Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Outstanding Online Program - MA in Teacher Leadership
Inaugural Mayadas Online Leadership Award
Ray Schroeder receives the A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award. Spurring greater national conversation, Ray has consistently and with clear purpose proposed and guided numerous initiatives designed to meet the arguably most important Sloan Pillar, access. Ray championed and led two successful Sloan-C grants, which established fully online degree programs—extending the reach of degree completion and the dreams of a college education for many.
Inaugural Sloan Consortium Fellows (14 awarded nationally)
For innovative and inspirational work in the conceptualization, implementation, and advocacy of online learning in higher education on a national scale.
For increasing access to higher education by cultivating a breadth of online degree programs and for chronicling the progress of the theory and practice of online education through new media.
For rigorous research that has advanced our understanding of learning effectiveness in online and blended education.
Society for New Communications Research Award in External Online Communications http://www.newcommreview.com/?p=1352
Inaugural Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality in Online Education:
For innovative work in using quantitative data in a process of continuous quality improvement to assure excellence in online teaching and learning at UIS.
Sloan Consortium Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching & Learning Programming
National Public Radio Morning Edition Report describes UIS Online as a "titan" in online learning. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16638700
Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Administration Karen Swan received the sixth annual Sloan Consortium "Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in Online Learning" Award
Scholar in Residence- Center for Online Learning, Research and Service - Burks Oakley received the third annual Sloan Consortium "Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in Online Learning" Award
Professor Emeritus and Director of OTEL/COLRS Ray Schroeder received the second annual Sloan Consortium "Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in Online Learning" Award
(Note: UIS is the only university that has more than one of the eleven "most outstanding achievement" award recipients.)
Spring 2011 demographic snapshot of online learning at UIS:
· Online majors made up 27.6% of UIS headcount enrollment.
· At 1,364, the number of online majors increased by 67 from Spring 2010
· 35.7% of credits were generated in online courses.
· 57.1% of UIS students took at least one course online.
· 32.9% were registered only in online courses.
· 40.2% of online majors have mailing addresses outside Illinois.
· 85.1% of the Illinois students have mailing addresses outside Sangamon county.
· Average age for online graduate and undergraduate majors is about 35. 33.9 UG, 35.2 GR.
· Students taking both online and on campus courses take heavier courseloads than either the completely online or on campus students.Students taking both online and on campus courses take heavier courseloads than either the completely online or on campus students, by more than 4 hours at the graduate level.
An analysis of the data for an entire academic year (2007-2008) and how these were used to continuously improve was the basis for UIS receiving the inaugural Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and is linked to the header of this posting.
With a sample of more than 60,000 registrations from Fall 2008 through Summer 2010 (2 full academic years).
The overall “remain registered” rate as 94.1% (95.0% onground, 92.5% online)
The overall “successful” rate (B or better for Grad, C or better for UG) was 82.9% (83.7% onground, 81.3% online)
Another 2.7% overall were incomplete or deferred, so possibly successful at a later date. (2.4% onground, 3.1% online.)
Online classes are taught - in most cases - by the same faculty member who teaches online. Very nearly 2/3 of the faculty members teaching online are mainstream tenured/tenure-track faculty members, emeriti, or full time clinical instructors on campus. The remainder are adjunct faculty members carefully selected and supervised by the departments and colleges. A total of more than 211 different faculty members taught online in the previous academic year. More 350 online class sections are offered online each term.
Faculty members, for the most part, take a social constructivist approach - engaging students and encouraging individual knowledge-building. Most faculty members check into their Blackboard daily and take pride in responding to student postings within 24 hours.
Program requests generated at the departmental level and progressed through the normal governance process. http://online.uis.edu/info/process.html
Faculty members receive a stipend to translate an on campus class into an online class - with the assistance of the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning. Commonly, this is accomplished during the summer term. All online classes are offered as part of the normal teaching load - just as on campus classes. The online classes generally carry class caps of 25 - lower for writing-intensive clases.
Seeded by a modest $52,000 grant from the then VPAA of the University of Illinois system, Dr. Sylvia Manning (who is the now president of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Accrediting Association), the program started in 1997. Nearly four million dollars in grants over the next decade funded start up of 17 online degree programs and numerous online certificates.
An online fee of $25/credit hour sustains the initiative now - generating more than a million dollars annually that is distributed back to the departments, colleges, COLRS, tech support and library in order to keep the program growing. The fee now funds stipends for the addition of new online classes and even new online degree programs.
Five pillars of success are promoted by the Consortium:
- Learning Effectiveness
- Faculty Satisfaction
- Student Satisfaction
- Institutional Cost Effectiveness
All five of these pillars are necessary for a successful online program.
Funded by the VPAA in 1997 as a unit to support faculty members in the development and deployment of online classes, the unit began by providing web development for faculty members seeking to put their class syllabi online. Over time, the unit developed and later purchased a learning management system.
Now, with seven full time equivalent staff members, the unit provides instructional design, pedagogical support, innovative resources, and daily assistance to faculty members. Nearly 1,000 faculty appointments are served each month. In addition, the unit supports ten faculty fellows who conduct research and publish scholarly articles about online and blended learning.
Every Blackboard is configured so that it can accommodate electronic reserves. A separate tab is placed in each board for the library with access to all of the online resources as well as instructions on how to have articles and books mailed to your home.
The UIS Bookstore takes online orders for textbooks and ships both used and new books to students via UPS.
Other Web 2.0 technologies such as Google Docs, wikis, blogs, slideshare, del.icio.us, and many more are hosted off site. The Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning offers training and support for these tools. OTEL also has built a virtual learning island in Second Life where avatars from around the world meet to engage each other in teaching and learning activities.
A new Faculty Resource Center is maintained by OTEL with a dozen computers capable of supporting resource-intensive applications and predictive data analytics.
Another important online service is provided by Career Services. With certification as online career counselors, this office provides support to online students seeking to advance their careers.
The Tech Support Center is available online 7 x 24 - and by phone seven days a week with longer hours scheduled at the beginning and end of the term.
A successful Higher Education Cooperation Grant on online peer mentoring was led by UIS with seven Illinois community colleges. The final report and evaluation sums up the research:
We encourage mid term formative evaluations to assure that faculty members get complete feedback in time to make changes before the end of the term. One tool commonly used for formative assessments is http://www.getfast.ca/ .
The university has an online test proctoring policy:
Among the other approaches employed by faculty members to assure academic integrity are:
- Use unique case studies each semester
- Require distant students to take exams using a proctor
- Phone students (or use VoIP) for an oral exam
- Turnitin or another anti-plagiarism software tools
- Create an honor code for the class
- Require annotated bibliographies for final papers
An article that is shared among many online faculty members is one from the EDUCAUSE Quarterly journal:
Long-standing online collaborations with Chicago State University, North Eastern Illinois University, Lesley University, and others have enabled UIS to expand diversity through team-taught online classes.
Some 80% of the online searches conducted online are done via Google. If one searches for online learning or educational technology, UIS resources appear among the very top returns. The RSS feeds of the Online Learning Update and Educational Technology blogs are published at the Web sites of dozens of colleges, universities, associations, and related entities - they are also published in the right column of this blog! We are also well followed on Twitter and in a number of other blogs inlcuding http://recessionreality.blogspot.com/ .