Students in field

Exploring the Digital Classroom with Dr. Michelle Rauch

March 29, 2019


Dr. Michelle Rauch dropped by Finlandia University, as well as Finlandia Fridays, for this week’s episode. Dr. Rauch was hired as Director of Innovative and Online Learning in the fall, and will be moving to campus more this upcoming year.

Rauch stated that her goal is “to make sure that the online classrooms are consistent with the traditional classroom. The person should feel the experience of the in-person class and be part of a collaborative community.” FinnU has offered an online nursing program for the past decade, but with Rauch’s help FinnU will offer a variety of online programs.

Rauch’s passion for online learning comes from personal experience.

“When I was in college there was a lot of hesitation, I was a little shy and I didn’t want to ask questions because I didn’t feel comfortable,” mentioned Rauch. “The online environment allows the student to gather all the same information and ask questions without feeling like someone is watching them. The online classroom also allows students to go back and make sure they understand what they are being taught, unlike the traditional classroom.”

In her professional experience, Rauch says she has high hopes for FinnU’s online programs. With all the time and effort spent to create the program, Rauch is excited to see students not only learn the material, but apply the material to real-life situations.

Prior to FinnU, Rauch worked with Grand Canyon University, Arizona State University and Arizona Christian University. Arizona Christian is one of Rauch’s shining accomplishments, building the program from the bottom up. Going from 10 students to more than 75 in a matter of weeks. Rauch mentioned that as enrollment went up, she noticed that their online program was different than other programs. Rauch’s program required her and her team to actively engage with the students. Arizona Christian was rated number one in online learning in Arizona in 2017.

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