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A Vision for Distributed Education at Stockton: A Report of the Distributed Education Task Force

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A Vision for Distributed Education at Stockton: A Report of the Distributed Education Task Force
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  Report of the Distributed Education Task Force1 A Vision for Distributed Education atStockton: A Report of the DistributedEducation Task Force The Richard Stockton College of New JerseySpring 2007Committee Members:Saralyn MathisDonna AlbanoRogers BarlattVincent CicirelloDebbi DagavarianDennis FotiaDoug HarveyRodger JacksonDavid LechnerAl RundioElizabeth ShobeChristine TartaroChair, PROSPROSNAMSPROSAdmin. Rep.Staff Ex OfficioPROSARHULibraryPROSSOBLSOBL  Report of the Distributed Education Task Force2 Table of ContentsExecutive Summary ...................................................................................................... 3   Introduction ................................................................................................................... 6   Charge ........................................................................................................................ 6 Overview of Report  ...................................................................................................... 6 Charge 1. Vision Statement........................................................................................... 7   Charge 2. Best and Innovative Practices ...................................................................... 8    Best Practices .............................................................................................................. 8Introduction ............................................................................................................. 8Category 1: Institutional Context and Commitment ................................................. 8Category 2: Curriculum and Instruction ................................................................... 8Category 3: Faculty Support .................................................................................... 9Category 4: Student Support .................................................................................... 9Category 5: Evaluation and Assessment ................................................................. 10  Innovative Practices .................................................................................................. 10Introduction ........................................................................................................... 10Constructing Courses ............................................................................................. 11Delivering Courses ................................................................................................ 12Timelines for Widespread Adoption ...................................................................... 13Issues for Successful Implementation .................................................................... 14 Charge 3. Recommended Guidelines .......................................................................... 15    Introduction ............................................................................................................... 15  Definitions ................................................................................................................. 15Online/Distance Courses ........................................................................................ 16Hybrid Courses ...................................................................................................... 16Face-to-Face Courses............................................................................................. 16  Recommendations ...................................................................................................... 16 Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 19   References .................................................................................................................... 21   Appendix A: Report on Distributed Education Enrollment at Stockton .................. 22    Enrollment data ......................................................................................................... 22 Cohort of students entering Stockton in September 2002 ............................................ 28  Report of the Distributed Education Task Force3 Executive Summary This report outlines the work of the Faculty Assembly task force charged with thefollowing tasks:1.   Develop a vision for distributed education in keeping with the mission of thecollege and the values of the faculty, including a commitment to studentengagement.2.   Recommend best practices to inform the development and implementation of distributed courses.3.   Develop guidelines to assist and support faculty, programs and the college inthe development and implementation of distribution education courses.The task force examined academic literature on best teaching practices and innovativeuses of technology in distributed education, and administrative policies at otherinstitutions. The task force also reviewed prior internal reports and recommendationsmade by committees and groups convened at Stockton over the past decade to look atdistributed education. Based on discussions by members of the task force, the followingrecommendations are put forth to the Faculty Assembly and the College:1.   Stockton remains a college that, primarily, is a physical academic community,rather than a virtual one. When making decisions about distance/online courses,the College and the programs should consider carefully the impact that their   decisions will have upon the College's physical community at all levels2.   The College adopts the distributed education definitions in this report (p. 16) toprovide criteria for delineating between course types, for the purposes of settingpolicies and guidelines governing distributed education at Stockton.3.   These definitions should also be adopted by the college administration to facilitatetracking of distributed education course types for further research and reporting.4.   Each program develops and submits a Distributed Education Policy to itsdivisional dean by a date certain . After that date and until the program, submitsits formal program-wide Distributed Education Policy to its division dean, nofaculty member in that program, or any other person, shall schedule or teach, inload or overload  , more than one program online/distance offering (section) in anyone academic year (including summer sessions).5.   For the purposes of a Distributed Education Policy for General Studies, each G-category should be considered as a program. Each G-convener will organizemeetings of all interested faculty to develop a Distributed Education policy foreach G-category to submit to the General Studies dean.6.   Programs are encouraged to use the following guidelines in the development of Distributed Education Policies:a.   Follow best practices to  Report of the Distributed Education Task Force4i.   Ensure that instruction drives the use of technology, rather thantechnology driving instruction.ii.   Ensure that each distributed education course is rigorous to abreadth and depth equivalent to the rigor of its traditional face-to-face counterpart.iii.   Set clear standards for interactivity between instructor and studentsand among students.b.   Define the items that should be submitted to the program foronline/distance and hybrid course review and approval.c.   Define a timeline for course review/approval.d.   Define a process for periodic review of current online/distance and hybridcourses.e.   Define the training or credentials that someone must have to teachdistributed education courses.f.   Only approve distributed education courses that clearly indicate a plan forhigh levels of interaction between the teacher and the students and amongthe students.g.   Include online/distance and h ybrid courses in the program’s assessmentplans.7.   Correspondence-type telecourses, in which students merely view video materialsthen study and take a test, with little or no instructional interactions with aninstructor and other students, be phased-out in favor of interactive online coursesthat are consistent with the recommended definition of online/distance courses.8.   A program for faculty development on online/distance teaching should be createdand made available for all faculty members who wish to teach online/distancecourses. Such a program must cover the pedagogy and technology of distanceeducation and include the building of a distance education syllabus within thecontext of the experience.9.   Faculty development should be offered at no cost to the individual, and includeappropriate incentives and rewards.10.   All distributed education courses be assessed to ensure learning effectiveness andthe satisfaction of both student and faculty.11.   The College assesses the cost effectiveness and degree of access of online/distance education program.12.   The College considers using a single course management system for instructionalpurposes for all distributed education courses, phasing out conference-onlysystems such as Web Caucus and Web Board.13.   The College should develop a required orientation for students to complete priorto taking online/distance courses.14.   Create a new Distributed Education Standing Committee. Subsume the currentMedia and Technology Standing Committee under this new standing committeeas the Media and Technology Subcommittee. Elect not only the subcommitteechair but also all of the subcommittee members. The Media and Technology  Report of the Distributed Education Task Force5Subcommittee chair will be a member of the Distributed Education StandingCommittee. Charge the standing committee the task of addressing the evolvingpolicy issues mentioned in this report and others that have not been identified.This new committee would be charged with:a.   Defining a support infrastructure to meet the pedagogical and instructionalneeds as specified by the faculty and assisting in the development of thatinfrastructureb.   Guiding development of program and College policies, includinginterpreting definitions for unusual course typesc.   Dealing with governance for issues that have impact beyond the programlevel, including monitoring and assessing the college wide use of distributed education   d.   Taking the lead role in addressing emergent issues such as:   i.   use of distributed education within graduate programsii.   the pedagogical impact of new technologies15.   At the Fall 2007 Faculty Conference, the Faculty Assembly discuss the merits of the following options relative to interplay between physical academic communityand online/distance education:a.   Limit online/distance courses at the College level governing all facultymembers, including adjuncts and other instructor classifications.i.   Limits on the number and levels of online/distance courses anindividual faculty may teach in a given semester and calendar year.ii.   Limit the number of online/distance courses that an individualstudent may take per degree.iii.   Limit both faculty and students as described above.b.   No college wide limits for online/distance courses. Individual programsdefine all online/distance policy.The task force is willing to continue to serve in an advisory role for the discussions heldat the Fall 2007 Faculty Conference, if that recommendation is adopted. If a standingcommittee on distributed education is constituted, the task force is prepared to assist withits formation.
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