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MERLOT PRESENTATION Northeast State Technical Community College A METHOD FOR ENSURING QUALITY IN ONLINE COURSES Dr. Tom Wallace – Director of Academic.

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Presentation on theme: "MERLOT PRESENTATION Northeast State Technical Community College A METHOD FOR ENSURING QUALITY IN ONLINE COURSES Dr. Tom Wallace – Director of Academic."— Presentation transcript:

1 MERLOT PRESENTATION Northeast State Technical Community College A METHOD FOR ENSURING QUALITY IN ONLINE COURSES Dr. Tom Wallace – Director of Academic Technology Dr. James C. Lefler – Dean of Evening and Distance Education

2 Topics Quality and Online Courses The Committee The Process Policy Follow-up

3 Quality and Online Courses Quality means many things to many people. We have all gone into a restaurant and ordered a meal and just raved about it to our friends. The next time that we visited the restaurant, the same meal was mediocre at best. Besides being disappointed, we would probably be hard pressed to say that this was a “quality” restaurant.

4 Quality and Online Courses - cont. In this instance, quality would be defined as consistency. If our meal at a restaurant is consistent every time that we visit, (unless it is consistently bad), we are more likely to return than if it is “on again off again” in its consistency.

5 Quality and Online Courses - cont. Consistency in instruction, as well as consistency in objectives and contents, could easily be accepted as a measure of quality in an online course. If the course does not deviate from its onsite counterparts, i.e. if a student taking the onsite course and a student taking the online course do equally well on a standard examination covering the material, then we can say that the online course is of comparable quality to the onsite course.

6 The Committee During the year 2000, an Internet Subcommittee was formed as part of the Distance Education Committee at Northeast State Technical Community College. The purpose of this committee was to oversee and establish procedures and guidelines related to Internet course development and offerings.

7 The Committee – cont. Who comprises the Committee? –Faculty with interests in online courses –Academic Department Heads and Deans –Director of Academic Technology –Dean of Distance Education Faculty involvement is crucial to the process.

8 The Process Faculty submit course development form to Division Chair/Dean. –Division Chair/Dean determines if course meets divisional goals how often to be offered how many sections are normally offered how will it impact onsite equivalent courses –Division Chair/Dean determines if course meets staffing goals. –Division Chair/Dean approves/disapproves course development. If approved, the process continues.

9 The Process – cont. Faculty submit approved course development form to the Office of Evening and Distance Educationcourse development form –File is made for the course –Course development form is sent to Director of Academic Technology / Chair of Center of Emphasis

10 The Process – cont. Center of Emphasis determines if developer is applying for Center funds. –If funds are requested, Chair determines if funds are available. –If funds are requested, Chair determines courses rank in Internet inventory course list.Internet inventory course list –If funds are requested, Chair determines if developer has previously received funding from the Center. –If funds are requested and course meets the above requirements, funding is granted, else funding is denied.

11 The Process – cont. If funding is approved – a copy of the approval form is sent to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs for a signature –then it is forwarded to the Director of Personnel –and a special contract is generated and signed by the course developer.

12 The Process – cont. The developer is notified of the status of funding request and the due date for materials to be available on the course master in order to be reviewed. A copy of the review criteria is forwarded to the criteria If this is the first course the developer has worked on, an initial training meeting between the developer and the Director of Academic Technology is scheduled.

13 The Process – cont. Follow-up meetings with all developers are held as needed or requested. –The Director of Academic Technology contacts new developers every two weeks to provide assistance as needed. –Veteran developers are assisted as requested. A reminder of the due dates is sent every three weeks for the first six weeks, then weekly until the due date arrives.

14 The Process – cont. A meeting of the Internet Sub- Committee is scheduled for a full review of the new Internet courses to be offered during the next semester. This meeting is normally held after the completion due date, but before pre-registration for the next semester.

15 The Process – cont. When the developer has completed the course to the extent that it can be offered with only minor changes, the developer schedules a review meeting with the Director of Academic Technology.

16 The Process – cont. Either during the meeting or prior to the meeting, the Director of Academic Technology looks through the course and assesses the structure and content of the course with regard to the established guidelines and notes any missing elements. During the face-to-face review, any omissions are discussed and a time table to have them included.

17 The Process – cont. Upon receipt of the missing items, or if only minor items remain omitted, the course is scheduled for review by the entire Internet sub-committee.

18 The Process – cont. During the Sub-Committee Review −either the Director of Academic Technology, or the course designer present the course to the committee −explain how the course will be delivered −how interactivity will be achieved −answer any other questions that may arise

19 The Process – cont. Upon Completion of the Review −the course is voted on by the committee for inclusion into the course inventory −or if questions still arise, it may be conditionally approved upon verification by the Director of Academic Technology, that the item in question has been corrected. −upon approval, the course is opened for student enrollment.

20 The Process – cont. Following Committee Review A meeting is scheduled to complete the paperwork verifying that the course has been developed according to the standards and has received committee approval with −Dean of Evening and Distance Education −Chair of the Internet Sub-Committee −Director of Academic Technology/Chair of the Center of Emphasis −Coordinator of Distance Education Programs and Services This signed documentation is then sent to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs for approval.

21 The Process – cont. The Vice-President for Academic Affairs approves the courses. If the developer is to receive funds from the Center of Emphasis, a copy of the completed paperwork is sent to the Director of Human Resources who submits the payment voucher to payroll.

22 Policies New courses are placed on SIS in a closed status until reviewed and approved. The Internet is simply an alternate mode of delivery. Internet courses are not new courses but are simply redesigned versions of existing onsite courses. Competencies, objectives, and assessments must be similar in content to their onsite counter-parts. Nothing may be added to or subtracted from an Internet course that renders it to be a different course from its onsite equivalent.

23 Follow Up As many courses are only offered one time a year, a three-year cycle was chosen for follow-up review of the courses. Follow-up review consists of checking every section of the previously approved Internet course to insure that “version skew” has not created a new course.

24 Follow Up – cont. Since a college course is an actively evolving entity, after a course has been offered for 3 years, the course is re- evaluated to ensure that its original purposes and design have not changed, and that required elements have not been left out during transition. This is extremely important in courses where multiple sections are offered by faculty who were not originally part of the development process.

25 Follow up – cont. The re-evaluation is done without the faculty member knowing that it is being done. After the re-evaluation, the faculty member and the evaluator discuss the changes and determine if they are cause for a re-review by the entire committee, as many times the changes are actually improvements that may be beneficial to all online courses.

26 Questions?

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