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CA12 Assessing Online Courses Howard University November 2013.

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1 CA12 Assessing Online Courses Howard University November 2013

2 Workshop Objectives Upon completing this workshop, you will be able to do the following: 1.Explain how the assessment of online courses differs from that of face-to-face courses. 2.List the benefits of assessing online courses. 3.Access an online course on Blackboard. 4.Assess the design of an online course, using the Quality Matters rubric. 5.Assess course delivery in an online course. 6.Introduce colleagues to CETLA’s resources for online teaching.

3 Workshop Resources CETLA’s DL Assessment Webpage

4 Definitions F2F (face-to-face) Hybrid* (30-79% online and reduced classroom time) DL(80-100% online) Online (Hybrid* and DL) How many of you have taught an online course? How many of you have taught with Blackboard? *aka “Blended”

5 Why Assess Online Courses? Reaccreditation Better Student Learning Better Teaching

6 How Does Assessment Differ for F2F vs. Online Courses? F2F Students – Student evaluations – Student performance Peers – Review of course materials – Classroom observation Administrators + Implementation of policies Online Students – Student evaluations (online with additional questions)additional questions – Student performance Peers – Review of course materials – Course site visit Administrators + Implementation of policies, including HU Distance Ed PolicyHU Distance Ed Policy

7 Why Should Peer Reviewers Visit the Coursesite? The syllabus alone cannot reveal enough about the course design and delivery. Poor course design or delivery can lead to high student attrition rates and low student achievement. Careful peer reviews of coursesites help faculty improve their online courses.

8 Who Should Visit the Course? IDEALLY A team of three reviewers All experienced QM- certified online instructors One Master Reviewer One subject-matter expert (SME) One external reviewer REALISTICALLY A team of three reviewers At least one DL-certified online instructor ? At least one subject-matter expert (SME) ? Note: Visitors should request background information from the instructor (see the QM Instructor’s Worksheet) prior to the visit.

9 How Can You Visit a Course? Ask the instructor to add you as a student. Ask the instructor to make all assignments and tests available—password- protected if necessary. Log into http://howard.blackboard.c om. http://howard.blackboard.c om If you can’t log in, contact ETS’s Blackboard System Administrator, Umesh Giri (

10 What Affects the Quality of Online Courses? Technology Administrative infrastructure Faculty training Student readiness Course content Course design Course delivery

11 Why Is Assessing Course Design So Important in an Online Course? “When learners can’t find what they need or are confused about where to go and what to do, it is harder for them to learn. Being an online learner is challenging enough without these additional barriers. Plus, frustrated learners tend to either drop out or drive the instructor crazy….” Patti Shank Watch this video:

12 How Can You Assess Course Design? Use the Quality Matters (QM) rubric! Based on research, best practices, and instructional design principles Aligned with national standards (e.g., Sloan Consortium Pillars) Aligned with accreditation standards for distance- learning (e.g., Middle States) Consistent with HU Provost’s syllabus guidelines

13 What Is the QM Rubric? Rubric Standards Annotated Rubric

14 How Do You Rate a Course? If at least two reviewers agree that a course meets a standard, award full points. If at least two reviewers agree that a course does not meet a standard, do not award any points. A course must meet all 3-point standards. The instructor may make minor changes during the review. An effective course will earn 81 of the 95 points (85%).

15 Standard 1.1 “Instructions make clear how to get started and where to find various course components.” 0 points 3 points

16 Standard 5.2 “Learning activities provide opportunities for interaction that support active learning.” 0 points 3 points

17 Standard 6.3 “Navigation throughout the online components of the course is logical, consistent, and efficient.” 0 points 3 points

18 Why Is Assessing Course Delivery So Important in an Online Course? Watch this video:

19 How Can You Assess Course Delivery? Ask the instructor to generate two Blackboard course reports: – “Overall Summary of User Activity” for all students – “Overall Summary of User Activity” for the instructor Visit the coursesite.

20 What Should You Look for in the Site? What to Assess* 1.Social Presence & Availability 2.Instructor Feedback 3.Student Retention What to Check 1.Announcements, Contacts, Syllabus 2.Discussion Board and other social media (but no access to Grade Center) 3.Course activity report (especially statistics for Early Warning System, Performance Dashboard, and day-by-day student “hits”) © The Learning House, 2013

21 What Should You Look for in the Site? What to Assess* 4. Instructor Forum (or Chatroom) Participation 5. Communication of University and/or Course Policies 6. Pacing What to Check 4. Discussion Board and/or Chatroom (“Collaboration”) 5. Syllabus, Announcements, and Content Areas 6. Announcements, Content Areas, and External Links (or “Resources”) © The Learning House, 2013

22 What DL resources does CETLA offer? Faculty can upload CETLA’s template to facilitate course development and assessment.CETLA’s template Faculty can earn Blackboard certification via seven workshops, one three-day seminar, a previous certificate, or a demo.Blackboard certification Faculty can earn DL certification via a 5-day online seminar, a certificate, or a demo.DL certification Faculty can find other resources on CETLA’s Distance-Learning Resource webpage. Distance-Learning Resource

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