Innovative Online Learning

Online and blended classes are available, designed and taught by Muhlenberg College faculty to mirror the high quality experience found in the Muhlenberg classroom.

Muhlenberg faculty are exploring new modes of teaching and learning online, building on a longstanding interest in the possibilities of technology to enhance liberal arts learning. The courses offered online this summer vary – some are entirely online, while others require a small number of on-campus meetings – but students in all courses will find similarities with their traditional on-campus courses: a focus on academic rigor and critical thinking, an emphasis on interactive and learnercentered approaches, and intensive interaction between faculty and students.


Greta Brubaker

Introduction to Digital Photography is offered as a hybrid course (in-class and online). The course will meet in person every Tuesday evening from 6-10 as well as Thursday August 16 from 6-8. Please do not register for the course if you cannot be available for these inperson class meetings. During the course, students will be guided online through readings, video lectures, asynchronous discussions, and photographing. All technical aspects of the course such as camera use and operation, Adobe Photoshop workflows, and inkjet printing will be done in person during the Tuesday night class times to ensure good student comprehension and exploration of the different skills covered. The course will be a mixture of guided inperson learning and practicing of skills as well as
self-directed explorations of course related concepts. Meets general academic requirement AR.

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Melissa Dowd

This course covers topics in human structure and function, human genetics, and human ecology. A scientific and bio-ethical approach is used to study issues related to society as a whole as well as to an individual. The overall goal of the course is to help students become more scientifically literate so that they can make informed decisions. Students who have taken BIO 150, 151, or 152 need permission of the instructor to enroll. Meets general academic requirement SC.



Joe Molinari

Globalization & Marketing exposes students to concepts, practices and theories of  international marketing and global trade and introduces them to the global interdependence of consumers and corporations. Students assess how international influences, such as culture, social structure, politics, monetary systems, and legal issues affect the firm’s management decision making process and marketing decisions and influence consumer behavior. The realistic Export Plan project, where students introduce a new product to a country, requires extensive research. Students immerse themselves in the culture and economy of a country of their choice and then plan a global marketing strategy for their product. All activities, discussions, assignments and exams for this course will be completed online through Canvas. Students enrolled in this course are expected to complete approximately 12 hours of online work per week throughout the summer session. Students will use McGraw Hill Connect and the included e text to supplement lectures which will be recorded and posted online. The instructor will be available online for consultation at designated times throughout the summer session.

Each week there will be at least one discussion question, one case to analyze and topic related current event article to summarize. A key component of the final grade will be an Export Plan which students will build in sections throughout the summer session. Prerequisite (unless waived): BUS 233 Operations & Information Systems, BUS 236 Management, BUS 239 Marketing and FIN 237 Corporation Finance. Limited to juniors and seniors.



Keri Colabroy

Kitchen Chemistry is a course designed for non-majors to engage, reason with, and practice scientific principles in a familiar setting - the kitchen. The food we eat is made of atoms joined into molecules by bonds, and the processes we use to cook that food are physical and chemical manipulations of molecular interactions. Using this context, students will derive basic scientific principles from the fields of chemistry, biology, and biochemistry to not only understand the process of cooking, but also to predict outcomes and design recipes of their own. This course is for non-science majors only. This course is fully online with a take-home laboratory component. Students will watch video lectures, complete assessments and perform laboratory experiments each week. Students will need access to an oven, stove and microwave. Basic kitchen supplies are also required - Muhlenberg students may rent supplies from the department of  chemistry for refundable deposit upon return of materials in good condition. Meets general academic requirement SC.



Susan Kahlenberg

Media & Society introduces students to core concepts in the study of media and communication through the lens of reality television. There is extraordinary popularity of reality television, with millions watching favorite television programs live, through time shifting capacities and streaming, Internet services, websites, and social media networks. Students will explore reality TV within social, political, economic, and technological contexts and developments, moving from taken for granted assumptions and experiences with reality TV to the scientific. Students explore the ethics, history, production, representation, and consumption of reality TV, with topics including: tensions in what is real and artifice; advertising and commercialism; the new television economy, labor, and production; identity and power; neoliberalism; interactivity and participation; and celebrity.

Media and Society also investigates issues pertinent to information literacy and fake news, media democracy and reform, ownership and concentration, globalization, and digitalization. By the end of the semester, students will develop and strengthen their information literacy, critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills. This is a fully online course comprised of student engagement in asynchronous discussions, online mini lectures, and synchronous interactions (using webconferencing during our time slot and marked in the class calendar in advance) in Canvas. While there is considerable flexibility to complete assignments within each week's module, this course is designed for the self-motivated student with excellent time-management skills. 



Lora Taub-Pervizpour

What do driverless cars, drone spies, and robot workers have in common? This course explores how new digital information technologies are being deployed to reimagine the way we work, learn, play, love, and know. Our inquiries will take into account both the possibilities and the problems that surround the introduction and diffusion of new information technologies in society. We will consider the social, political, economic, and cultural implications of new information technologies across a range of issues:  privacy, identity, education, global citizenship, and our relationships to one another. The course aims to engage students in considering deeply not only how new technologies might enable new forms of freedom as well as widen longstanding inequalities.



Sara Vigneri

Introduces students to the great traditions of interpretive, documentary, and advocacy journalism and photojournalism. Includes analysis of exemplary works in the tradition and provides some opportunities to develop skills through individual projects.



Chuck French

In Literature & Film, students will learn the language of film and its application both to academic analysis of cinema as an art form and to the planning that goes into the creation of a movie. Students will not work behind cameras, but they will learn to think like  moviemakers, preparing to create a film. We will read and cover several books of literature, discuss them as texts, and explore how these novels can be transformed into movies. This discussion and exploration of the two art forms will be central to the class as we examine what their commonalities and differences are. This is a hybrid course in which we will meet online for six sessions and in the traditional classroom for six. Please note that the first meeting will be in the traditional classroom. Meets general academic requirement HU.



Amy Corbin

Melodrama is a mode of popular storytelling that puts its characters in dramatic situations in which the stakes are nothing less than the victory of good over evil. This course will investigate the central role of melodrama in American film, with particular attention to issues of gender and race. It focuses on films that are often classified as “women’s films” and “social problem films,” but also includes “male melodramas.” We will also perform a case study of the literary, stage and film incarnations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The course considers melodrama’s aesthetics, such as music, dramatic editing, and symbolic use of setting. Meets general academic requirement HU.



Mark Stein

This course uses the frontier as an excellent perspective from which to study history—an approach that is particularly useful when placed in a comparative context. The course will first examine the theoretical and historiographic study of frontiers, including Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis" of American history and its critics, attempts to apply Turner's ideas to other parts of the world, Owen Lattimore's work on Inner Asia, and anthropological studies of frontiers and colonial expansion. This will be followed by an analysis of specific problems and cases from a variety of cultures and historic periods, including frontiers in ancient Rome; frontier conflicts in medieval Spain and England; the interactions between the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires in the early modern period; European expansion in North America and Southern Africa; ethnicity and identity among frontier populations; and depictions of frontiers in literature and film. Meets general academic requirement HU.



Danielle Sanchez

This course offers an introduction to African activists and liberation movements from the nineteenth century to the present. We will examine the personalities, politics, and struggles of key African activists, intellectuals and artists. By examining Andre Matsoua,  Ashley Kriel, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Kwame Nkrumah, Diana Ferrus and many others, we will analyze political and social  transformations and the making of contemporary Africa. Meets general academic requirement HU and DE. 



Roberta Meek

African American activism and agitation for racial equality profoundly impacted the social, political, and cultural histories of the United States. This course introduces students to the history of the black freedom struggle with particular focus on the years between 1954 and 1968. African American musical expression offers a particularly powerful lens through which to examine the issues, events, and individuals of the period. No longer shrouded in code as in field songs, the music of the period declared a clear intention of rallying support and inspiring specific strategies and tactics to overcome Jim Crow. The course examines folk music of folk artists but offers a particular emphasis to the works of jazz musicians. Meets general academic requirement HU. 



William Feeney

The United States during the first half of the 19th century through the Civil War experienced massive tension, turmoil, and stress in its political and social environments. Through the study of the history and literature of this period, we will examine the directions, causes, and consequences of these stresses and changes on the people of the United States. Our online course will build upon the major themes of the era by drawing connections between the Civil War and your local communities. As part of our course you will have the opportunity to do individualized research and present your work to your peers, thereby contributing to the education of the entire  class. In essence, in this course you will be learning, teaching, and doing history. Meets general academic requirement HU.



Judith Parker

A study of the structure, motions, and evolution of the bodies of the physical universe. Emphasis is given to understanding physical principles and the techniques used by astronomers to study the universe.

Topics of special interest include the structure of the solar system, the properties of stars, stellar evolution and collapse, the structure of galaxies, and cosmology. This course is offered totally online with one required one hour meeting with the instructor before the course begins. This meeting can be held in person before the student leaves campus at the end of spring semester or can be a Skype meeting if the student registers after leaving campus in spring. This meeting will include a discussion of course requirements and deadlines as well as the technology that will be used for small group activities and labs. During most of this course, students will work individually as they are guided through 10 weeks of textbook readings, online mini-lectures and demonstrations, and asynchronous online discussions. However, students will be required to participate in a small group of two or three students to complete the labs and simulations throughout the course.

This participation in a learning community is required, but the small group sets its own meeting times based on the students’ schedules. While there is considerable flexibility of time and place there are deadlines throughout the course that must be met. This course is designed for the self-motivated student with excellent time management skills. If you have any questions about the course  delivery or content, contact the instructor, Dr. Judith Parker, at No prerequisites, online learning course, meets general academic requirement SC.



Lanethea Mathews-Schultz

Political Science internships provide opportunities for students to link the academic study of politics with experience outside of the classroom while gaining important professional skills, exploring possible career options, and facilitating networks. Political science is an interdisciplinary field; as such, internships may include government, nonprofit, community, educational, health and legal fields with  relevance for American politics, international relations and global politics, and law. Students who would like to pursue an internship for academic credit during the summer should contact Lanethea Mathews-Schultz at, the internship coordinator, and will enroll in PSC 960, an online course containing a set of exercises that students will complete in conjunction with their internship. Students are required to meet with the instructor occasionally during the semester and to participate in an online learning community with other political science students taking internships. Internships require 9 to 12 hours per week on-site for one course unit. 



Erika Bagley

This course will serve as an introduction to the science of psychology. We will cover various theories, topics and applications of the field of psychology including biological, cognitive, social, developmental and clinical areas. Through this course you will learn to identify ways in which the science of psychology affects our everyday lives and gain knowledge in multiple areas of psychology that will serve as a foundation for future courses within the major and across campus. The course will highlight connections between different areas of psychology and identify ways in which different perspectives contribute to a more full understanding of human behavior. Students will also learn how to read peer-reviewed, empirical articles and gather necessary information to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a study. No prerequisites, online course, meets general academic requirement SL. 



Kate Richmond

Psychology of Women is a subfield of psychology that focuses on the lives and experiences of girls and women. Within the last few  decades, girls and women have made substantial strides in creating more opportunities for themselves; however, there are still many social inequities that disproportionately affect them. In this class, we will study the lives of girls and women from a variety of  theoretical perspectives (e.g., positivist-empirical, postmodern, queer), with attention to how both quantitative and qualitative  methodologies are used to inform our knowledge. Because sex and gender do not influence people’s behavior in isolation, we will also examine the intersection of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, and embodiment in our analyses. The class will be entirely facilitated online. Students will be guided through 6 weeks of readings, online mini lectures, “try it for yourself” activities, and  discussions. While there is considerable flexibility of time and place, this course is designed for the self-motivated student with excellent time management skills.

Students should also be aware that this course deals with politically-charged and, at times, emotionally-laden topics (e.g., slut-shaming, birth control, transgender rights, menstruation, pregnancy/fertility concerns, sexual assault and interpersonal violence). For this reason, students who are open to introspection, reflection, and critical thinking will be especially successful. This class is open to all students, regardless of gender identification. Prerequisites: PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology and two additional psychology courses or WST 202 Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies.  



William Gruen

Religious myth and ritual is full of allusions to animals. From the 'Scapegoat' and the 'Lamb of God' to the 'Sacred Cow' and the  'Chinese Dragon', animals are central to the symbolic representation and language of almost every religious tradition. This course will compare and contrast the way animals are imagined and used in the beliefs and practices of several religious traditions. Students will be guided through 6 weeks of readings, online mini lectures, asynchronous discussions, and synchronous interactions. Synchronous interaction class meetings will be scheduled in advance and posted on the class calendar. While there is considerable flexibility of time and place, this course is designed for the self-motivated student with excellent time management skills. No prerequisites, online course, meets general academic requirement HU. 



Sharon Albert

This course will survey the beliefs, practices, and history of Islam, focusing on how Islam has evolved over time and culminating in a close examination of the forms Islam takes today and the place of Islam in current events. Special consideration will be given to what it means to consider Islam as a religion rather than a cultural or political entity. Attention will also be given to Islam’s relationship with pther monotheistic traditions and to American Islam. Meets general academic requirement HU and DE.



Viviana Lucabeche

What is sociology? How do sociologists go about their work? How is society structured? Is inequality an inherent part of human life? How and why do societies change? This course introduces the central concepts and principles of major sociological perspectives. It provides an overview of the study of social institutions, social stratification, and social change. Meets general academic requirement DE and SL. 



Students enrolling in online courses at Muhlenberg should expect to dedicate as much time to studying, reading, preparing for class and engaging with peers and the instructor as they would for a traditional course. The courses provide a considerable degree of flexibility but are not entirely self-paced. The courses follow the summer session schedule, starting and ending within the regular summer sessions, and have weekly assignments and deadlines throughout the session. Learning in an online and blended environment is well suited for students who are comfortable using technologies and interested in learning a range of new digital tools for communication and collaboration, who manage their time well, and have a strong sense of self-direction and responsibility for engaging in the online learning experience.