Advancing Online Education in Minnesota State
Advancing Online Education – Full Report-1s94jfi
Defining Online Education
The term “online education” has been used as a blanket phrase for a number of fundamentally different educational models. Phrases like distance education, e-Learning, massively open online courses (MOOCs), hybrid/blended learning, immersive learning, personalized and/or adaptive learning, master courses, computer based instruction/tutorials, digital literacy and even competency based learning have all colored the definitions the public uses to define “online education.”
online education” as having the following characteristics:
- Students who enroll in online courses or programs may reside near or far from the campus(es) providing the course(s) or program.
- A student’s course load may include offering where attendance is required in person or where an instructor/students are not required to be in the same geographic location.
- Students may enroll in one or more individual online course offerings provided by one or more institutions to that may or may not satisfy degree/program requirements.
- Student may pursue a certificate, program, or degree where a substantial number of courses, perhaps all, are taken without being in the same geographic location as others.
Organizational Effectiveness Research Group (OERG),
As the workgroup considered strategies that could advance online education, they were asked to use the primary and secondary sources listed above to support the fifteen (15) strategies that were developed
define a goal as a broad aspirational outcome that we strive to attain. Four goal areas guide this document. These goal areas include access, quality, affordability and collaboration. Below is a description of each goal area and the assumptions made for Minnesota State.
Over twenty percent of existing Minnesota State students enroll in online courses as a way to satisfy course requirements. For some students, online education is a convenient option; for others, online is the only option available
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation guidelines review the standards and processes institutions have in place to ensure quality in all of educational offerings, including online.
There are a number of ways in which institutions have demonstrated quality in individual courses and programs including the evaluation of course design, evaluation of instruction and assessment of student
a differential tuition rate to courses that are offered online. If we intend to have online education continue to be an affordable solution for students, Minnesota State and its institutions must be good stewards of these funds and ensure these funds support online education.
Online education requires different or additional services that need to be funded
transparency is important in tuition setting
Distance Minnesota is comprised of four institutions Alexandria Technical & Community College, Bemidji State University, Northland Community & Technical College, and Northwest Technical College) which collaborate to offer student support services, outreach, e-advising, faculty support, and administrative assistance for online education offerings.
strategies are defined as the overall plan used to identify how we can achieve each goal area.
Strategy 1: Ensure all student have online access to high quality support services
students enrolled in online education experiences should have access to “three areas of support including academic (such as tutoring, advising, and library); administrative (such as financial aid, and disability support); and technical (such as hardware reliability and uptime, and help desk).”
As a system, students have access to a handful of statewide services, include tutoring services through Smarthinking and test proctoring sites.
Strategy 2: Establish and maintain measures to assess and support student readiness for online education
A persistent issue for campuses has been to ensure that students who enroll in online course are aware of the expectations required to participate actively in an online course.
In addition to adhering to course expectations, students must have the technical competencies needed to perform the tasks required for online courses
Strategy 3: Ensure students have access to online and blended learning experiences in course and program offerings.
Strategy 4: These experiences should support and recognize diverse learning needs by applying a universal design for learning framework.
The OERG report included several references to efforts made by campuses related to the providing support and resources for universal design for learning, the workgroup did not offer any action steps.
Strategy 5: Expand access to professional development resources and services for faculty members
As online course are developed and while faculty members teach online courses, it is critical that faculty members have on-demand access to resources like technical support and course assistance.
5A. Statewide Faculty Support Services – Minnesota State provide its institutions and their faculty members with access to a centralized support center during extended hours with staff that can assist faculty members synchronously via phone, chat, text/SMS, or web conference
5C. Instructional Design and Technology Services – Establish a unit that will provide course design and instructional technology services to selected programs and courses from Minnesota State institutions.
Strategy 1: Establish and maintain a statewide approach for professional development for online education.
1B. Faculty Mentoring – Provide and sustain faculty mentoring programs that promote effective online pedagogy.
1C. Professional development for support staff – including instructional designers, D2L Brightspace site administrators and campus trainers, etc.)
more on online education in this IMS blog
If you missed our discussion today on Quality Matters and Hybrid and Online Education, here is a short outline of the topics covered:
- QM – how can we go through the process
The Center for Continuing Studies is going through QM headq/rs, but MnSCU has also its own review process.
- how does the library fit in Hybrid and Online Education
- compensation for faculty to prepare and lead Hybrid and Online Education
Please login your ideas, suggestions, and comments!…
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1st International Conference on e-Learning e-Education and Online Training
CORNELIUS, L. M., & CAVANAUGH, T. W. (2013). Distance Learning, Distant Courtrooms. Chronicle Of Higher Education, 60(12), A30.
We are in the early stages of distance-specific litigation, and most rulings, thus far, have been made at the level of basic trial courts. We await precedents from more senior courts, the possibility of Congressional action, interstate compacts, and other unseen developments for more guidance. At the same time, however, it has also become clear that the new frontier of distance learning is also entering the sphere of courts and lawyers. It is not too early for distance programs and their institutions to take note. – See more at: http://chronicle.com.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/article/Distance-Learning-Distant/143097/#sthash.xGXwBG1D.dpuf
- Written by Dani Babb Published: 24 March 2016
The common threads and take-aways for administrators:
- Faculty don’t like being micromanaged. Hire faculty you trust to do the job, provide guidelines and training, and let professionals do their thing.
- Pay appropriately, and give notice if you are canceling a course.
- Set expectations clearly, and communicate with faculty in the same tone you’d expect; assume the best not the worst.
- Include adjuncts as part of your team.
- Compensate when job duties increase.
- Handle student issues quickly, make sure prepared students enter programs (particularly in graduate work).
- Move away from the “gotcha mentality” into an inclusive, people-make-mistakes, “we are all in this together” model.
Here’s what some of the faculty who agreed to have their comments posted had to say about what lowers their morale:
- Sean-David McGoran noted that students allowed to bully faculty, repetitious and unnecessary training and unreasonable deadlines at final and midterm examination time can be demoralizing.
- Linda Chilson said that pay, curriculum that doesn’t make sense, student behavioral issues and school districts funding unnecessary training are issues, as well as lack of support for out of the box thinking.
- Leah Murray noted that micromanaging every little detail is demoralizing – and understandably added, “why not teach the class yourself if you are going to pay that much attention“. She also noted that lack of positive reinforcement and others taking credit for work you did is troubling.
- Mary Kay Westgate-Taylor cited poor new faculty orientation, unclear expectations, micromanagement and lack of support from administration regarding student issues as concerns.
- Dr Steve Woodsmall noted open admissions – too many graduate students who aren’t able or willing to do graduate level work or have a sense of entitlement (paying tuition guaranteeing a degree) and complaining when they receive clearly deserved failing grades causes low morale.
- Quiana Bradshaw noted that schools acting like adjuncts don’t matter causes low morale. Adjuncts often work hard with no promotional opportunities with no mentoring or encouragement, and only veteran individuals offered promotions. Not including adjuncts as part of the team or micromanaging adjuncts with reports and comments is concerning.
- Jeanie Rogers-Street noted that education not being the driving force of education (instead, finances being the main focus) is a cause of low morale.
- Christina Krepinevich Houston noted rude emails from supervisors as a cause of low morale.
- Stacie Williams commented that supervisors or administrators with a lack of experience in curriculum design and hiring skills dismissing the experience and knowledge of instructors is demoralizing.
- Traci Schneider Cull noted that not having support from online higher-ups or fixing issues in courses/not responding causes low morale.
- Nicki Favero Puckett cited continuous increases in workload without additional compensation as a cause.
- Terri Hennessy Craig stated that severely under, or unprepared, students and canceling classes (particularly without notice) is a cause of low morale.
- Maria Toy noted micromanagement and an increased workload with no additional compensation as a low morale cause
this conversation continues in this LInkedIn discussion group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2774663/2774663-6341436320048648193
more on online teaching in this IMS blog
he EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv
Quick poll – do you require your faculty to be trained how to teach online before they are allowed to teach an online course at your institution?
Kristen Brown, Assistant Director, UofL Online
YES. Our faculty are required to complete two classes. One on using the LMS and the other is a 5-week moderated course called Teaching Online. Both courses are offered online.
Linda C. Morosko, MA Director, eStarkState Division of Student Success
Chad Maxson, EdD │ Dean of Online Learning, Olivet Nazarene University │ Center for Teaching and Learning One University Avenue │ Bourbonnais, IL 60914
Gina Okun Assistant Dean, Online Berkeley College 64 East Midland Avenue, Suite 2 Paramus, NJ 07652
The online academic program director (i.e. MBA, M.Ed.) and I meet with each new instructor to go materials that cover providing instructor presence and best practices in general. I also ask that they sign something that lists 14 online teaching practices we expect as an institution. They also have to complete some LMS training so that they can post announcements, participate in discussions, and manage their gradebook.
We are currently designing a more formal 6 hour online training that is required.
Course design is separate and that’s a 16 week process with our designers.
Tex Brieger Director of Distance Education (814) 871-7134
Absolutely. Also, we give them a stipend to attend the training and develop and online course.
Linda S. Futch, Ed.D. Department Head, Course Design and Development Center for Distributed Learning University of Central Florida
I think the bigger need is for ongoing training for recertification to teach online as technology and online pedagogical models evolve over time.
Kelvin Kelvin Bentley <timelord33@GMAIL.COM>
At Suffolk yes, we do. Over time that went from essentially “how to make the LMS work” to a Faculty Academy where faculty spend an entire semester working as a cohort to examine online pedagogy and best practices. The latter works much better for sound course development.
Doug Kahn College Assistant Dean for IT Operations Suffolk County Community College 533 College Road Selden, NY 11784
I can’t speak of other accrediting bodies, but SACS-COC is fairly clear in its documentation that faculty should be adequately trained before teaching online. Prior to my arrival at U of R in 2015, I worked for 20 years at E. Carolina U. which has a large assortment of online programs and courses. I assisted in the process of designing several online training modules that were to serve as “basic training” (with assessments) for online instructors…directly due to needing to meet accreditation guidelines. As part of documentation for reaffirmation/reaccreditation, had to provide documentation showing that faculty had successfully completed the training. I believe it is required to complete every three years.
Michael Dixon, Assistant Director Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology University of Richmond
I wish we did, but we do not. We run up against contract issues with. Certainly, this could be changed with institutional will but would require a shift in how our agreements with the faculty union.
TRAVIS FREEMAN, MFA EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPER FACULTY AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (FCDC) Office Location: 113 McCaul St, Room 501 T 416 977 6000 x3358 E email@example.com
more on online teaching in this IMS blog
Embedded Librarianship in Online Courses
Instructor: Mimi O’Malley Dates: October 2nd to 27th, 2017
- Discuss ways to incorporate library services through the learning management system level.
- Examine bibliographic instruction in the virtual classroom through team teaching, guest lecturing.
- Identify librarian roles during the design and development of online courses.
- Assessing embedded librarianship efforts.
Mimi O’Malley is the learning technology translation strategist at Spalding University. She helps faculty prepare course content for hybrid and fully online courses in addition to incorporating open education resources into courses. She previously wrote and facilitated professional development courses and workshops at the Learning House, Inc. Mimi has presented workshops on online learning topics including assessment, plagiarism, copyright, and curriculum trends at the Learning House, Inc. CONNECT Users Conference, SLOAN-C ALN, Pencils and Pixels and New Horizons Teaching & Learning Conference. Interview with Mimi O’Malley
more on embedded librarian in this IMS blog