College of Allied Health Sciences Offers Free Online Courses as Recruitment Tool
By offering free online courses that prospective students can use toward their degrees, the UC College of Allied Health Sciences uses eLearning as a recruitment tool.
While many practicing professionals may be weary of continuing their education in the online format, Associate Professor of Respiratory Therapy Shane Keene decided to introduce them to eLearning before they even enroll in a degree program.
Keene developed a Targeted Open Online Course (TOOC) called “Shared Air: A Collective Look at the Future of Respiratory Therapy.” The TOOC is a modification of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), a self-paced, free online course open to anyone to wants to learn more about the subject. The TOOC is modified to target only those who are interested in continuing their education in the field of their course, such as working respiratory therapists and those enrolled in associate-level degree programs in respiratory therapy.
The TOOC can then be counted toward a degree if students decide to enroll in Allied Health’s Online Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy program.
“If we offer a free course, we kind of have a hook in that student,” Keene said.
Keene said since launching the TOOC October 15, three students have enrolled in the program. While the TOOC is intended to be a recruitment tool, Keene said the college can now work to implement some of the technology of the TOOC into standard online courses.
The TOOC included a welcome video, narrated PowerPoints, checkpoint questions during lectures, and real-world scenarios designed to develop students’ information processing and decision-making skills. It was designed with the help of Allied Health’s Center for Educational Technology and Instructional Support.
“Student engagement is even more important than technology, but quite often they go hand in hand,” Keene said.