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Distance Learning Program Development: Our Second, Unpaid, Jobs. Stacy L. Willett, Ed.D Professor/ Lead Faculty Emergency Management & Homeland Security University of Akron, Akron, Ohio . Process Stages. These may sound familiar: Denial

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distance learning program development our second unpaid jobs

Distance Learning Program Development: Our Second, Unpaid, Jobs

Stacy L. Willett, Ed.D

Professor/ Lead Faculty

Emergency Management & Homeland Security

University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

process stages
Process Stages..
  • These may sound familiar:

Denial

    • It Can’t be Done! It Can’t be Done “right”, Our program is too complex, we are unique and this won’t work. Who would do the work anyhow?

Anger

    • Ok. You’re asking me to figure it out and do the work. I see how this is going to play out.

Bargaining

    • Seriously, do you have any idea how much work this is to do in addition to teaching and running the program? However, it could mean better program numbers and strength for the future.

Depression

    • You want me to work on this over the summer too, the 9 month faculty contract was a great “idea”. Well I certainly don’t want to hold up the three teams that are now involved or have them make decisions without my input.

Acceptance

    • We are going down this road. Its now a “strategic initiative”. Well then, I need it to be quality and am 100% devoted to every single detail.
the ua process
The UA Process
  • Blackboard
  • Desire to Learn
  • Proprietary System
  • Scattered online course offerings are hosted on D2L. Program products are now going to market on a proprietary system outside of the University.
    • Platform hosting
    • Marketing
    • 24/7 call center
positives
Positives
  • Reaching students
  • Flexibility
    • For students and instructors
  • More program security
    • Internal competition/ cutting for students is outrageous!
  • Being Challenged
    • How can I do this and keep the same components?
negatives
Negatives
  • Workload unknown
  • Administration oblivious of the actual project time, only see main goals- not work.
  • Coordinating with various instructors to make the courses work online.
  • Faculty not cooperative/ on board with the idea
  • New system training for instructors.
  • People heavily mistake FLEXIBLE teaching with EASIER teaching load that obviously have never done it (or done it right).
  • Tied to your computer 24/7
  • Internal curriculum proposal process
curriculum processes
Curriculum Processes
  • Mode changes- one for each course. Standard course to online course. (I did 8 proposals).
  • Once those are passed over 7 months (maybe) involving a five committee review and voting process (faculty, college review, college faculty, university distance learning committee, university curriculum committee).
  • Then all courses go back through to propose and online “product” an online certificate, degree… 7 more months again, five review committees all over again.
concluding thoughts
Concluding Thoughts
  • It can be done. Programs can work online
  • Someone must be totally committed to make it work both in system and in curriculum
  • The workload is literally equivalent to another job. Negotiate pay/ release especially if responsible for entire program conversion.
  • Ask questions, be prepared for the work long term (year round), and become a system expert in addition to your course matter expertise.