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Great Online Course = Quality Educational Experience

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Distance Learning Rehab Program
Take That First Step!
Get Help Now!
Are you frustrated and confused about
distance learning? Do you want to improve
the quality of your online classes?
If so, the BCCC Distance Learning Rehab
Program is for you.
Do you have any of these symptoms?
Craving - A strong sensation or need to learn more about teaching online
using the latest technologies.
Impaired control - A lack of ability to learn on your own, confusion about
the latest technology applications.
Physical dependence - Symptoms of withdrawal when the Internet is
down or bandwidth is slow i.e. shaking, nausea and a sense of anxiety
and anger.
Tolerance - The need to consume large amounts of hard drive space,
bandwidth and knowledge about the ever changing technology.
Help is now available with Blackboard, Streaming Media , Camtasia,
Podcasting, Social Networking, Research, NC LIVE and much more.
Great Online Course =
Quality Educational Experience
BCCC Quality Enhancement Workshop
Presented by: Penny Sermons, Tricia Woolard
Great Online Course =
Quality Educational Experience
• Distance learning is today’s fastest growing
segment in education resulting in a growing
concern about quality in higher education.
• BCCC recognizes that distance Learning is a
phenomenon that will continue to grow.
• Insight and guidance are needed to ensure
the credibility of distance learning courses.
• One of the first principles in all of the quality
assurance schemes considered here is
guaranteeing consistency in the results.
• All learning activities should foster the
highest degree of instructor-student,
student-content, and student-student
• We want to ensure that those studying on
campus- and on-line have similar access to
high levels of communication by faculty and
• At BCCC, quality is considered to be result of
contributions from diverse groups,
individuals, parts and functions of the
College – confirmed by a quality framework
or the BCCC Course Review Checklist.
??? Quality???
• The definition of quality is elusive and often
controversial in higher education (Oblinger, Barone,
Hawkins, 2001),
• Educators recognize that learning is both social,
private, and experiential and that higher order
learning requires reflection and knowledge
construction, which are key elements for quality
assurance in online learning (Alley & Jankar, 2001).
• The success of an online course is affected by its
pedagogical richness, which is the degree to which a
course addresses learning styles, use of media, and
interactivity with content, testing and feedback, and
collaboration (Deubel, 2003).
• Authorship, implementation, and
consumer perspectives play a role in
determining quality in online courses.
• "In the final analysis, the instructor's
own personal mastery and
sensitivities to the 'art of instruction'
also determine course quality“(Alley
& Jankar, 2001).
BCCC DL Background
• BCCC has experienced huge growth.
BCCC has been offering online courses for
approximately 10 years.
• College submitted and received
Substiantive Change approval from/SACs
• BCCC Reviewed by accrediting agencySACs
Quality in Online Courses
• What is it…
– More than average
– More than good enough
– Based on widely accepted standards
developed by the eight regional accrediting
commissions in the U.S. that developed the
Statement of Commitment for the Evaluation
of Electronically offered Degree and
Certificate Programs, which declares the
resolve of the commissions to sustain the
following values:
• that education is best experienced within a
community of learning where competent
professionals are actively and cooperatively
involved with creating, providing, and improving
the instructional program;
• that learning is dynamic and interactive,
regardless of the setting in which it occurs;
• that instructional programs leading to degrees
having integrity are organized around
substantive and coherent curricula which define
expected learning outcomes;
• that institutions accept the obligation to address
student needs related to, and to provide the
resources necessary for, their academic success;
• that institutions are responsible for the
education provided in their name;
• that institutions undertake the assessment and
improvement of their quality, giving particular
emphasis to student learning;
• that institutions voluntarily subject themselves
to peer review. (reprinted in Eaton, 2002, p. 26)
Quality in Online Courses
• Who Cares?
Quality Matters (Maryland Online, Inc.)
CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation)
SREB (Southern Regional Educational Board)
TLT (Teaching, Learning, Technology)
RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology)
IHEP (Institute for Higher Education Policy)
Sloan Consortium
Western Cooperative for Educational
Telecommunications (WCET)
– US Department of Education
“In your opinion,
what components
make an excellent
online course?”
What Do BCCC Students Think?
Quotes from student survey question
“Courses that allow for more flexibility because most people that take online courses don't have
the time to come to campus for a traditional style class”
“Communication is essential to online learning. Since you aren't seeing the professor in person, it
is so vital that he or she communicates all aspects of the expectations and coursework
“Clear instructions to what is expected on an assignment is crucial as well as communication. It
is important that the instructor will reply to emails, in a prompt time. Having the syllabus posted
so that the students will know what is required of them, and the dates as well when assignments
are due. It all boils down to making sure that all information pertaining to the class is posted so
that the class will have access to it.”
“Definitely communication!!!”
“In my opinion, a major component to a successful online course is having open communication
with your instructor. Keeping him/her informed of things that you do and do not understand.”
"Communication, organization.“
“Smart interaction with students to compensate for not being in a classroom environment. This
can be done by encouraging students to help each other by using the online bulletin board rather
than students relying strictly on the instructor. Not only does it get the students more involved, it
helps everyone involved by allowing them a better chance to retain the material, as well as
maybe think outside the box“.
“Be patient with students!”
What Do BCCC Instructors Think?
Quotes from instructor survey question
“Organization is the key. Students must be able to find what they need in order to learn from it.
However communication and examples included in the presentation are also very important in
relaying to the student what he/she is actually supposed to be getting from the information
presented. Examples can sometimes put information to a real life situation to help the student in
comprehending the information.”
“I would say the first and most important component is constant communication with the
learners and between learners. Learners need to feel connected to the experience. Then the
second would be building a community of learning within the group by using activities that are
bases on these two components of communication and connectivity.”
“I believe that both communication and organization make for an excellent online course. The
instructor must communicate with the students about their progress and upcoming events in the
class (ex. assignment due dates, tests, projects, etc.). I personally email my students each week
about the assignments/tests due that week, in addition to posting it on "My Calendar" in
blackboard and the class syllabus/course calendar (under course information). “
“Organization is also very important. The course must be easy to navigate and I think it is key to
instruct your students how to find things on blackboard. The easiest and most practical way to
make sure that assignments are done to completion is to outline what you want the student to
do, step by step. Therefore, there is no confusion and any incompleteness is clearly evident to both
the instructor and student. “
“While I know that internet speed and storage often hinders this, but the use of Camtasia (or
other presentation recording software) to record audio and/or video to create online lectures
could really enhance the quality of online courses. Being able to run through a PowerPoint with
the instructor explaining along helps those students who learn better with visual and auditory
cues. I’ve dabbled with this for use as course introductions in my BCCC and ECU courses and have
found that it is very helpful to some learners.”
Tools for Course Development
Course Review Worksheet
• Standards
– Course Design
• Framework
– Modules are identified and linked correctly
– Progression through course apparent
В» Poor Use of folders (Movie)
В» Good example of course organization (Blackboard)
• Course Information and Objectives
Syllabus Checklist (pdf)
Make syllabus printable
Course Checklist (pdf)
Course requirements
Learning objectives
Grading policy and procedures
Outline of course content
Due dates
Contact information
Course Review Worksheet Cont..
• Context for Course Content
– Content format is consistent
• Appearance and Presentation
– Minimal scrolling
– Placement of information
– Consistency of color and style
В» Example of Fonts and Scrolling (Movie)
• Navigation
– Instructions provided to students
• Accessibility
– Consider colors and fonts used
В» Avoid red and green together
В» Use Alt text for images and video
Course Review Worksheet Cont..
– Assessment of Student Performance
• Type and Variety of Assessments Used
• Assignments
– Expectations and due dates clearly defined
– Assignments support learning objectives
– Use of View Complete Assignments/ SafeAssign etc. (Movie)
• Quizzes/Exams
– Use varied methods ( proctoring available)
– Student Support Feedback
• Student Grades
– Track grades easily
– Feedback
• Learning Support/Resources
Help Desk
Student Services
Library Resources
Writing Assistance ( Wiki)
How Do I
Course Review Worksheet Cont..
– Learning Community
• Interaction and Participation
Discussion Board
Chat rooms
Group activities
Wimba Pronto IM
• Diversity
– Pedagogical Practices
• Instructional Design/Activities
– Student engagement with the course
– Teaching Strategies
– Use of Technology
• Use of Inherent Web Course Tools
Discussion Board
Grade Center
Assignment view
Echo 360% (Blackboard Building Block) lectures
Facebook Building Block
Course Review Worksheet Cont..
• Use of Instructional Media
Use of Graphics & Digital Media
Little download time
Web 2.0
Accessible in all browsers
Plug-ins available
Wimba Pronto
Streaming Media Server
What Makes a Weak Online Course
Content outside of folders
No folder structure
Dates wrong in the course and syllabus
Wrong contact information
Syllabus hard to fine
No directions in the course for specifics
(Assignments, quiz etc.)
Misspelled words and incorrect grammar
Navigation hard to follow
Font sizes in all cap or different sizes
Bad use of color
Delete important information from course
What Makes a Great Online Course
Organization (Easy to navigate)
Clear communication
Course activities
Clear concise directions
Correct spelling and vocabulary
Clean and precise layout
Effective teaching methods
Adequate resources
Adherence to accepted standards and pedagogy
Adhere to BCCC Course Review Worksheet and
Syllabus Checklist
• Course Example
• Use common sense when developing an
online course.
• Think of the course as a reflection of your
self and your teaching standards.
• Consider the needs of the students.
• Adhere to best practices, guidelines,
accepted standard, etc.
• Incorporate technology appropriately but
remember the focus should be on
• Read, research, stay abreast of DL issues.
Links to Resources
Blackboard Exam Taking Tips
Blackboard Quick Start Guides
Universal Design and Accessibility
Reusing and Reorganizing Courses
Presenting Content to Students
Organizing Your Course
Measuring Student Performance
Collaboration and Communication
Creating Course Content
Keeping Students Informed
Organizing Your Blackboard Course
Online Course Evaluation Project
Free Learning Tools
Important Blackboard Tips
What Does a High Quality Course Look Like?
Cheat Sheet for Blackboard (PDF)
Moodle Resources
Moodle Do’s
Moodle Don’ts
Colors Hard to Read
Type Fonts And Organization a Mess
To much information on the Announcement page.
Avoid empty folders
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