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Education Hires New Online Director

Photo: Dr. Xiao Han Dr. Xiao Han is the new director of the Online Master of Education Program at the University of St. Thomas.

Han said the number of students learning online is increasing exponentially and cited the most recent survey report provided by the Sloan Consortium in 2011.

“The 10 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the two percent growth in the overall higher education student population. Thirty-one percent of higher education students now take at least one course online. Academic leaders believe that the level of student satisfaction is equivalent for online and face-to-face courses.”

Han said online learning has advantages when compared to traditional classroom learning.

“It allows more access and flexibility,” Han said. “Also, online programs provide learning opportunities for adult students at work, students who want a transition in career or continue education after years of working, students who are the first generation in their families pursuing college degrees, and students who are economically disadvantaged and socially underrepresented.”

Han received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Sichuan University, the largest comprehensive university in Southwest China. She stayed at Sichuan to teach as a lecturer in College of Medical Sciences. After using a multimedia classroom to teach, she realized she could improve her educational technology skills by enrolling in an instructional technology program in the United States.

She received a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in instructional technology from George Mason University and a similar doctorate from the University of Houston.

Her areas of interest include preschool-12 technology integration in classrooms, using video as a reflective tool for teachers, the narrative inquiry research method, and most recently, online course design and development, especially at UST.

“With the funding from the Department of Education, UST has been able to build and update its technology infrastructure and improve faculty members’ technology skills,” Han said about UST’s Online Master’s Program. “Online courses increase graduate enrollment and retention and also provide greater opportunities for students in Houston area, including working adults and underrepresented groups of students, to pursue graduate degrees.”

For more information, contact Han at

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