The President takes his hand to teaching an online course


Brock University President Jack Lightstone is teaching the 2013-14 winter online course, Ancient Judaisms and Judaic Societies: From Cyrus to Mohammed.

For Brock President Jack Lightstone, the best way to understand alternative teaching methods is to do them yourself.

That’s why he’s teaching the 2013-14 winter online course, Ancient Judaisms and Judaic Societies: From Cyrus to Mohammed (CLAS 2P60).

“I have used IT for many aspects of my teaching,” said Lightstone, whose academic career has included many years as a professor and researcher. “This is just the next step. Moving from having a very robust website that accompanied traditional face-to-face teaching, to moving to being online (only), is just the next step in the progression for me.”

Lightstone’s course includes video lectures, readings and engaging forum discussions.

“I see online course delivery for our students as one aspect of a range of pedagogical experiences that Brock offers to students. Within that range, we offer a certain degree of flexibility.”

Lightstone said he would like to resume teaching and research when his second five-year term expires in June 2016. While he appreciates the flexibility that online course delivery provides, he doesn’t want students to miss out on the full Brock experience — which also includes face-to-face, blended (hybrid) and a number of experiential learning opportunities.

“Pedagogical innovation is the University’s attempt to offer the type of education that will be of long-term benefit to our students, (while) at the same time, being able to respond to some of the pressures students feel.”

When students are unable to take all of the courses they want or need, or if they want additional credits, online courses can expedite their degree or make up for lost time.

“Through opportunities like the Spring/Summer offerings and courses that are fully online, students can manage their time more effectively, and perhaps be able to complete their degrees more quickly,” Lightstone said. “It’s all about offering students a variety of experiences that can suit their needs.”

Registration is open for Spring/Summer courses at Brock, and demand continues to grow as the University expands its offerings for both students and community members who wish to begin, continue or extend their education.

Last year, Brock noted a 17-per-cent increase in spring/summer enrolments from the year previous.

Anna Lathrop, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, says the University is anticipating another 15-per-cent increase in 2014.

A full list of spring/summer courses is available online.

Other Spring/Summer stories:

  • Expanded spring/summer term offers many diverse courses
  • Hybrid learning helps mature students reach education goal
  • Condensed Spring/Summer courses pack pedagogical punch
  • Course aims to bridge health-care gap for youth with disabilities
  • Hockey course offers snapshot of Canadian culture

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