The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Lisa Templeton Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

August 6, 2015


“OSU Becomes a Leader in Online Education”  August 6, 2015  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Templeton discusses her family background and upbringing in Cincinnati, her undergraduate studies at Ohio State University, and her relocation to Corvallis in 1994. She then shares her memories of the state of the university upon her arrival, her work as a marketing and membership director for the OSU Alumni Association, her experiences as a master's degree student in the OSU College of Education, and her involvement with the capital campaign that resulted in the building of the CH2M Hill Alumni Center.

Templeton next describes her initial move to OSU Extended Campus, known then as Distance and Continuing Education. She recalls the state of distance education prior to the Internet era, details the work that went into the creation and delivery of OSU's first online courses, and outlines the further development of a broader curriculum from there. She also speaks to the changes in institutional culture that were required for many faculty and staff to accept the move toward online learning.

From there, Templeton recounts the early phases of her work as director of Extended Campus and details the most significant issues that she needed to address as leader of the unit, including the implementation of a funding model that incentivized the creation of new online coursework within OSU's academic colleges.

The remainder of the interview is largely devoted to a discussion of the inner-workings of Extended Campus. Templeton describes the unit's activities administering the Open Oregon State program. She also shares her thoughts on the learning environment experienced by most online students, including lab work, 24/7 online tutoring, and special services for veterans. She likewise discusses the means by which new courses are created, vetted and approved; the accreditation process for online programs; the technical infrastructure deployed by OSU Ecampus; and changes in the types of feedback being directed toward the practice of online learning.

The session concludes with an overview of MOOCs at Oregon State, Templeton's hopes for the future of Ecampus, and her thoughts on the current direction of the university.