Rethinking Course Development


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Presented by Larry Gould, Provost
Tempe, February 2008

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Rethinking Course Development

  1. 1. Rethinking Course Development: Competing on Quality Larry Gould American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Academic Affairs Winter Meeting, February 9, 2008, Tempe, Arizona
  2. 2. Where in the World is FHSU?
  3. 3. About Fort Hays State University• Founding member of the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC/NCA) alternative accreditation track known as the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)• Academic Programming  52 undergraduate degree programs  19 graduate degree programs  25 programs completely accessible off-campus• General Structure  Three divisions: academic, student affairs, admin-finance  Four academic colleges, graduate school, distance education delivery unit called the Virtual College
  4. 4. About Fort Hays State University• Branding Tagline: Affordable Success• Enrollment: The Way We Were (Fall, 1998)  On-campus: 4718  Off-campus: 839  Grand total: 5557• Enrollment: The Way We Are (Fall, 2007)  On-campus: 4449  Off-campus: 5375 (2300 in China)  Grand total: 9824
  5. 5. Distance Education Course Development at Fort Hays State University• Historical Context• The First Wave: Courses• The Second Wave: Programs• The Third Wave: Quality Assurance
  6. 6. Why Facilitate a “Third Wave” of Distance Education Course Development?• A Changing Competitive Landscape: Delivery Mode Is No Longer a Niche Growth Opportunity• A Changing Competitive Landscape: Diversity of Schools, Programs and Approaches• A Changing Value Proposition: Beyond Convenience, Flexibility and the Adult Learner• Enhancing the Value Proposition: Positioning and Differentiation Strategies
  7. 7. Refining the FHSU Message to the Consumer: Perceptions of Quality• Positioning: price, geography, faculty, product, performance, etc.• Differentiation: affordable, traditional campus, responsive, 26 programs, high student satisfaction, etc.• Using Quality: Creating Performance Indicators and Transitioning to the “Age of Brands”
  8. 8. Facilitating Quality Through Policy and Process• How do we achieve “differentiation” and “brand recognition” through “performance indicators?”• How do we respond to learner feedback to effect perceptions of quality?• The Answer: Rethinking and Recasting the Distance Education Course Development Process
  9. 9. The Process of Rethinking the Process• Results Management: Student Evaluations, NSSE, Noel-Levitz, etc.• Virtual College Advisory Committee• Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning Technologies (CTELT)• Office of Quality Management• Provost’s Council
  10. 10. Elements and Implications• Three pathways to course development• Incorporates national standards of “best practices” (Quality Matters) to ensure creative instructional design through rubric based process and modeling• Authorizing of process driven by department, college and institutional needs• Increases efficient use of scarce resources (people and time)
  11. 11. Elements and Implications• Linked to academic quality improvement work completed during Year of the Department• Faculty-driven, collegial peer review, and team-based• Designed to improve both on- and off-campus courses• Process includes phases and steps that promote faculty enhancement and learning
  12. 12. Elements and Implications• Recognition that teaching on-line can be overwhelming at first and different from F2F• Intended to bring a diversity of knowledge about course development to the institution and promote dissemination and archiving of best practices and new thinking• The new process strives to improve FHSU’s competitive positioning and differentiation through enhanced performance indicators (perception of quality, retention and student satisfaction)
  13. 13. Elements and Implications• Second horizon goals – Build a cadre and community of on-line quality champions – Develop a culture of collective responsibility for high-quality course development
  14. 14. • To the student: When you turn your course on, does it return the favor?• Thanks• Questions?• Link to full process and other information: <>