Instead of presenting my normal monthly report I’m going to review (contrast and compare) where Distance Learning at CCC was before Title III and where we are a year and a half into the grant. I think you’ll be impressed with what we’ve been able to accomplish in less than 2 years, as far as content and course information placement in the blackboards was concerned and CCC had no established procedures for how online courses should be designed, developed and be taught.
For the most part it was whatever the instructor wanted to post to the course and this for the most part was primarily text based. In some cases this approach worked fine, however since every online course had a different look, methodology and expectations from the various instructors – there was some frustration on the part of students because there were no standardized course design and development parameters for our online faculty to follow. This was the catalyst for me to develop a set of course design (and content placement) parameters and steps for successful online teaching.
We first initiated the Extreme Blackboard Course makeover where a faculty member could make appointments to have their courses “overhauled” both visually and in course actual design and delivery. Looking back I believe this early initiative was a factor in our getting the T3 grant.
Once we got the Title III Grant we initiated the
DL Pioneer initiative.
This is essentially a “train the trainer” professional development program. I initially chose 10 online faculty from across curriculum’s to be a part of this project.
Each faculty member received a laptop and IPod, in addition to being offered a variety of professional development opportunities both in-house and off campus.
We are now into the 2nd year of the Pioneer Program – we have 20 DL Pioneers who committed to one of the following three options.
1. Upgrade one online course (total or hybrid) and begin developing a new course. Dl Pioneer must teach at least one of these courses in Spring 2008.
2. Upgrading 2 courses that you already are teaching online. Must be teaching at least one Spring 2008
3. Develop a NEW course to be offered Fall 2008. (New online faculty)
In March 2007 T3 funds enabled us to hire Pre-Ah Hill as our DL Instructional Designer. She has conducted approximately 100 “one on one” training sessions (to assist with Blackboard Upgrades) since coming on board. Pre-Ah has also been instrumental in assisting with the various professional development activities across campus and has been at the forefront of learned new instructional delivery software and training others (including me) on programs such as Jing, Camtasia, Garage Band, Imovie, Skype and Movie Maker to name a few.
I see 4 major accomplishments for our DL Program in the past 18 months.
#1. DL Pioneers and the Mentoring Program. 20 DL Faculty Pioneers in the Program at this time.
#2. BB Boot Camps (Every faculty member both full time and adjunct) that teach online for CCC have been through 4-6 hours of in-depth training and many have worked with Pre-Ah in “one to one” hands-on sessions since last Spring. 6 BB Boot Camps have been offered with one scheduled for mid-March. Faculty receive digital recorder and adjuncts are paid $27 per hour to attend thanks to T3 funds.
#3. Peer Review Process QAP’s – 50 online courses will have been evaluated by a content specialist and instructional designer by April 1, 2008. All online courses both total and hybrid will go through this process by December 2008. Pre-Ah and I are incorporating what we learn from the QAP Process back into our faculty training. Each content specialist is paid $50 per course to do this evaluation. Click Here to Download QAP Master Spreadsheet
#4. The CCC Online Tutoring Initiative spearheaded by veteran online instructor Lisa Taylor Galizia. This pilot program received $8000 seed money to get an online tutoring service off the ground. A tutoring Blackboard “hub” has been developed using IM, Skype, Discussion Boards and E-mail and 4 tutors have been selected. We hope to start offering tutoring services to our Math, English, Biology and Anatomy & Physiology students by March 17th.
Title III has also enabled us to take our faculty to a variety of excellent DL workshops, seminars and conferences and next month 3 of our pioneers will be presenting with me at the DL Alliance Conference in New Bern.
We are also sponsoring a campus wide DL Forum in the Civic Center on April 22nd. This forum was the result of a DL Problem Solving Session we conducted with our DL Pioneers in December of 2007.
Due to the strides we have made in the past year, CCC was asked to partner with FTCC on Tech Center DL Grant to establish guidelines, processes and procedures for producing instructional media (podcasts, video, simulations) for the entire CC System. We are receiving $8,400 to begin this initiative.
So you can see a great deal has been accomplished over the past 18 months, BUT there is still more work to do such as getting more of our faculty producing more rich media content (podcasts and video) in order to address the various learning styles and needs of our online students.
Pre-Ah Hill is also completely revamping the Online Student Blackboard Orientation. She will give you all a demonstration of this at the next meeting.