CA12Assessing Online Courses Howard University November 2010
Workshop Objectives Upon completing this workshop, you will be able to do the following: Explain how the assessment of online courses differs from that of face-to-face courses. List the benefits of assessing online courses. Access an online course on Blackboard. Assess an online course, using the Quality Matters rubric. Introduce faculty to CETLA’s template. Refer faculty for training and certification.
How good are online courses? Faculty Perceptions 70% of faculty believed online courses were “inferior or somewhat inferior” to F2F courses (APLUS-Sloan National Commission on Online Learning, The Paradox of Faculty Voices: Views and Experiences with Online Learning , Washington, DC, Aug. 2009) Research Studies Hybrids proved more effective than F2F, while DL proved as effective as F2F. (U.S. Department of Education, Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, Washington, DC, Sept. 2010)
What affects the quality of online courses? Course content Course delivery Course design Technology Administrative infrastructure Faculty training Student readiness
Why is course design important? “When learners can’t find what they need or are confused about where to go and what to do, it is harder for them to learn. Being an online learner is challenging enough without these additional barriers. Plus, frustrated learners tend to either drop out or drive the instructor crazy….” Patti Shank
How does assessment compare? F2F Students Student evaluations Student learning outcomes Peers Course materials Classroom observation Administrators + Implementation of policies Online Students Student evaluations (online) Student learning outcomes Peers Course materials Course site visit Course site design Administrators + Implementation of policies, including HU Distance Ed Policy
How can you visit a course? Ask the instructor to add you as a student. Ask the instructor to make all assignments and tests available—password-protected if necessary. Log into http://blackboard.howard.edu. If you can’t log in, contact one of ISAS’s Blackboard System Administrators: UmeshGiri (email@example.com , 6-2834) or Konya Hurt (firstname.lastname@example.org , 6-2940).
How can you evaluate course design? Focuses on course design Guides course development Promotes course improvement Provides quality assurance Relies upon a peer review process that includes the instructor
Source: Quality Matters How does QM work? 3 reviewers + instructor
What is the QM rubric? Based on research, best practices, and instructional design principles Aligned with national standards (e.g., Sloan Consortium Pillars) Aligned with accreditation standards for distance-learning …also, consistent with HU Provost’s syllabus guidelines
QUALITY MATTERS RUBRIC Now use the rubric to evaluate a test site. Log in to see the annotated rubric
How do you score a course? If 2-3 reviewers agree that a course meets a standard, award full points. If 2-3 reviewers agree that a course does not meet a standard, do not award any points. A course must meet all 3-point standards. An effective course will earn 72 of the 85 points (85%).
What resources does CETLA offer? Faculty can download CETLA’s template to facilitate course development and assessment. Faculty can earn Blackboard certification via seven workshops, one three-day seminar, a previous certificate, or a demo. Faculty can earn DL certification via a 5-day online seminar, certificate, or a demo. Faculty can find other resources on CETLA’s Distance-Learning Resource webpage.