Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First Online TR Course Offered by Indiana University

Yesterday's post regarding UWM's online courses brought to my mind the online course I developed during a sabbatical I had at Indiana University (IU) in the late 1990s. I decided that as a part of my sabbatical leave I would develop an online TR course. My purpose was twofold. First, I wanted to put a course up on the web that we might use as a graduate prerequisite and that others might take to achieve NCTRC certification. Second, I served as the DE Coordinator for the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at IU at the time and I wanted to learn first-hand what was involved in putting together an online course so that I might be more helpful to other faculty developing online offerings. I was successful in developing R378, Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation, as a web-based course.

This course, instructed during the Spring Semester in 1999, has been documented to be the first online TR course. It has been mentioned by Tom Gushiken in his chapter titled "Technology Issues in Therapeutic Recreation Education," which appeared in the book Professional Issues in Therapeutic Recreation published by Sagamore Publishing in 2001.

Bryan McCormick and I co-taught R378 as an online course to three distance learners. If I recall correctly, one was in New Mexico, another in Utah, and the third out East, perhaps in New York. Our experience with these students was very positive.

Yet, as someone who has developed and taught an online course, I can tell you that both course development and instruction are very time consuming. We, at IU, have not since found the time to again teach the online version R378. It is wonderful that our colleagues at UWM and Pittsburg State University are willing to go to the effort to provide online courses for those in our profession.


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