DRAFT Online Offerings Recommendations

Posted by Thomas Burkholder on March 21st, 2013 — Posted in Recommendations


Recommendation to Increase Online Course offerings in Spring/Fall semesters

Recommend lifting the cap on online-only courses in the fall and spring to allow a one year trial with a maximum of 20 sections per semester online only courses (excluding online grad programs and non-credit courses.) Assessment of online delivery (in addition to the dept. instrument) for the courses is required and class sizes no larger than the comparable on-ground course.

Preference would be given to courses offered online which have an on-ground counterpart during the academic year for comparison.

For the purposes of this trial, a report on the learning outcomes (etc) will be required for online-courses. Suggested comparison to previous on-ground course using either departmental instrument or other similar tool.  Additional questions evaluating the online experience will be listed here.

Courses would still have to be approved by the dept. chair and the dean would have to winnow down the candidates to get to 20.

Trial would last one fall and one spring and results of assessment would be evaluated to determine future directions.

Additional Recommendations

No faculty should ever be forced to offer a course online and all course materials developed by a faculty member are the sole property of that faculty member.

Faculty new to online-only courses should have training with Instructional Design before teaching these courses.

An interactive online student training program aimed at students who have not previously taken online courses will be made available. This should help students to become familiar with the skills needed to be successful in an online course.

Online Course Assessment

All online courses should are subject to contractual and department guidelines regarding evaluation of courses.  The survey tool survey.ccsu.edu or other suitable method can be used to administer the department instrument.  Additional questions evaluating the online experience will be listed here and recommended for departments offering online courses.

Hybrid Courses

Hybrid courses are those that meet one of several definitions.  A course is hybrid if there is a reduction of on-ground class meeting times with the expectation that the online component will count for the remaining credit load.  This could be a 3 credit class that meets 1 day/week for 1:15 with the other half is online.  This could be a course that meets 3 days/week for :50 but carries 4 credits.  Courses that are listed as hybrid should not require more than 50% of the course be online.  A course is hybrid if there is a significant add-on component such as a required 3rd party homework/quiz system.

In all cases, hybrid courses should be listed in the course offerings with the division of online/onground time made explicit.  For example a 3 credit 50/50 course would announce the on-ground meeting time (1 day/week for 1:15 in NC 22410) and the online meeting time (1:15/week ONLINE).  In no case should faculty simply announce at the beginning of classes that the course listed as MW 9:25-10:40 in LD 210 is actually a hybrid that meets once a week.


Comment by James Mulrooney

RE: Online assessment.
The Academic Assessment Committee (AAC) can assist in the creation of an instrument/guidelines for online assessment. I also would like to propose that the AAC review the assessments and report back to the campus community

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 11:23 am

Comment by Roger Bilisoly

4th paragraph of first section: “Courses would still have to be approved by the dept. chair and the dean would have to winnow down the candidates to get to 20.” It’s understood that “the dean” means the dean of Arts & Sciences? If not, how are these 20 classes apportioned to the different schools?

2nd paragraph of second section: “Faculty new to online-only courses should have training with Instructional Design before teaching these courses.” Before I first taught an online course here at Central, I was required to get training in Hartford. Although this was overly long, it was useful to me. I think that it would be pragmatic as a safeguard to require a teacher new to online-only teaching to contact ID and discuss with them what they plan to do. Then an informed decision could be made on feasibility and the need for training.

Finally, I did not realize before our last meeting that some hybrid courses are being offered in a stealthy manner. I like having the last section, which requires professors to make clear the nature of a course in the course catalog/online listing so students can choose classes in an informed way.

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Profile photo of Thomas Burkholder

Comment by Thomas Burkholder

Roger, Each dean, I believe, is given a quota. A&S gets 4 currently, and then 2 each from the other schools. This proposal would increase each dean’s quota proportionally.

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Comment by John Tully

Hello, all. Unfortunately, I will not be able to join you on Thursday owing to class schedules.

While all of this looks great, I would just recommend one thing. While it is a good idea that faculty can get some training for offering online courses, what prompted my addition to the committee was a sense that Instructional Design or some other entity may require faculty members to pass something before being allowed to teach online or a hybrid class. Any attempt to have someone other than faculty to determine the competency of a person to teach is a threat to academic freedom. I would suggest that we find a way to make that clear from the start.

Perhaps: Faculty new to online-only courses should have training with Instructional Design before teaching these courses. The purpose of this training would be to help the faculty member utilize the technology required, not to approve him or her to teach.


Posted on April 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment