September 25, 2014

SIU offers free online course

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A free online learning opportunity is now available at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
SIU is offering its first Massive Open Online Course, better known as a MOOC.  The course, Behavior Analysis and Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders, will debut during the spring 2015 semester. 
The course will provide an overview of applied behavior analysis and therapy for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.  Students who successfully complete the course will earn a certificate of completion.

The online eight-week course uses a structured, self-paced format.   The course was created in collaboration with the university’s Center for Teaching Excellence, the central campus unit providing services to help meet SIU’s ever-evolving teaching and learning needs.  

Participants in the MOOC can learn anytime, anywhere and work on their own schedule within weeklong modules.   Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, professor of behavior analysis and therapy, board-certified behavior analyst and Certified Online Instructor by Online Learning Consortium, will provide the instruction. Students will also learn through special presentations from world-renowned scholars, interactive online activities, online readings and interaction with classmates and faculty. 

Rehfeldt said the course is perfect for anyone considering academic training in behavior analysis, including people currently working in schools, human service agencies or similar clinical and educational settings.  The MOOC can also serve as an exploratory educational experience for those considering a career in the field.  

Rehfeldt is the recipient of a number of teaching and research awards, including the College of Education and Human Services’ Teacher of the Year and Scholar of the Year awards.  She has written and edited numerous publications in the area of behavior analysis and therapy.  

“Dr. Rehfeldt has shared with me the many innovative features of her course that place it among best online practices. This MOOC is much more than run-of-the-mill online coursework. Students are in for a real learning experience by a master online instructor who happens to be a nationally recognized expert in her field,” James S. Allen, associate provost for academic programs, said. 

Class registration begins this fall.  Additional details are available online at