Sergio Matviuk, new online dean, begins his work to take ORU’s vision and philosophy onto an interactive online platform in an effort to push forward the global initiative.
“The challenge of a quality online education today is finding how to make a more interactive online classroom,” said Matviuk. “How do we facilitate live connections and timely responses?”
Matviuk received his doctorate online at Regent University in organizational leadership and has worked since then to make the experience better and more effective.
Matviuk has a goal to grow ORU’s online program by 1,000 percent in five years. Currently, ORU has about 200 enrolled online students. Before 2020, the vision is to have 2,000 online students.
“We anticipate a lot of growth, but we have to be cautious not to outgrow the systems in place. If we do not have a satisfying experience, a student is just two clicks away from enrolling in another school,” said Matviuk.
While working on his doctorate he was a consultant and worked full-time. He understands that online students are vastly different than traditional on campus students, and therefore require a different educational experience.
“Online students are generally a little older, over 25,” said Matviuk. “They have different expectations. Some have families and many have jobs. We have to fit that reality. How can they succeed?”
Matviuk emphasizes online does not mean easier, and can be more difficult because it requires a great amount of self-discipline. He said many of his assignments and papers were completed in hotel rooms and on planes. He had to remain very organized to successfully complete all of the requirements.
Matviuk said that online requirements are very different, and over the next few months he has to navigate existing systems, determine what can be reworked for online integration and what new systems must be established.
“We have to integrate financial aid, admissions and recruitment. Some systems can directly integrate while others require new processes,” said Matvuik.
The new online platform will offer two formats: life-long learning and online school. Life-long learning is geared for professional development and to facilitate training in leadership and executive development. Online school is to help students who cannot make it to ORU’s campus.
Professors and external experts will be conducting courses. However, online education requires a different role for classroom leaders.
“The role of the professor is a little different. The professor is the moderator, guide and supporter in online education,” said Matviuk.
To help professors successfully host online students, the university created an instruction design team. The professor will play the role as content creator, and the team will help in the development of online curriculum.
Matviuk diligently studies the best online practices and quality standards. ORU hopes to continue global growth with Matviuk’s knowledge and experience.
“I am excited that Dr. Matviuk is joining our team and believe he will be a great addition as we look to broadening our presence globally,” said President William M. Wilson.
“His longtime experience in online education and international affairs