Connecting online and face-to-face

Connecting online and face-to-face

With dedication for students both online and on campus, WSU professor Darrel Muehling works to create an engaging classroom setting.

Muehling is the chair of the marketing and international business department as well as a professor at the WSU Pullman campus and WSU Global campus.

As a professor for the Global campus, Muehling works with online MBA students designing courses focused in marketing.

“The expectations we have of online students is very similar of what we have face-to-face,” he said.

Muehling began teaching online classes after offered the opportunity. He said he thought it was a great way to continue to connect with students.

“This was just another way to broaden my horizons and being able to reach out to students who couldn’t otherwise be here in Pullman,” Muehling said.

Susan Fein, eLearning consultant, helped Muehling design his online courses for students. She said she is one of four instructional designers who help professors design online courses, and professors are usually extremely involved in the design process.

Fein said one of the challenges of online learning is that material can often become boring and repetitive.

She said Muehling worked to create a program that met the needs of online students, while also creating engaging material that one would often find in a classroom setting.

“He was really committed to variety and creating a lot of engagement between the students and the material, as well as between students and each other, to create sort of a community,” Fein said.

In the classroom at the WSU Pullman campus, Muehling teaches marketing classes, and said he works to keep students engaged and interested in the material.

Dominique Braxton, a graduate student in the department of marketing, said while teaching, Muehling likes to joke with students, show lots of videos and ads, and keep presentation slides brief.

“It’s more of an exchange than just a lecture,” Braxton said. “He likes to provide real-life scenarios that they can take with them after college.”

Muehling won numerous awards, including the WSU Marketing Club Teacher of the Year Award for the past 10 years, and his marketing research has been published in several journals.

Although his work in the marketing community has made an impact nationwide, Muehling said he began teaching as a professor for the students rather than for the research.

“I say this to students the first day of class, and I tell them that I admit they probably think it’s kind of corny, but my favorite time of the day and of the week is the time I spend with students,” Muehling said.

He would like all of his students to take away knowledge that can help them succeed in the business world.

“I would like them to have a little larger tool box, and that they can have a better understanding of how some things work,” Muehling said. “Most people who come into my class, they’re thinking like consumers, and I want them to think like business people.”

Muehling’s involvement with both WSU’s Global and Pullman campuses has allowed him to understand the challenges that some students may face with education, as well as work to continue student engagement.

“Having both perspectives keeps the instructors or professors well-rounded,” Fein said. “It gives them a broader perception, I believe.”

Muehling said he wants students to feel that they have a support group through their studies, whether they are taking classes online or at the Pullman campus, which is why he designs his classes to be interactive.

“What we hope that by the end of a student’s program, either undergraduate, or in this case an online MBA, that they feel like they’re a Coug,” he said.