On June 4, BYU-Idaho announced it would go back to an in-person schedule in the fall, but remote classes are still happening. BYU-I’s online personnel have developed two new kinds of classes.
“There are two flavors: One is a remote course, so it looks like what we have been doing for the past year and a half with the pandemic,” said Eric Karl, the associate online vice president. “The other version actually feels like a traditional online course, but when you get into the course, you are going to have a richer student environment.”
Karl explained that BYU-I’s curriculum development team has always had the mindset of taking its courses to the world. Designed for those in closer proximity to the school, remote and campus-online classes will give you the best of online and in-person education.
“Flexibility is the biggest benefit of an online education,” Karl said.
The online curriculum developers have designed these new courses to fit into a busy schedule. The remote courses require a weekly schedule of classes attended via Zoom. The campus-online courses are less structured but will encourage students to meet together for group projects and study groups.
Online learning at BYU-I started in 2010 and has come a long way since then.
“In the beginning, we just had a few classes,” Karl said. “We started out with just a handful, and now we teach over 2,400 sections every semester.”
During the pandemic, online learning at BYU-I saw incredible growth. The growth has only continued as things have begun to calm down; this semester, 30% more students chose to study online rather than in person. The BYU-I online curriculum development team is excited for the opportunity to perfect its systems and provide an engaging atmosphere for students.
“I would definitely be interested in taking these courses,” said Shanae Honda, a junior studying exercise physiology. “I personally like interacting with other students, and I love the flexibility of online courses.”