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Quality Assurance of Distance Education Initiative. Presented at VPPA Meeting March 2, 2010 Robert Keown and Benita Moore. Purpose of Initiative. Goals To be sure that distance education courses are taught and delivered in a manner that results in appropriate student learning

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Quality Assurance of Distance Education Initiative

Presented at VPPA Meeting

March 2, 2010

Robert Keown and Benita Moore


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Purpose of Initiative

  • Goals

    • To be sure that distance education courses are taught and delivered in a manner that results in appropriate student learning

    • To be sure that SACS COC policies and guidelines are followed

    • To assist VPAAs and Deans to have instructors who consistently deliver distance education courses that are of high quality


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How To Accomplish Goals of Quality Assurance Initiative

  • Obtain input from VPAAs and Deans

  • Utilize Quality Assurance of Online Courses Manual

  • Develop best practices for reviewing course content and delivery processes


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SACS COC Guidelines and PoliciesRecent Changes (January 2010)

  • Access http://www.sacscoc.org

  • Click onto "Institutional Resources“

  • Find revised policy entitled "Distance and Correspondence Education“

  • Find newly posted guidelines called "Distance Education and the Principles of Accreditation: Documenting Compliance"

  • These above policies and guidelines are designed to help you document compliance when preparing your institution's Compliance Certification, the Fifth-Year Interim Report, and other reporting


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Summary of Guidelines and Policies

  • Definition of Distance Education

For the purposes of the Commission’s accreditation review, distance education is a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction (interaction between students and instructors and among students) in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. A distance education course may use the internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices; audio conferencing; or video cassettes, DVD’s, and CDROMs if used as part of the distance learning course or program.


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Curriculum and Instruction Policy Statements (Summary)

  • Provide for timely and appropriate interaction between students and faculty and among students

  • Ensure the rigor of programs and the quality of instruction

  • Provide consistency in course format

  • Ensure currency of materials, programs, and courses


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Curriculum and Instruction Policy Statements (Summary) – cont.

  • Ensure faculty who teach in distance education programs receive appropriate training

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of faculty members who teach distance education courses and make clear the criteria by which the evaluation will occur


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Curriculum and Instruction Policy Statements (Summary) – cont.

  • Ensure the technology used is appropriate for the course and the use of such technology is clearly communicated to students

  • Ensure course requirements make appropriate use of learning resources and academic services, including laboratories, facilities, and appropriate equipment


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Curriculum and Instruction Policy Statements (Summary) – cont.

  • Ensure distance education programs/courses and campus-based programs/courses are comparable in areas of student outcomes, student retention, student satisfaction, evaluation of educational effectiveness, and assessments of student learning

  • Provide a support system and professional development for faculty teaching distance education courses


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What Has Been Done?

  • Quality Assurance of Distance Learning Manual developed and revised in 2009.

  • “Assessing Online Courses” Committee met in October, November, and January (committee consists of Point of Contacts at 5 colleges, plus Benita Moore and Robert Keown

    • Strongly encourage instructors to take Angel Basic Class prior to teaching an online course

    • Thought having a standardized or master course available for use would be helpful

    • Thought VPAAs/Deans needed to be involved in the review of online courses (POCs often know problem courses but have no authority and don’t report to an academic dean).


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What Do You Want/Need?

  • How much involvement do you want/need from the system office

    • To assist in coordination of master course development?

    • To assist in coordination of evaluation instruments for master courses?

  • We must adhere to these guidelines for colleges to stay in compliance with SACS COC requirements.

    • CS 3.4.10 The institution places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum with its faculty. (Responsibility for curriculum)

    • CS 3.4.11 For each major in a degree program, the institution assigns responsibility for program coordination, as well as for curriculum development and review, to persons academically qualified in the field. In those degree programs for which the institution does not identify a major, this requirement applies to a curricular area or concentration. (Academic program coordination)


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We Want To Know. . .

  • Complete electronic version (see link below) by March 12, 2010 (hard copy provided for review)

  • Please click on link below to respond to survey

  • http://stusatsurvey.gvtc.org/classclimate/online

  • Password vpaa030310


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