About Us

Officially founded in 2000, The John A. Dutton e-Education Institute is the learning design unit for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. We work in close partnership with the College's five academic departments to design, develop, and manage the College's online certificate and degree programs, as well as to support EMS faculty in the delivery of resident instruction offerings.

The College of EMS serves as a leader in distance teaching and learning at Penn State. To date, our College boasts 18 certificate and degree programs online and approximately 150 fully online courses. We have been able to extend the reach of a high-quality, rigorous, and research-based Penn State education to more than 6,200 campus-based students and more than 1,300 online students studying with us from around the globe.

The impact of online education reaches the College's resident instruction students, as well! In 2021 our College provided 373 course sections of 82 EMS online courses, reaching 7,501 unique undergraduate and graduate students who generated 8,617 enrollments and 25,851 student credit hours.

Embodying the Best Practices in e-Education

The Institute's experienced team of learning designers and multimedia and web-based technology specialists partner with EMS faculty to cultivate the College’s capacity to create online courses and programs that embody the best practices of e-Education. Each general phase of our learning design process—analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation—is informed by tested pedagogical and androgogical learning theories and practices.

Our learning design team also keeps close tabs on the ever-changing horizon for technology and pedagogy innovations and affordances that can enhance our online learning environments. In addition to identifying and piloting promising new technologies, we have developed numerous tools and resources that help our students and faculty to reach their learning and teaching goals.

The Future of Teaching and Learning in EMS

As we look ahead, the Dutton Institute will collaborate with the College’s academic units to meet the vision of One Penn State 2025 to:

  • Provide a Seamless Student Experience
  • Achieve Curricular Coherence
  • Design Relevant and Responsive Programs
  • Engage Learners Throughout Their Lifetimes
  • Achieve the Highest Level of Efficiency of University Resources

For more information about our specific plans, see the Dutton Institute Strategic Plan 2020-25.

Supporting Our Work

Through the support of the College’s leadership, the Dutton Institute operates on a cost-recovery basis, returning net tuition revenues to our academic departments. In order to accomplish all of our goals, we will need to increase financial support for our students, pedagogical and technological innovation, and program development. We will focus our development efforts on:

  • creating scholarship opportunities for our students to make their continued education affordable;
  • discovering funding sources that can be used to support innovation; and
  • identifying resources to off-set program start-up costs so we can anticipate and address market needs while remaining fiscally responsible.

Want to help?

For more information about how you can support the College’s e-Learning initiatives, please contact:

Ann H. Taylor
Assistant Dean for Distance Learning and Director, John A. Dutton e-Education Institute
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
Phone: 814.863.9070
E-mail: AnnTaylor@psu.edu