Convenience and Cost• Promote individual growth and mastery of course• Busy professionals need the flexibility these programs provide • Student learning can be self-paced (PhD)• Programs are centered around customer satisfaction• The larger online program size provides a greater funding source from tuition revenues• The typical cost of maintenance and operations for faculty are not as large as traditional educational settings (paper)• Large programs tend to reflect a broader diversity of students from both the national and international levels.
Convenience and Cost• APUS is among the largest online universities in the United States serving approximately 110,000 active students during the year 2011, a year-over-year increase of 31%• AMU is the #1 provider to active duty military • A leading provider to Veterans• Majority of students are working adults• Prior Learning Experience evaluated• Undergraduate Tuition $250/credit hour • Books provided• Graduate Tuition $300/credit hour • Minimized costs for books
Convenience and Cost•Excelsior’s online courses are all asynchronous • We used to have synchronous faculty office hours, but found that students didn’t come– now by appt.•Excelsior (formerly Regents College) acts as a creditaggregator • Only a 3-hour academic residency requirement • Most students are transfer students who arrive with an average of 5 transcripts•Cost is $390 per credit hour for courses taken at EC
Convenience and Cost• Large number of the local student population also takes DL• Cost is equivalent to face-to-face courses• Currently no DL fee attached to any courses nor do online students pay any less in student fees• Looking at the benefits of both assessing DL fee to courses and reduced student fees for online courses
Training and Preparation of Faculty• 1,750+ full time and part-time faculty members• Professors work from around the world • Active professionals • Prior & current teaching at other universities• New Faculty Training Course• Regular training updates for LMS• Community of Inquiry Framework training• Professional Development
Training and Preparation of Faculty• Mandatory 4-week course for faculty new to Excelsior • Covers our Learning Management System, academic policies, adult ed theory • Even the Dean has to take it!
Training and Preparation of Faculty• Faculty wishing to teach hybrid/online courses must complete a training course with DLIT• Course consists of 15 one hour modules offered fully online, face to face or hybrid delivery• Additionally, there are Professional Development seminars designed to enhance technical skills for online and distance deliveries
Training and Preparation of Faculty• New faculty members are required to possess the proper credentials, content knowledge, and technology skills necessary for ease of instruction.• Mentoring courses required for new faculty prior to participating in on-line instructional programs • online training incorporates technical learning skills and strategies• Support during first online course• Ongoing training• Ongoing faculty evaluation
Curriculum and Course Design• Courses are designed by a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and Instructional Designer (ID), who work under the guidance of a Program Director• Course outcomes, content, assessments, etc. are fixed across all sections • Good news: less chance for a poor faculty member to screw things up • Bad news: less chance for faculty creativity & little pride of ownership• Excelsior owns the intellectual property
Curriculum and Course Design• Department follows the ADDIE principles of instructional design• Basic course template launched at a starting point for all classes• Each faculty member meets for an instructional design course mapping session with instructional designers prior to the design process• Self-review handout modeled after principles of best practices (SACS and THECB standards)• Quality Matters standards are used as a guideline for designing courses in addition to future development of review prior to course launch
Curriculum and Course Design• Ability to invest heavily in course development• Content/Field experts develop courses• Faculty are required to adhere to the content as designed• Ongoing faculty feedback to aid in course revision
Curriculum and Course Design• Utilize the Sakai LMS• Community of Inquiry Framework• Training and professional development for faculty in course design• Institutional & specialized/professional accreditation • Satisfying demanding requirements • Demonstrating focus on academic excellence• Member of Academy for Assessment of Student Learning of the Higher Learning Commission • Continuous evaluation of student learning
Retention and Success Enrollment and Growth School Year Online Hybrid (includes Fall/Spring/Summer) FY2008-2009 130 18 FY2009-2010 168 92 FY2010-2011 169 65 FY2011-2012 207 95 FY2012-2013 (Fall 95 32 only)
Retention and Success • Peer to peer mentoring • Faculty-student mentoring • Critical orientation course for all entering students • Online instructor course • Writing Center • Student Services Team • Success Coach • Enrollment Advisors
Retention and Success• 98% of seniors were satisfied or very satisfied with the education they received• 97% of seniors would recommend APUS to a friend or colleague• 98% of seniors evaluated their experience as positive compared to 82% of students at all other schools (NSSE 2009)• More than 50% of alumni return for a second degree• 40% of new students referred by others
Retention and Success• The faculty role at EC is unbundled: faculty teach, advisors advise• School of Liberal Arts has 19 full-time Academic Advisors, each with at least one Master’s degree• Small team of Retention Advisors who contact “at risk” students• Switched from a “call center” model to an individual caseload model • Provides more personal connection with the College