I. BACKGROUND: Southeast has experienced resounding success in developing (a) faculty to teach online courses, (b) online courses, (c) online programs, and (d) blended courses. This success, however, has reached the limits of the resources available to support fully online and blended instruction and programming. The development of online and blended programming has out-paced the development of some critically important academic and other necessary student services.
Some specific management issues arising from the institution’s success include:
- Some online courses are being developed without reference to institutional priorities.
- Some online courses are being developed without notification to CSTL, Southeast Online, Kent Library, and student services.
- Online courses are being scheduled and staffed without the knowledge of the Director of Southeast Online, resulting in disruption to course rotations, difficulty in managing seats available, complications with the preparation of instructors, and with the arrangement of instructional support.
II. PROPOSED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: To address these issues and improve the management of online instruction and programming it is proposed that:
- The Director of Southeast Online is assigned responsibility for the coordination of online instruction, programming, and the saving of all seats.
- All online courses should be offered through CSTL using OIS.
- All new online courses should be developed through CSTL and new online instructors should be trained through CSTL.
- All online instructors should attend CSTL workshops so that they are conversant with the instructional software that supports online instruction and aware of pedagogical principles specific to online instruction when developing course materials.
- With current resources the number of online course sections to be offered each term will be limited by the ability to provide adequate technical and pedagogical support.
- Maintain current policy that requires proposals for new online programs to be reviewed and approved by College Council, Graduate Council, and Academic Council.
- Proposals for new online courses must be approved by the department chairperson and by the appropriate college dean, prior to being sent to the Director of Southeast Online. The Director of Southeast Online, in consultation with Director of CSTL, the Provost’s Office, and the appropriate department chairperson and dean, shall establish the priority for developing proposed new online courses.
- Requests to develop new online instructors must be approved by the department chairperson and by the appropriate college dean, prior to being sent to the Director of Southeast Online. The Director of Southeast Online, in consultation with Director of CSTL, the Provost’s Office, and the appropriate department chairperson and dean, shall establish the priority for developing new online instructors.
- When course schedules are drafted, college deans should submit a list of proposed online courses, including the name of the instructor, to the Director of Southeast Online. This list should identify any new online courses and any new online instructors. The Director of Southeast Online will review the list of proposed courses to ensure that any new courses have been developed through CSTL and offered through CSTL, any new instructors have received CSTL training, and the total number of online courses proposed is consistent with CSTL resources.
- The Director of Southeast Online will share the information on proposed online course offerings with the Director of Kent Library, Dean of University Studies, the Dean of Students, Textbook Services, and any other affected support offices.
PRIORITIES: In making decisions about the development of new online courses, the support and improvement of existing online courses, and the development of new online instructors, the following priorities will be applied:
- Maintaining and improving the quality of online courses (quality).
- The development of additional faculty to teach existing courses (redundancy)
- The development and implementation of new online programs (access).
- The development of additional online University Studies courses (sufficiency).
- The development of other additional courses (convenience).
CONSTRAINTS: It is important to realize that the growth of online instruction and programming is constrained by:
- Library Resources: The availability of online materials, the ability to deliver print materials, access to services by online students, and provision of library instruction.
- Student Services: The institution should assess the degree to which it currently is providing academic (e.g., tutoring, disability services, library services, advising) and student services (e.g., health care, counseling) to ensure that online students are appropriately supported.
- Testing Services: CCTST, WP002 and WP003 have to be administered to declared online students.
- CSTL: Faculty and online student support, as well as instructional technology infrastructure.
These constraints and the strategic role of online instruction and programming in the context of the University’s mission must be addressed before there is any significant expansion of online instruction and programming.
Approved by Deans & Chairpersons Retreat, June 21, 2007
Approved by Provost, June 21, 2007