OLE

 


Online Course Assessment Process
Draft as of Nov, 2001

Prince George’s Community College is committed to ensuring student access to high quality distance learning offerings. As measures of quality, the college has adopted Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Standards of Good Practice for Undergraduate Education and the Principles Best Practice promoted by the Middle States Association for Higher Education.

To ensure a high standard of quality for its distance learning offerings, the Distance Learning Council recommends that Prince George’s Community College implement comprehensive training, development, and assessment processes for its online courses.

The comprehensive training and development processes include two forms of Online Express training:

  1. Online Express-Development for faculty who are developing an online course.
  2. A twelve-session systematic training process that teaches faculty to create Web pages, develop a course in Blackboard, and incorporate the best principles of teaching online.

  3. Online Express-Preparation for faculty who are teaching, but not developing, an online course.

A 6-hour introduction to online pedagogy and the key features of Blackboard that prepares faculty to teach online. Participants will complete a course Web page.

The multi-phased assessment process for online courses includes the following:

I. Online Express-Development for Evaluation of Courses Developed by Faculty Developer(s)

Phase One – Review Prior To First Offering The Course

Purpose: To ensure that each newly developed online course meets minimum standards of good practice for distance learning courses and to provide constructive feedback to the faculty developer to assist him/her in improving the course.

When: At the conclusion of each Online Express-Development session, but no later than two weeks prior to the beginning of the first semester in which the course is to be offered.

By Whom: The faculty developer, one member of the Online Express training team, and one faculty member who has completed Online Express training or has extensive experience in online teaching. The faculty developer may choose to have more colleagues present to broaden the scope of the feedback.

Using What Criteria: The Checklist For Online Courses (attached).

Extent of the Review: At an informal meeting, the faculty developer will demonstrate his/her online course to the reviewers. Using the Checklist For Online Courses as a guide, the reviewers will make written notes on the session. Both noteworthy components and areas needing further development will be recorded so that the faculty developer will have a clear understanding of the course’s successful components and what remains to be done.

Follow Up Based on the Review: All copies of the review notes will be collected and given to the faculty developer. The only written record that will be kept is the Course Review Summary Sheet (attached) which will be filed in the Distance Learning Center.

The Online Express training team member will assist the faculty developer in correcting any significant gaps in the course as soon after the review as possible.

If the review team has serious concerns about the viability of the course and the time needed to correct its deficiencies, the review team may recommend to the Dean that the course be canceled for that semester.

Phase Two – Review After Two Semesters

Purpose: To ensure that an established online course meets the standards of good practice for distance learning courses, particularly in terms of fostering active learning and providing feedback for students.

When: After the online course has been offered for at least two semesters but prior to the start of its fourth semester.

By Whom: The faculty developer, one member of the Online Express training team, one faculty member who has completed Online Express training or has extensive experience in online teaching, and one faculty colleague from the faculty developer’s department. The faculty developer may choose to have more colleagues present to broaden the scope of the feedback.

Using What Criteria: The Principles of Best Practices Guidelines (attached).

Extent of the Review: At an informal meeting, the faculty developer will demonstrate his/her online course to the reviewers, focusing on elements of active learning and assessing student performance. Using the Principles of Best Practices Guidelines, the reviewers will make written notes on the session. Both noteworthy components and areas needing further development will be recorded so that the faculty developer will have a clear understanding of the course’s successful components and what remains to be done.

Follow Up Based on the Review: All copies of the review notes will be collected and given to the faculty developer. The only written record that will be kept is the Course Review Summary Sheet (attached) which will be filed in the Distance Learning Center.

The Online Express training team member will assist the faculty developer in correcting any significant gaps in the course as soon after the review as possible.

If the review team has serious concerns about the limitations of the course and the time needed to correct its deficiencies, the review team may recommend to the Dean that the course be canceled until remediation is complete.

Phase Three – College Faculty Evaluation Process

To ensure distance learning offerings remain an integral component of the college’s instructional offerings, once a course has been reviewed in Phase One and Phase Two, it moves into the formal review structure of the college. All subsequent faculty reviews are done as part of established college process.

Phase Four – Student Evaluations Each Semester

Purpose: To ensure continual improvement of the college’s distance learning offerings, a Web-accessible student evaluation form will be administered during each semester the online course is offered.

When: The student evaluation form will be administered between the twelfth week and the end of the semester.

Using What Criteria: The Student Evaluation Form (attached).

Extent of the Review: The online instructor will notify students of the link to the online student evaluation and request their cooperation in filling out the form.

Follow Up Based on the Review: Completed surveys will be compiled by the Distance Learning Center and a summary of the results for the course will be forwarded to the instructor and to the Dean.

II. Online Express-Preparation for Evaluation of Courses Taught By Faculty Members Who Did Not Develop the Course

Phase One – Review Prior To First Offering The Course

Purpose: To ensure that each new online instructor understands online pedagogy, the key features of Blackboard, and the structure of the online course he/she will teach.

When: After finishing Online Express-Preparation and prior to offering the course.

By Whom: The instructor, one member of the Online Express training team, the faculty developer of the course (if possible), and one faculty member who has completed Online Express training or has extensive experience in online teaching. The instructor may choose to have more colleagues present to broaden the scope of the feedback.

Using What Criteria: The Checklist For Online Courses (attached).

Extent of the Review: At an informal meeting, the instructor will demonstrate his/her understanding of the online course to the reviewers. Using the Checklist For Online Courses as a guide, the reviewers will make written notes on the session. Both noteworthy components and areas needing further development will be recorded so that the instructor will have a clear understanding of the course’s successful components and what remains to be done.

Follow Up Based on the Review: All copies of the review notes will be collected and given to the instructor. The only written record that will be kept is the Course Review Summary Sheet (attached), which will be filed in the Distance Learning Center.

The Online Express training team member will assist the instructor in correcting any significant gaps in the course as soon after the review as possible.

If the review team has serious concerns about the preparation of the instructor to teach the online course and the time needed to remediate deficiencies, the review team may recommend to the Dean that the instructor’s section of the course be canceled for that semester.

Phase Two – Review After Two Semesters of Online Teaching

Purpose: To ensure that an online instructor teaching an established online course meets the standards of good practice for distance learning courses, particularly in terms of fostering active learning and providing feedback for students.

When: After the online course has been offered for at least two semesters but prior to the start of its fourth semester.

By Whom: The instructor, one member of the Online Express training team, the faculty developer of the course (if possible), one faculty member who has completed Online Express training or has extensive experience in online teaching, and one faculty colleague from the instructor’s department. The instructor may choose to have more colleagues present to broaden the scope of the feedback.

Using What Criteria: The Principles of Best Practices Guidelines (attached).

Extent of the Review: At an informal meeting, the instructor will demonstrate his/her online course to the reviewers, focusing on elements of active learning and assessing student performance. Using the Principles of Best Practices Guidelines, the reviewers will make written notes on the session. Both noteworthy components and areas needing further development will be recorded so that the instructor will have a clear understanding of the course’s successful components and what remains to be done.

Follow Up Based on the Review: All copies of the review notes will be collected and given to the instructor. The only written record that will be kept is the Course Review Summary Sheet (attached), which will be filed in the Distance Learning Center.

The Online Express training team member will assist the instructor in correcting any significant gaps in the course as soon after the review as possible.

If the review team has serious concerns about the limitations of the course and the time needed to correct its deficiencies, the review team may recommend to the Dean that the instructor’s section of the course be canceled until remediation is complete.

Phase Three – College Faculty Evaluation Process

To ensure distance learning offerings remain an integral component of the college’s instructional offerings, once an online instructor has completed Phase One and Phase Two, evaluation of the instructor moves into the formal review structure of the college. All subsequent faculty reviews are done as part of established college process.

Phase Four – Student Evaluations Each Semester

Purpose: To ensure continual improvement of the college’s distance learning offerings, a Web-accessible student evaluation form will be administered during each semester the online course is offered.

When: The student evaluation form will be administered between the twelfth week and the end of the semester.

Using What Criteria: The Student Evaluation Form (attached).

Extent of the Review: The online instructor will notify students of the link to the online student evaluation and request their cooperation in filling out the form.

Follow Up Based on the Review: Completed surveys will be compiled by the Distance Learning Center and a summary of the results for the course will be forwarded to the instructor and to the Dean.