courses out there, so it is going to take a while to roll through the whole institution,” Thackaberry said. “But [the professors] working with us are superstars.”
Thackaberry hasn’t set a goal on the number of students she wants to join the online program, but she said she hopes to support as many students as she can with a variety of courses to help them succeed.
Thackberry recalled the excitement she had when she first arrived in Baton Rouge. She said she hopes to be able to replicate it for the students online.
“From the moment I first walked off the plane, you could feel this overwhelming love for LSU,” Thackaberry said.