UT Dallas eLearning Newsletter
SOM at Night

eLearning Newsletter
Issue # 16, Fall 2012

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For all of your UT Dallas online learning news and information.

eLearning Team

When the spring semester begins, all courses (online and face-to-face) will be in the new eLearning system.  We have gone through two successful semesters of pilot testing and the system has been working well. Some of the improvements that you may notice include:

  • No more browser check
  • No more Java check
  • Toggle capability between courses on the same page
  • Customizable dashboard
  • Native mobile app
  • More reliable performance
  • Less downtime
  • Push notifications to email and SMS
  • ALL COURSE EMAILS WILL GO TO YOUR UTD EMAIL ACCOUNT instead of residing within the eLearning course

You may have noticed the last item in the list above states ALL COURSE EMAILS WILL GO TO YOUR UTD EMAIL ACCOUNT. This means if you do not check your UTD email, you will miss critical communications from your professors and classmates, and it will affect your grade. Your professor may use other communication tools as noted in the course syllabus.

Last semester we asked you about how you wanted to be notified about things that happen inside your course. The good news is that you can select how you want to receive notifications with the new system (eLearning Dashboard, Mobile, Email, SMS). Check out the tutorial.

238 of you responded to the survey in last semester’s newsletter. 86% of you weren’t terribly interested in incorporating Facebook into your educational life. When asked, “Which statement best describes your feelings about having a Facebook App to access features such as discussion posts and notification of grades to you?”, you answered:

The split was pretty even when asked what your preference was for receiving course notifications (real-time vs. summary email). These are both options with the new system.

We asked the following question because we were evaluating a third party application that allowed the direct posting to a discussion board from an external communication tool. In truth, this was not as user friendly as we would have liked, so it was discontinued. We asked, “Assuming both options below are possible, please select the scenario that would best describe your likely behavior?” and you said:

Email and SMS were the overwhelming favorite means of course notification. In the new system, these are both options, along with text to voice. The option to integrate Facebook will not be there. When we asked, “What options would you like to have for notification of something happening in your course (select all that you would use if available)?” You said:

This semester’s survey will focus on your preference for viewing your lectures

While the new eLearning system is an improvement over the existing one, it will take a little bit of getting used to. Once the semester begins, you will have access to a course called “UTD eLearning Student Forum”. There will be an area called “Practice! Practice!” This is where you can take sample quizzes, post on a discussion board, and learn your way around the new tools. 

Did I mention that all course emails will go to your UTD email account? Just checking.

Thank you and have a great semester!

-Darren Crone, Ed.D., eLearning Director


Featured Online Student

Kelly M. Smith,

MBA/MS in Accounting Student

The eLearning Team invites you to meet our students by viewing a different profile each newsletter. This semester's featured student is Kelly M. Smith.

  • Where do you work?
    I decided to become a full-time student earlier this year, but I previously worked at Blackbaud, a software solution provider for non-profit organizations.
  • What is your position?
    I worked in business analyst roles in both software design and business process improvement. I am using this experience now to help with the writing effort for v. 3 of the IIBA's Business Analysis Body of Knowledge.
  • How long have you been there?
    I worked at Blackbaud for almost 6 years. My experience at Blackbaud is what encouraged me to pursue the dual degree in accounting because much of my work involved accounting information.
  • What do you want to do after you finish your degree?
    Take a vacation!
  • How many online courses have you taken?
    I have taken 18 online courses.
  • Why did you decide to take online courses?
    I live in Austin, so attending in person at UT Dallas was not feasible for me. I knew JSOM was a great choice, but then having the online degree program made it the perfect choice for me in pursuing graduate study.
  • How is the online experience different from the traditional classroom?
    The flexibility can't be beat. Being able to listen to the lectures according to my schedule has been the key for me in being able to keep up with school with family, work, and volunteer responsibilities. The rewind feature on the recorded lectures is my favorite part.
  • What makes an online course effective?
    Online courses are effective when there is a lot of discussion going on with other students who provide some insight about themselves and their experiences in the workplace.
  • Who was your favorite professor and why?
    I'm not sure if I can limit the list to just one! I've been lucky this semester in that I am able to take classes for the second time with Dr. Ziegler (Negotiations) and Professor Goodrich (AIS Configuration with SAP). All of my professors in this program have excelled at infusing their perspective on the materials in the recorded lectures and online discussions, picking interesting projects and homework assignments to supplement the learning material, and making themselves available via email and phone so that there is less distance in the distance learning environment.
  • Is there any advice you can give to other online students?
    Have fun in school. Try to take the time to get to know some of the other students, even if they are halfway around the world. And yes, everyone else is behind on their studies too!
If you would like to be featured in the eLearning Newsletter, email us!


Jindal School of Management

Academic Advising

Now that Spring 2013 registration has begun, we wanted to give you the latest on the registration procedure for our online CORE MBA courses.  During the early registration period, we close these sections at 40. Then, only online students can register in the remaining spots (up to 50).  This gives you, the online student, priority for these sections as you are not able to attend campus offerings.  If a core MBA course is closed, but it is still below 50, send us an email to register.  Please note that we will open these sections back up to all students once the first payment deadline passes.  For Spring 2013, that will be December 19th. 

We hope your Fall 2012 semester is coming to a productive close.  As always, please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.

All the best,

-Corina Cantua, Assistant Director
JSOM Academic Advising
[email protected]


JSOM Teaching Award Nomination for Online Courses


Online MBA Program

Hello online students,

I wanted to inform you about some new courses that we developed for Spring 2012 and are developing for Fall 2013 (you will notice that 2 of these are our first undergraduate offerings):

Spring 2013

  • OPRE 3310 – Professor DeLuke
  • FIN 6300 – Professor Picken

Fall 2013:

  • MIS 3300 – Professor Thouin
  • MIS 6334 – Professor Zheng
  • MIS 6324 – Professor Menon
  • MKT 6309 – Professor Murthi
  • MKT 6321 – Professor Edsel

To view all of our planned offerings, go to the PMBA Online webpage. To view the list for the current semester, use the UTD CourseBook and select Management for the School and Online for the Instruction Method.

You can contact Corina Cantua in advising for more details on these classes - and can contact me for other questions on the online MBA.

Larry Chasteen, [email protected], Director UT Dallas Online MBA Program


Meet Our Faculty

Mary Beth Goodrich, Senior Lecturer/CPA, CIA, CISA, SAP Certified Associate

Creatively Connecting On-Line

The eLearning team was pleased to hear that one of their online instructors, Mary Beth Goodrich, a senior lecturer in accounting who has taught online courses since 2004 for UT Dallas was nominated for an international teaching award.  She has been awarded the JSOM Online Teacher of the Year Award in the 2004-2005 and 2010-2011 academic years.  She is also the current faculty advisor for ASCEND, the Pan-Asian Leaders in Business chapter on the UTD campus and past SAP Users’ Group faculty advisor.  Professor Goodrich was recently nominated by her students for The Economist’s Business Professor of the Year Award.

“When teaching online courses, you really need to create ways to connect personally to each student in the course”, Professor Mary Beth Goodrich says.  “You want to use all the different tools available to ensure you get to know the students in the class”. 

This is something Mary Beth Goodrich strives to do by asking students to post a personal introduction including information such as what a student's “dream job” would be.  She wants to understand where the course she is teaching fits in with the student's overall career goals.  She also incorporates video clips, audio clips, demos of software, team projects, and lively discussions in classes on topics from the course.  It is not uncommon for Mary Beth to reach out to students in her classes, both online or in person (face-to-face) courses, about job opportunities or other personal development opportunities she feels may be a fit for them based on their interests and aptitudes shown in class.  She also expects students to “actively” participate in her courses. 

I took two online courses from Professor Goodrich. I have to say the level of participation, online, that was required of me exceeded any in-class lecture format. I accessed eLearning throughout the day to contribute to classroom discussion and conduct group projects. The teaching materials provided by Professor Goodrich – electronic format, audio and video – were par excellence”, shares Lance Hanna, a former student and M.S. in Accounting graduate.

Professor Goodrich discusses, “It is more of a challenge to connect to your students in an online environment.  The best way to do this is invest time in getting to know your students and their needs, know what their strengths are, and encourage them in ways that you can in an online environment as well as in person if that is an option.”

Swapnil Mehta, a recent M.S. in ITM graduate took an online accounting systems integration and configuration course, worked as a volunteer TA with her, as well as completed an independent study under her direction and shares, “Professor Mary Beth Goodrich is a very diverse professor to work and study under. She has always been an encouragement to me.”

“My classes would not be a success without the support and encouragement of Darren Crone, Dennis Nguyen and all the eLearning team.  I love my job because I have the opportunity to work with such fantastic people like all the great folks on the eLearning team”, Professor Goodrich emphatically shares.

The top 10 professors and others selected by the expert panel will advance to the next round.  Four of those that advance will be selected for a live “teach-off” competition in the spring to be awarded the title and a cash prize.  If you would like to support UTD and Professor Goodrich in this contest, voting will be through November 23, 2012 5:00pm GMT.  Please check out the Naveen Jindal School of Management site for more information. 

We wish Mary Beth Goodrich luck in this competition!


Newsletter edited by Rita Cubie, Administrative Assistant, UT Dallas eLearning Team

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