Proposal To Create the Prince George’s Community College ONLINE EXPRESS
August 4, 2000

The Need
Maryland institutions of higher education are beginning to plan for and capitalize on the growth opportunities presented by student demand for quality online courses and programs. Our peer institutions report explosive growth: online enrollments at the College of Southern Maryland doubled in one year; online enrollments at the Community College of Baltimore County more than tripled in one year; and online enrollments at Anne Arundel Community College have more than doubled each year for 3 successive years.

While recognized as a leader in telecredit delivery throughout the State, Prince George’s Community College has not yet established itself as a significant provider of online education. College faculty has responded to the demonstrated growth opportunity presented by online courses by developing 19 online courses. This development resulted in a 110 % growth in online enrollments from Fall 1998 to Spring 2000.

But the lack of a systematic process for selecting online courses for development and training faculty has created a crisis situation: in Fall 2000, 19 online courses are scheduled for delivery. The instructors for these courses have received no training in either the pedagogy of online instruction or the delivery technologies, and there is no structured mechanism of review to ensure standards of good practice. Without such training in place, the college cannot consider itself prepared to compete in the online environment and cannot take full advantage of the rapidly expanding market for online courses.

The Opportunity
Many institutions, notably the Community College of Baltimore County, the College of Southern Maryland, and Anne Arundel Community College have established similar processes for training faculty, Prince George’s has an opportunity to take a significant lead in one area. Each of these training processes is built on the premise that a single faculty member develops a single online course for his/her own use. There is no expectation of sharing this course with colleagues if the faculty member chooses not to teach the course or takes a sabbatical. And, more importantly, if enrollments in the course are significant, it is not possible to hire adjunct faculty or another full time faculty member to open an additional section because the course exists for the exclusive use of the faculty-developer.

The Prince George’s Community College Online Express has the opportunity to create a new and more dynamic model for online course development. Built on the premise of teamwork among faculty, administrative offices and technical support, the Online Express does not eliminate the training of single faculty members to teach a single course. To do so would be to stifle individual creativity and would eliminate the benefit of technology integration into the curriculum typically seen after an instructor has participated in online training.

Rather, the Online Express adds an exciting and valuable dimension: specific courses that are typically heavily enrolled or oversubscribed will be targeted by the Vice President for Instruction for team development. For example, English 101 is a required course whose availability is frequently limited by the lack of available space on campus. A "shared" online English 101 courses would be developed by a team of three English faculty, with the specific charge of developing a comprehensive, high quality, flexible course for online delivery. This shared course can then be used by any full time faculty member or any adjunct with a minimum of instructional technology training.

The Online Express initiative seeks to create a college-wide structure for developing online courses that fosters creativity and focuses on instruction within the context of a team approach. This project targets parallel initiatives:

Develop online general education courses so the students can earn degrees and fulfill their educational goals,
Using a team approach, create "shared" courses for use by any qualified faculty member
Identifying target programs for online delivery of high quality, accessible online credit and noncredit programs

This project supports the college’s strategic plan and its emerging technology initiatives. It incorporates the recent suggestions of CampusWorks to integrate technology across the college and contributes to the college’s understanding of intellectual property and copyright.

These initiatives position the college to participate fully in the Maryland Community College Teleconsortium (MCCT), MarylandOnline, and other regional or national distance learning initiatives.

Specific Application
To systematically develop academically rigorous interactive online courses, create Online Express to train full-time and part-time instructors who wish to adapt an existing course for online delivery during Fall 2000 or Spring 2001. The overarching goal of the project is to create a process that will be sustainable over the two-year period required for the development of all courses necessary to complete an online degree option. Courses will be developed by individual faculty members and by faculty teams, as determined by the Vice President for Instruction. Emphasis will be placed on developing high quality course materials that meet or exceed the learning objectives established by the Division or department.

This project will target three types of course development:

Web-based Course: Fully online courses developed using Front Page and Blackboard. Equivalent to 6 ECH per faculty developer.

Shared Course: Single course developed by a team of three faculty developers. Equivalent to 3 ECH for each faculty team member. These courses will be designed to be delivered by multiple instructors.

TeleWeb Course: Existing telecourse to which a faculty developer will add a substantial Web component using Blackboard and/or Front Page. Equivalent to 3 ECH per faculty developer.

Beginning in Fall 2000, faculty selected by the Vice President for Instruction will participate in the Online Express, a series of informal workshops given by the Distance Learning Center and faculty with online teaching experience. Participating faculty will not only develop their courses but will also provide feedback for the kinds of instructional and technical support needed to efficiently adapt courses for the Web.

Online Express faculty agree to:

  1. participate in an online training program offered by the Technology Resource Center
  2. teach an online course in the designated semester
  3. demonstrate the course material to a college audience and/or mentor colleagues

The College
In recognition of the challenges inherent in creating online courses, the College will provide significant resources to support faculty and to ensure that our students have access to high quality distance learning, including:

  1. A stable technical infrastructure using Blackboard as the course delivery software
  2. Initial training and on-going support from the Technology Resource Center
  3. Release time for faculty during the development phase and initial course offering

Selection of Courses
Preference will be given to the development of online courses that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. meet the general education requirements
  2. are in great demand and frequently fill before all students who wish to take the course can enroll
  3. are part of a certificate/degree program or a non-credit initiative targeted for online delivery by the Vice President for Instruction or the Vice President for Continuing Education


Fall 2000:

  1. Faculty who are teaching online for the first time in Fall 2000 are given "just in time" training throughout the semester.
  2. By September 15, Division Chairs and faculty identify potential courses for delivery in Spring 2001 and submit completed Proposal application to Dr. Zdravkovich. Notification of course selection by October 1.
  3. Faculty who are teaching in Fall 2000 and selected faculty for Spring 2001 will participate in structured training in distance learning pedagogy and the use of selected technologies (Blackboard and Front Page). The training process begins on Friday, October 6, and continues on October 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1, 8. Time: 1:15 to 3:30.
  4. By November 1, Division Chairs and Faculty identify potential courses for delivery in Fall 2001 and submit completed Proposal application to Dr. Zdravkovich. Notification of course selection by November 15.
  5. By November 15, the Vice President for Instruction will identify the first "shared" course to be developed by a team of three faculty members.

Spring 2001:

  1. Selected faculty participates in 2-day training program in January and attend regularly scheduled sessions every other week throughout the semester.
  2. 8-10 NEW online courses are offered.
  3. By February 15, Division Chairs and Faculty identify potential courses for delivery in Spring 2002 and submit completed Proposal application to Dr. Zdravkovich. Notification of course selection by March 1.
  4. In May, selected faculty for Spring 2002 participate in 2-day training program.
  5. In May, faculty who have participated in Spring 2001 training demonstrate their online courses components for colleagues and receive feedback.

Fall 2001:

  1. 12-15 NEW online courses are offered, including the first "shared" course
  2. Selected faculty participates in 1-day training program and attends regularly scheduled sessions every other week throughout the semester.
  3. By October 15, Division Chairs and Faculty identify potential courses for delivery in Fall 2002 and submit completed Proposal application to Dr. Zdravkovich. Notification of course selection by November 1.

Planning and Implementation Team

Admininstration: Oliver Hansen, Mary Wells, Sheilah Belkin, and Instructional Technologist

Faculty Consultant: Selected by Vice President for Instruction

Instructional Support Workgroup (as needed): Technology Resource Center, Faculty Fellows (Drew Habermacher, Margot Chaires), Bridget Bartlebaugh, Alan Mickelson, librarian, Testing and Tutoring, Records Office, Advising

Technology Workgroup: Information Technology Division, Web Master


This systematic structured approach is designed to produce the following products:

  1. 13 faculty teaching in Fall 2000, will receive structured support from a team of college support personnel
  2. By Spring 2001, 10 additional courses will be offered as online, interactive courses
  3. By Fall 2001, 12-15 additional courses will be offered as online, interactive courses
  4. By Fall 2001, a "shared" course will be developed for use by full time and adjunct faculty; by Spring 2002, an additional 2 shared courses will be available. Figures below are based on the assumption that 3 sections of each shared course can be offered each semester.
  5. A process will be developed for fostering online course development using college resources and staff. The chart below indicates results over a three-year period.



FY 01

FY 02

FY 03

Faculty Trained




New Online Courses




New Shared Courses




New Tele-Web Courses




Estimated Students Served

(based on 22/section)


New courses 396



New courses 836


Existing 1572

New courses 836


f. A core of trained faculty will mentor colleagues as additional online courses are developed.

g. Students will gain valuable resume-building experiences in fields related to their areas of academic study.

Impact on the College

  1. Systematic course development will lead to an online degree pathway within two years for students who need or want time and place independent courses.
  2. Over the three fiscal years of the project, approximately 3,500 student enrollments are projected in these newly developed courses.
  3. The college will experiment with the concept of a "shared course" approach to developing a course that can be used by full time and part time faculty within a department/Division.
  4. Standards of good practice of distance learning courses will be an integral part of online course development.
  5. Faculty will be trained to not only develop discipline-specific courses but will mentor colleagues in the development of additional courses.
  6. A consistent approach will maximize the use of the college’s existing technology and personnel resources and facilitate future initiatives.