Mastering Online Courses


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Mastering Online Courses

  1. 1. “ Mastering” Online Courses Stephen Levey, Ed.D. Associate Vice Chancellor, Instructional Resources and Technology June 19, 2009
  2. 2. HCC DE Enrollment (duplicated) DE enrollment growth over 11 years – 607% Average growth/year: > 18% Total HCC enrollment (Spring 09): > 61,000 students
  3. 3. HCC DE Sections
  4. 4. HCC Training Opportunities for Online Course Development <ul><li>Certification in Instructional Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Certificates – Level I & II </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific DE training requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Center for Teaching and Learning Effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum Innovation Centers </li></ul>
  5. 5. What Were the Problems/Issues? <ul><li>DE was/is a very fast growing service </li></ul><ul><li>Limited resources of individual instructors </li></ul><ul><li>Time commitment to develop each new course </li></ul><ul><li>Too many individual sections being developed </li></ul><ul><li>High cost of developing individual courses </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining the quality of each of the courses </li></ul>The college needed an efficient way to develop one standardized course “template” for all faculty teaching that course
  6. 6. What is an HCC Online Master Course? <ul><li>A complete, fully-developed course for online delivery in DE, hybrid, and web-enhanced environments </li></ul><ul><li>It satisfies the curriculum requirements as set forth by the discipline </li></ul><ul><li>It meets a standardized evaluation rubric </li></ul><ul><li>It is not dependent on any particular textbook or publisher </li></ul>
  7. 7. Primary Benefits of Master Courses <ul><ul><li>Courses are developed in teams. Team development enhances and sets a standard of quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They impact large number of students since selection of master courses is based on enrollment/demand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be used by multiple instructors in multiple environments (DE, hybrid, web-enhanced) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Primary Benefits of Master Courses (cont.) <ul><ul><li>Readily available to first-time online instructors. Allows first-timers to “ramp up” quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less expensive than individual course development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes all content as required by discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fully approved by academic discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourages more faculty to teach online courses </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. History of Master Course Development <ul><li>Started in Fall, 2004 using WebCT CE 4.1 </li></ul><ul><li>HCC converted LMS to Blackboard Vista in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>All WebCT master courses transferred to Blackboard Vista by Fall, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Total 18 WebCT master courses were completed and posted for faculty use by Spring, 2009 </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Process <ul><li>Select courses based on student demand </li></ul><ul><li>Call for proposals. RFP requires: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief statement of each team member’s experience with online teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statement of qualifications to teach course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General outline of how the “Master Course” would be constructed and taught. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Select faculty teams for the development (2-3 developers) </li></ul><ul><li>Select faculty/peer reviewers – usually discipline chair and instructional design specialist </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Process (cont.) <ul><li>Initial meeting held w/ developers and reviewers to agree on timeline and checkpoints for course development </li></ul><ul><li>All team members commit to assignments (Letter of Agreement) </li></ul><ul><li>Developers collaborate with reviewers re: progress and/or completion of specific components </li></ul><ul><li>Completed course is presented to a course review panel for final approval and use </li></ul><ul><li>The completed master course is presented to the faculty at a college-wide conference </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Process (cont.) <ul><li>After completion, the master course is posted on Blackboard servers and accessed via HCC website for faculty preview and use </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty can also request the course download from the Blackboard Vista server administrators </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty can “personalize” the master course so as not to infringe on individual academic freedom. Faculty not required to teach course “as is” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Instructional Designer Responsibilities <ul><li>Instructional designer assigned to each development team </li></ul><ul><li>Assist with course design </li></ul><ul><li>Assist with Blackboard technical questions </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate progress meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate communications among the developers and between developers and reviewers </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that course is content dependant, not textbook dependant </li></ul>
  14. 14. HCC Master Course Template <ul><li>Includes a HCC master course seal ID </li></ul><ul><li>A common look and style for all master courses </li></ul><ul><li>Common elements in each master course: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a “start here” folder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>student/faculty resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sample assessments and discussion topics required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Master Course Rubric <ul><li>Based on “Quality Matters” rubric </li></ul><ul><li>Modified by an HCC faculty committee </li></ul><ul><li>Same rubric used by all department chairs for evaluating online courses </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Stephen Levey, Ed.D., </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Vice Chancellor, </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional Resources & Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Houston Community College </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>