KU News Release

May 18, 2011
Contact: Barbara Romzek, Office of the Provost, 785-864-4904

KU launches Center for Online and Distance Learning

LAWRENCE — A new center at the University of Kansas will assist faculty to increase online course offerings for students on and off campus, Provost Jeffrey Vitter announced today.

The Center for Online and Distance Learning will help faculty design and implement hybrid and online courses identified as priorities by KU deans. The center also will collaborate with campus units to ensure students and faculty have technology training and related resources. Independent Study courses, currently offered through Continuing Education, will be coordinated by the center.

The creation of the center follows a yearlong task force review of the university’s distance education capacity.

“Hybrid and fully online courses are an effective way for KU to enhance learning and to expand access to higher education,” Vitter said. “By creating the KU Center for Online and Distance Learning, we are ensuring that faculty members have the resources they need to redesign on-campus courses to integrate technology more effectively and to develop new online courses for distance delivery. Centralizing resources will benefit both students and faculty.”

Jean Yoo, director for academic outreach and distance education at Continuing Education, has been appointed interim director of the center, effective May 29. Yoo will report to Barbara Romzek, interim senior vice provost for academic affairs.

“We are pleased that Dr. Yoo has agreed to assume this important role,” Romzek said. “Jean’s experience will allow the center to quickly move forward to expand and support high-quality hybrid and online courses for students in Lawrence and those at a distance from campus.”

Yoo has extensive experience in distance learning, online course development and program assessment. Her broad academic background and experience teaching face-to-face and online courses have enhanced her work with faculty from throughout the university. Yoo has a bachelor’s in English and art history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s in applied linguistics from Georgia State University and a doctorate in language education from Indiana University.

The center will employ existing KU staff. No new positions are anticipated.

The Center for Online and Distance Learning will be housed at 1515 St. Andrews Drive in Lawrence. The center also will have a satellite office on main campus to facilitate its work with faculty.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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