Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

Archive for September, 2007

September DL Report

Distance Learning Phase II Pioneers

We had a meeting of all Phase I and II DL Pioneers on Friday August 31st and discusses the parameters for their commitment to the online course development / retooling initiatives. Each Phase II Pioneer identified the courses they would be developing and/or upgrading in addition to letting me know their professional development needs. Letters went out to all Phase II online faculty outlining their individual goals and objectives for course upgrades and also summarizing what each person committed to. Phase II DL Pioneers have been asked to document all work done for this project and send my monthly status reports that will be posted to the Title III Blog. First status reports are due by October 5th. Shannon Cotnam, Mary Walton (Phase I) and Buddy Miller have requested funds to attend distance learning conferences (workshops) and are being subsidized for this professional development training.

Distance Learning & online services (e.g. counseling services, tutoring services)

A sub-committee of the The Distance Learning Advisory Team met last month and brainstormed innovative ways we could enhance our online student services. Mark Johnson designed a counseling web page that we added to our Distance Learning pages. We also added the Bookstore, Academic Support Services, Student Handbook, CCC Library, Course catalog and Class Schedules, TRIO and student e-mail information and linked all these to the main page (portal) of Blackboard so our online student have a direct link to all CCC student services that have a web presence. Don, Fran and I have been researching an online tutoring service called SMARTHINKING and after hearing very good things from a variety of colleges we had a meeting on September 24th with David Cashwell the VP for SMARTHINKING and he gave us all the details and pricing information for implementing online tutoring at CCC. This initiative is on hold until we can identify viable funding options.

A Quality Assurance Plan (Standards) for online delivery

Now that the DL Team have trained our online faculty through the BB Boot Camps the next step for CCC is to move forward with a Peer Review process in order to insure ALL our online courses are not only technically sound and using effective instructional design methods, but are teaching appropriate course content. This will be the job of the content specialists identified for each curriculum area. I have collected some Quality Assurance Plans (Standards) for Online learning from other schools and am in the process of creating one for CCC. We hope to incrementally begin reviewing our online course offerings soon after I get a plan approved by Dr. Emory and I would imagine the Academic Division Directors. The goal here is to insure all online course content, requirements and quality are comparable to traditional classroom courses.

We are also conducting a Survey of all our online students to gather information concerning why student may be taking online courses over day and evening classes and requesting a range of feedback on our online courses in general.

Surveying DL students (Fran) 77 online students have taken this survey so far.

Patrick Keough
Director of Distance Learning