In The Economist report “Flattening the Multimodal Learning Curve …” Webster University
was offered as a case study, setting the example of an institution that built an innovative
and successful online learning system. Webster created Webnet Plus from the ground
up — a platform that made it feasible for someone from a distant location to tune
in to live classes via video.
These impressive inclusions are proving what Webster's leadership already knew to
be true: Webster is leading the way in technological advancement, inclusion and overall
excellence in higher education. And the University has no plans to stop there.
Because of our already established online capacity, Webster never needed to shift
curriculum during the COVID-19 pandemic like other universities. While many universities
were forced to pivot their learning experiences from in-person to online, Webster
simply continued to operate online programs since their introduction to students in
“Our online programming is unique to our community, having been built from the ground
up and customized to meet the specific needs of our students. We provide the same
curriculum to our online students that in-class students receive, and courses are
taught by the same faculty, thus assuring that our online students achieve comparable
learning outcomes regardless of the means by which courses meet,” Stroble said.
2021: One of the best years to date
While 2020 proved to be challenging for many colleges (and students), Webster thrived.
Others took notice of Webster's well-established systems.
You have to be tuned in and scan what’s going on in the world and in your environment
and what your students are actually going to need from you."
In 2021, Webster served more than 10,000 students online. Prior to the pandemic, fewer
than a quarter were fully online, according to The Economist. Webster’s four-year
average retention rate rose to 78.2% despite the challenges of the pandemic. Many
other universities saw their retention rates drop from last year because of the pandemic
and associated economic challenges.
Not to mention, Webster was ranked 16th out of 175 in U.S. News & World Report’s Top
College List in the Midwest.
Numbers don’t lie
Since 1999, not only has Webster's online learning expertise allowed the University
to serve students during the pandemic, Webster cultivated something even greater:
The University bridged cultural gaps that connect students from around the globe,
highlighting and putting into action its established mission of providing access and
success. Webster operates on the belief that a diverse community leads to an increase
in creativity, decision-making and an appreciation of different perspectives.
The stats and the accolades speak for themselves, but one thing’s for certain: The
success of Webster students is the University's crowning achievement.