USF's New Innovation HubNew Innovation Hub aids production of high-quality online courses
In an effort to meet the growing demand for more flexible educational offerings, USF Innovative Education recently opened the new Innovation Hub, a collaborative space designed to empower USF faculty and staff to create affordable, accessible, high-quality online courses that meet the needs of today's students.
Located on the northwest corner of campus, the hub, which includes a video production studio, an audio recording booth, collaborative spaces and modern work stations, is the home of USF's online course conversion and media innovation team, a group of instructional designers, multi-media designers and video production professionals who specialize in building sophisticated, interactive online courses.
"If you took an online course ten years ago, you may have simply watched a video recording of an instructor delivering a lecture in the front a traditional classroom. Today's online courses are different," says Christine Brown, acting director of USF's online course conversion and media innovation team. "They are infused with rich media, including videos, audio and animations, as well as interactive elements. Our primary focus is student success, and the collaborative space we have created supports USF's strategic goals of providing high quality educational opportunities and improving learning outcomes."
In the coming year, USF expects to produce more than 150 new courses in the hub.
"Demand for online courses has grown considerably in the past decade, with more than 65% of all current USF students taking at least one online course per year. By increasing the number of online course options, we can significantly expand access and flexibility to our students and provide a USF education to those that are beyond the geographic limits of our physical space," says Cynthia DeLuca, assistant vice provost for USF Innovative Education.
With new, high-quality online courses offered each year, and thousands of students enrolling in these courses each semester, the benefit to USF's students is clear.
"Through our work with USF's colleges, faculty and administration, we have made significant progress towards contributing to the strategic initiatives of the institution and the goals set by the Board of Governors. This is evident in the continual increase in online enrollments and in the national rankings of our online programs," says DeLuca. "It is our goal to work with the university community to develop new and innovative online opportunities and initiatives that benefit our students. The Innovation Hub will assist us in meeting that goal."
To learn more about USF's online initiatives, or to view a complete listing of online programs, please visit: usf.edu/innovative-education/programs/online-programs/index.aspx
View more photos of the Innovation Hub on our Facebook page.
This article by Stephanie Harff was originally published in USF Magazine, Spring 2016.