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Profiles, Opportunities and Challenges: Institutional Models of Distance Education

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2009 SLOAN-C INTERNATIONAL …

2009 SLOAN-C INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE ON ONLINE LEARNING

CARIBE ROYALE HOTEL
ORLANDO, FL

Profiles, Opportunities and Challenges: Institutional Models of Distance Education

Octoboer 30, 2009, Session 4, Room: Bonaire 8, 8:00a.m. - 9:45a.m.

Pete Rubba, Penn State World Campus
Shari McCurdy, University of Illinois at Springfield
Alexandra Pickett, SUNY Learning Network

Abstract: In this panel three long-standing and highly successful distance education units — University of Illinois at Springfield, SUNY Learning Network, and Penn State World Campus — will be contrasted in terms for their structural and functional profiles, and the inherent opportunities and challenges these present for their respective institutions.

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  • 2.5 million operating costs 65% state funded 35% service fees
  • We are not a degree granting 65th campus. We have no academic authority and can not mandate anything. Can’t mandate participation in SLN, have no say in faculty, courses, programs or campuses that participate or are selected. Don’t evaluate courses or faculty. Can’t mandate a common CMS – ANGEL is the SUNY “preferred” CMS. - they don’t call NY the empire state for no reason Campus Responsibilities are: Academic Authority: Offer Courses , Grant Degree, Select Faculty, Academic Review Standard Student Services: Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, Advisement Receive and Manage Revenue: Tuition, State Aid, Charge Backs, etc.
  • Because we have a cost share break even model. We struggle with not generating excess revenue. Not a revenue generating model - always have to dig for funding for new initiatives.
  • Parochial interests
  • Because we don’t self support we are at the mercy of the system: 4 chancellors in the last 7 and 3 provosts in the same period. = changes in senior management. NYS budget 90 million dollar cut. Always waiting for that pending cut and how does that affect services. We can’t hire.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Opportunities and Challenges: Institutional Models of Distance Education Panel: Alexandra M. Pickett, Associate Director, SUNY Learning Network, State University of New York Shari McCurdy, Associate Director, Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning, University of Illinois at Springfield Pete Rubba, Director of Academic Affairs for Graduate Programs, Penn State World Campu s
    • 2. Overview
      • Each iteration of distance education in higher education is designed uniquely to fit the strategic goals the institution has for its distance education initiative.
      • We will contrast the inherent opportunities and challenges afforded by the structural and functional profiles of three long-standing online providers:
        • SUNY Learning Network
        • University of Illinois at Springfield
        • Penn State World Campus
      • In each profile, we hope to expose enabled exemplary practices as well as accompanying pitfalls -- opportunities and limitations. The profiles will be about 15 minutes each followed by an opportunity for a few quick clarifying questions.
      • Following the profiles, there will be time for questions of the panel and sharing by audience members.
    • 3. SUNY Learning Network
      • Alexandra M. Pickett
      • Associate Director
      • SUNY Learning Network
      • State University of New York
    • 4. Mission of the SUNY Learning Network is to advance the mission of the office of the Provost by providing leadership, promoting collaboration, and supporting SUNY campuses in the pursuit of excellence in online education.
    • 5. Defining Features of the SUNY Learning Network
      • SLN is an opt-in program offering a menu of services open for membership to any SUNY institution.
      • The primary function of SLN is to train effective online faculty and to inform and influence the quality of online courses and instruction.
      • SLN strives to cultivate communities of practice among its membership (faculty, instructional designers, DL directors)
      • SLN is a SUNY-wide program under the office of the Provost with 65% of our program expenditures covered by state allocation funds through that office.
    • 6. SLN is an opt-in program offering a menu of services open for membership to any SUNY institution.
      • Advantages
        • We provide economies of scale with centralized supports and services. - we seek only cost recovery for 35% of our budget.
        • Campuses pay only for what they need. - Education, Marketing, HD, Hosting & Apps.
      • Limitations
        • We are membership driven.
          • Must be everything to everyone.
          • Campus autonomy and independence.
          • We have no authority.
        • Difficult to manage internally with a small staff. - Services intertwine.
    • 7. The primary function of SLN is to train effective online faculty and to inform and influence the quality of online courses and instruction.
      • Advantages
        • We provide award-winning online faculty development and instructional design.
          • Focus on pedagogy, quality, satisfaction, effectiveness, learning, and research.
      • Limitations
        • Complex and evolving campus, faculty, and course needs.
        • We struggle keeping a long-term business model.
    • 8. SLN strives to cultivate communities of practice among its membership (faculty, instructional designers, DL directors)
      • Advantages
        • Large-scale strength in numbers.
          • Not alone.
          • No need to reinvent wheel. Share lessons learned at faculty, course design, and programmatic levels .
      • Limitations
        • Complexities in collaboration and consensus building.
    • 9. SLN is a SUNY-wide program under the office of the Provost with 65% of our program expenditures covered by state allocation funds through that office.
      • Advantages
        • We strive to advance the academic mission of the university.
      • Limitations
        • Parochial interests vs. university system-wide.
        • Program survival is dependant on state funding.
          • We are at the mercy of politics of the system.
    • 10. University of Illinois at Springfield Online
      • Shari McCurdy Smith
      • Associate Director, Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning, University of Illinois at Springfield
    • 11.
      • UIS Mission
      • The University of Illinois at Springfield provides an intellectually rich, collaborative, and intimate learning environment for students, faculty, and staff, while serving local, regional, state, national, and international communities. http://www.uis.edu/strategicplan/plan/sectionOne/mission.html
    • 12. Four Unique and Defining Features of UIS
      • Organic process mainstreamed within the academic structure.
      • Often a “reflection of the campus”.
      • UIS Faculty teach online on load.
      • Programmatic adoption.
    • 13. Organic and mainstreamed process
      • Advantages
        • Policy wise, operates in the best interest of the institution
        • Brings online students to the table
        • Stable and perhaps less political
        • Faculty centric model; locating control, even in course design, in hands of faculty
      • Limitations
        • Shared funding
        • Innovative programming/collaboration
    • 14. Often a reflection of the Campus
      • Advantages
        • Synergy in instructional content and practices
        • Technology adoption on ground
        • “ Gold Course”
      • Limitations
        • Assessment
        • Registration; forced choice for some students
    • 15. UIS Faculty teach online on load
      • Advantages
        • Community
        • Training
        • Research
        • Built in quality
      • Limitations
        • Scaling requires administrative and departmental commitment
        • Tenure Review
        • Prep time
    • 16. Programmatic Adoption
      • Advantages
        • Marketing
        • Course improvement
        • Retention/Recruitment
        • 3 courses start up
        • Training
      • Limitations
          • Requires 3 course commitment upfront
          • Dual constraints on growth; faculty commitment/funding lines
          • Individual use of funds
    • 17. World Campus
      • Pete Rubba
      • Director of Academic Affairs for Graduate Programs, Penn State World Campu s
      • http://worldcampus.psu.edu
    • 18.
      • Mission of the World Campus is to extend Penn State undergraduate and graduate certificate and degree programs to adult learner who otherwise do not have access to another campus of the University.
      • From a business perspective, that means generate net new enrollments and revenue.
    • 19. Four Defining Features of World Campus
      • World Campus is a delivery unit without academic authority – we must partner with Penn State academic units
      • Residential online enrollments are a secondary consideration for World Campus
      • World Campus strives to maximize revenue shared with academic units
      • World Campus’ domain is University policy
    • 20. World Campus is a delivery unit without academic authority – we must partner with Penn State academic units
      • Advantages
        • Programs offered online are available in residence
          • We are Penn State Online
          • Facilitates buy-in by academic units
          • Creates blended possibilities for resident students
          • Few accreditation issues
      • Limitations
        • Limits programs offered
        • Collaborative complications
        • Time to market is long
    • 21. Residential online enrollments are a secondary consideration to World Campus
      • Advantages
        • Well defined domain of responsibility, though we have been a helpful partner, e.g., eLearning Cooperative, Blended Learning Initiative
      • Limitations
        • Results in very complex financial arrangements, e.g., when a full-time residential student wants to enroll in a World Campus offered course
        • World Campus looks undersized
    • 22. World Campus strives to maximize revenue shared with academic units
      • Advantages
        • Revenue sharing is a significant incentive, especially in hard budget times
      • Limitations
        • Revenue sharing can create greed
        • Revenue sharing can create internal competitors
    • 23. World Campus’ domain is University policy
      • Advantages
        • Policy wise, clearly delineates resident instruction and distance education domains
      • Limitations
        • The policy should not be thought of as a protective shield
        • Technology has clouded whether or when a students is a resident student or distance student
    • 24.
      • Questions for panel?
      • Sharing by audience.
    • 25.
      • Thank You and
      • Enjoy the rest of the conference.
      • Alexandra M. Pickett
      • Shari McCurdy
      • Pete Rubba