Hard-Learned Lessons: Online Course Development in the Years Following Hurricane Katrina

Hard-Learned Lessons: Online Course Development in the Years Following Hurricane Katrina

Sandra E. Weissinger (Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, USA) and Ashraf Esmail (Dillard University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5051-0.ch013
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Abstract

After Hurricane Katrina, numerous studies and policy reports addressed the plight of higher education in New Orleans (AAUP (2007) and McClue, Esmail, and Shepard (2009) serve as examples). Of importance to this chapter are those works that focus on the well-being and renewal strategies of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the city (Cook-Dormoh, 2007) and, in particular, the role that technology plays in addressing the needs of displaced students and strengthening online degree generating programs. This chapter investigates the work of one particular HBCU—North-South—that, post Katrina, had great hopes of building online classes and programs of study. The goal, as articulated by school officials just after Katrina, was twofold: to attract the former student population and to develop a permanent, disaster-ready alternative to traditional on-the-ground classes. Data demonstrate that work to build and maintain online classes has been fragmented, declining significantly by 2008 and benefiting students in a select few programs.

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