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Oregon State’s online students take education into their own hands through interactive learning activities

Watch the video above for a demonstration of a lab kit sent to students enrolled online in Soil Morphology and Classification, and hear Ecampus agricultural sciences alumna Maria Carpenter share how similar hands-on learning activities helped boost her into her dream career after graduation.

By Julie Cooper
March 11, 2019

Oregon State University students are eager for an education that moves their ideas from concept to action.

Online learners are no exception. They dive into challenges facing their communities and environments, and through interactive learning opportunities across Oregon State Ecampus degree programs, they’re able to apply their learning right where they live and study.

Lindsay Caplan’s hands-on learning journey in the OSU Ecampus fisheries and wildlife sciences bachelor’s program began with a map she received in her mailbox.

Redefining the traditional homework assignment, that map led Lindsay to conduct a wilderness expedition and record information about the natural resources around her hometown of Owings Mills, Maryland.

“I was required to use a compass to draw out a specific route and locate things in the wilderness. I spent hours poring over that map. I’ll never forget the feeling of finally figuring it out, sending it to my instructor and receiving a great grade,” says Lindsay, who graduated in June 2018.

“That experience encouraged me that I could work just as hard and learn just as much online as students on campus did.”

Preview online learning with OSU Ecampus

Oregon State instructors partner with Ecampus multimedia developers to create dynamic online learning environments. Get a sneak peek at interactive course content across multiple disciplines.

Take a tour

In addition to lab kits she received in the mail, Lindsay also experienced a combination of virtual and in-person field trips while earning her degree.

With access to virtual and augmented reality environments and a first-of-its-kind virtual 3D microscope, Ecampus students learn to use tools and procedures specific to their field that can be leveraged in their career.

Assignments in an online archaeology class gave anthropology alumna Elizabeth Leiss the opportunity to work closely with 3D models of pottery sherds.

When she landed an internship in her home state with the North Dakota State Historical Society, Elizabeth directly applied the skills she learned in her classes to help preserve the same kinds of important historical artifacts.

“All of the things I had been learning about in class just came to life,” she says. “I love that I got to work with artifacts and help in their preservation.”

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