Carteret Community College Title III Grant

February 23, 2009

Assessing Online Instruction at Carteret Community College — Presentation at the 2009 Annual NC3ADL conference

Filed under: Presentations,T3 Presentations — Donald Staub @ 7:47 am
NC3ADL presentation ppt

NC3ADL presentation ppt

Click HERE to download the power point.

Carteret Community College offered its first online course in the spring of 1998.  In Fall 2008, the college offered 61 sections of full internet courses and 15 hybrid courses. [By Fall 2009, all courses at the college will have a web presence].

CCC is not different from most colleges with burgeoning distance learning programs. For most of the last decade, with corresponding increases in the number of distance learning courses and students, attention has been trained on providing faculty with the skills necessary to deliver effective online instruction [via Blackboard]. In particular, in 2006, the college was fortunate to have been awarded a 5-year Title III grant from the US Department of Education.  Of the three primary objectives for the grant, distance learning is one of them.

This grant has given the college the resources to train all full and part-time faculty to effectively teach online.  Faculty are certified to teach online through a three-module Blackboard Bootcamp, developed in-house.  This professional development provides instructors with the tools to design and develop online courses, including the utilization of rich-media content (e.g. podcasts, enhanced podcasts, teachertube videos, etc…).

The missing link thus has far has been an eye toward assessment of online delivery. While assessment has taken place by the instructors in the courses, we have not really systematically examined online delivery as an effective means for providing instruction (i.e. are students learning). [I’ll digress for a moment here to say that we are only looking at Full Internet and Hybrid courses…i.e. not the so-called Web-Based courses – primarily because there is such variation on what a WB course entails in terms of online instruction/learning]

This presentation is a description of our attempt to do just that.   I begin with some background regarding DL, particularly the quantitative information (enrollments, success rates, etc…).  I then talk about the four primary ways that we are looking at DL courses:
1) The Quality Assessment Plan: a peer-evaluation process of online courses before they are even allowed to “go live.”  (download the QAP by clicking here:
2)  Grade Distributions: This is a broad-brush approach to see how students fared in any one semester (by way of final grades…i.e. “success”  and D, F, W rates).
3) ILLOs & PLLOs: How did students do on specific assignments that were related to either Institutional Level Learning Outcomes or Program Level Learning Outcomes.  For instance, how did students in both online and seated sections of CIS 110 (the course in which we assess our ILLO for Computer Literacy) score on their final class project?
4) Same instructor. Same course.  Teaching both seated and online sections of that course. We looked at common assignments for both sections and examined how students performed.

The Bottom Line
While there were some spots where there was a significant difference between how students performed in an online setting vs. a traditional/seated setting, these were probably more one-offs than evidence of a trend. To me, the most intriguing pieces to look at will be  A) Hybrid courses – Full internet courses for the last three fall semesters have seen an almost consistent 64% success rate.  Hybrid courses, on the other hand, have seen 80% success rates.  Should we be doing more Hybrids (instead of full onlines) is the obvious question.   And B) We need to drill deeper.  What student characteristics can we use as predictors of success when it comes to online instruction.  Should every student be allowed to take DL courses?  Yes.  But, should we look at which ones students should be advised to Not take, or should there be policies around the number of DL courses a student can take at a time…or the number they can take the semester after dropping a DL course(s).  These are issues that we need to explore further.

1 Comment »

  1. […] One on our online service offerings (e.g. online tutoring, counseling), the other on our efforts to assess the effectiveness of our online instruction. Both of these presentations can be downloaded (along with all relevant documents) elsewhere on this […]

    Pingback by CCC Reflections on the NC3ADL Conference (Feb 09) « Carteret Community College Title III Grant — April 28, 2009 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

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