This white paper was presented at the 2015 Distance Teaching and Learning Conference. It presents a number of strategies which can be used to create effective and relevant online courses and programs. It was been written for a business audience, but remains an item of interest for an educator audience!
The most recent survey of faculty attitudes on technology produced for Inside Higher Ed details the 2015 responses to multiple aspects of educational technology use, online learning, and social media effects on academia. The responses come from 2,175 faculty members and 105 academic technology administrators.
Colleges and universities have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on technology they believe will improve student outcomes and simplify administrative tasks. Educational technology companies continue to demolish investment records on a quarterly basis. With all this money raised and spent under the guise of improving postsecondary education, the 2015 Inside Higher Ed Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology suggests that many instructors believe the gains in student learning justify the costs — even if the results are perhaps less significant than desired.
A white paper produced by Clemson University and Software Secure (RPNow) presenting the use of RPNow for proctoring services to help grow online learning programs at the university.
“I believe that in many cases – academic integrity is kind of the red herring of online education. At the same time, we’ve got questions from legislators and accreditors that want to know what we’re doing to protect academic integrity. I think this is a great way of demonstrating we’re putting a requirement and solution in place – without overburdening any one person or group.”
In August, UPCEA and OLC sent a letter about online learning to the leadership of the House Committee on Education and Workforce as well as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in response to recent public statements which appear to question the integrity of online education.
As early as 2010, a Department of Education meta-analysis of research into the relative effectiveness of online and classroom-based learning put to rest any remaining question that what goes on in a classroom is inherently superior to what can be accomplished online; indeed, that study, and others that have followed, indicate that online learning is often superior in achieving measurable learner outcomes2. To question the inherent “integrity” and “quality” of online learning in 2015 is simply unsupported by overwhelming evidence.
This survey of faculty at U.S. institutions used both quantitative and qualitative analysis to determine current faculty attitudes about technology and learning.
The vast majority of faculty are aware of relevant technologies, even if their pedagogy has remained traditional.
Faculty say that proven student benefit is what drives their technology choices. But when it comes to actually integrating technology into the classes they offer, ease of implementation and the time involved are just as or even more important.
Survey results tended to be flat when looking at all faculty. When faculty respondents were recategorized according to their general disposition towards technology, a different/clearer picture emerged. Faculty that are more student oriented and connected to their institutions are early adopters of many technologies, while research-focused faculty that feel disconnected from their institutions are most resistant. See chart below.
If we want distance education to play a substantial role in increasing postsecondary attainment in the United States, we need a better approach. The current process is too varied among the states to ensure consistent consumer protection, too cumbersome and expensive for institutions that seek to provide education across state borders, and too fragmented to support our country’s architecture for quality assurance in higher education—the quality assurance triad of accrediting agencies, the federal government, and the states.
ACE’s latest “Quick Hits” white paper is an updated overview of the history, goals, and recent developments in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements regarding online/distance education. Excellent national overview for anyone new to SARA.
This report is part of a process to identify the range of what will constitute successful online leadership on America’s campuses—not merely what many might be doing now, but those standards, aspirations, and principles essential far into future. The intent is to provide information to help establish the full array of professional skills and services necessary to successfully support online learning, and to guide university leaders, faculty, students, and the public at large to embrace online education as integral to academe.
The Hallmarks of Excellence identify seven areas of concentration in online course and program leadership and development: Advocacy and Leadership Within the University; Entrepreneurial Initiatives; Faculty Support; Student Support; Digital Technology; External Advocacy and Leadership Beyond the University; and Professionalism. Each of these facets includes useful definitions and justifications, providing suggestions for specific implementation strategies, structures, and plans.
UPCEA’s Hallmarks of Excellence have been endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), Quality Matters (QM), and EDUCAUSE.