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Architectural Studies: Online Master’s Degree and PhD

Architectural Studies: Online Master’s Degree and PhD

My name is Ruth Tofle and
I am professor and chair of the department of architectural
studies at the University of Missouri. Our department has
enjoyed a long legacy because of our graduate
program at a national level. We were receiving many calls
from around the country that people were interested
in online education. The idea was to recreate
a seminar type format. A small intimate group
of students talking to the professors and having a
very spontaneous and rigorous discussion. The online program gives
you a lot of flexibility from the student side because
most of our students are already working as
professors, as professionals and they hardly find
time to come to the university such as this. The online program worked
out perfectly for me because it allowed me to still
work full-time for the University of Missouri
Extension and obtain my PhD at the same time. I teach classes on anything
and everything related to housing and the community
so it fits perfectly into what I’m already doing. The courses at a graduate
level require a lot of debate and discussion. Currently we are using
Google Hangouts. We also use Wacom Tablets
to do concept boards. What used to happen
face-to-face on a white board, we are
recreating it electronically. My professors in
Architectural Studies who organized the
online classes- they did a really great job of
videotaping their lectures. Campus students,
online students- we’d have discussions
about the topic every week with each other. They tried to make it as
much like an in class experience as they could. We began a summer
workshop early in the development of
our program. Online students come to
campus for the whole week. We get to meet the other
online students in person, we get to meet all the
professors in person. It gives us a chance to
feel like we’re a part of the on campus program. They look up and they
see the columns. I teach them what
that means. I teach them about the legacy
of the University of Missouri and I feel that you will
always be claiming the fact that you are a
University of Missouri alum and you’d better know
what that means. We were the first online
doctoral program at the University of Missouri. In fact, we remain the only
online doctoral program in the nation among our peers
and that’s really the reason why we have such an incredible
demand for our graduate online program.

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