a. How does offering this particular program online fit with the goals of department, college, and university? What does the department hope to accomplish? Is this an existing program, a new program, or a modification of an existing program?
b. Who will be the target group(s) for prospective students?
i. Any eligible individuals who choose to enroll?
o This approach is probably best for niche programs or programs for which there are few, if any other, programs available online. For a common, plain vanilla program, we would be competing with institutions that are either cheaper than ETSU or more prestigious.
o Example: B.S. in Dental Hygiene: There are only two
or three online programs in the U.S.
o A department should consider the extent to which an online program may simply redirect their current on ground students. This is not necessarily a problem but may not fit with the department’s goal to recruit new students. On the other hand, if current students have high interest in online courses, there may also be a substantial pool of potential students who would be attracted.
ii. An identifiable group in nation, region, state or local area? o Members of a profession or employees of a type of agency or industry with needs for updating, advanced credentials, etc.? Are there any sources of funding for students — employer reimbursements, grants, etc.
a. Please note that enrolling a large number of students for whom tuition is reduced or waived, (e.g., state employees who can use PC 191, various state grants to ETSU that require waiver of tuition, any funded project that has waiver of tuition as an institutional match) will reduce the cost effectiveness of the program.
b. Example: B.S. in Allied Health—a new degree developed
to be offered only online to serve individuals in a variety of
allied health professions who often have only a two-year degree and
need a bachelor’s degree for job advancement.
o Practitioners in ETSU’s service area? For our non-niche programs and even for niche programs, we are finding that we have an important role in serving defined populations in our region with online or predominantly online programs. This approach capitalizes on ETSU’s name recognition in the region and can provide a more controlled, higher quality experience than just a generic online program.
a. Example: Recruiting a defined cohort of RN’s in Sevierville and Blount Co. and delivering the RN to BSN program to that group online, with the exception of a course in health assessment and the concluding practicum. Faculty members and staff make periodic trips to the area to provide advising and orientation.
o A group of students who have completed an appropriate curriculum at another institution, e.g., one of our TBR community colleges. This approach can provide a very stable, high quality situation.
a. Example. B.S. in Computer Science at Pellissippi State Technical and Community College, beginning in fall 2006—to be delivered primarily online with periodic on ground class meetings and/or faculty on site for advising.
2. If the department, the Office of eLearning, and Cohort Programs agree that the program should be offered online, the department should begin their planning. The items below do not represent a rigid sequence because the planning will be a comprehensive and iterative process involving department, Office of eLearning, Cohort Programs, Academic Technology Support, and other individuals and units.
a. Visualize the students who will most likely enroll and the issues they may present, e.g., transfer credit, ability to get some coursework online or by other means from other institutions, possible deficiencies in coursework or other qualifications, variations in background/experience, etc.
b. Plan the complete sequence of the curriculum semester by semester.
i. Determine the correct or best sequence of courses. Depending on
decisions about delivery method, you may decide to make either
minor or major modifications to an existing curriculum. A
department may also develop a new program specifically for online
ii. Decide whether to offer courses only fall and spring semesters or to include summers in the sequence. (Funding summer salaries for regular faculty must be planned within available resources.)
iii. Decide whether to offer one track only or to offer options such as electives. iv. Think about enrollments
o Maximums and minimums for admission to the program and for enrollment in courses.
o Whether you might start one cohort, finish the program for them, and then start a new cohort OR whether you might develop a rolling curriculum and admit new students each fall or at any point. You may want to start small and build, based on enrollments.
Plan, at a broad level, the delivery methods for the
curriculum and for individual courses.
i. Instructors without broad experience in Distance Education often underestimate what can be taught well or even better online than on ground. Personnel in the Office of eLearning can help identify what student learning outcomes can and cannot be achieved through online instruction, alternative methods and activities, and alternative approaches to assessment.
ii. For many programs, we are finding that we are using hybrid delivery systems, that is, from course to course and within individual courses:
a. Various types of multimedia
i. Mediated presentations
ii. Video streaming
b. Basic communication
ii. Synchronous and asynchronous voice
iii. Discussion forums
c. Wide variety of current and emerging technology applications
o Instructional television—for remote groups with a
stable site such as workplace or community college
o On ground—periodic sessions for hands-on instruction at convenient, non-traditional times, e.g., evening, weekend, intensive summer session, etc.
a. Example: Students in the B.S. in Dental Hygiene come to ETSU for one weekend to learn a hands-on skill that must be carefully taught, supervised, and assessed for patient safety.
o CD’s for foundational, didactic material.
d. Identify who will develop and teach each course.
i. Developers/Instructors may be regular faculty or adjunct faculty. To the extent possible, the program should be planned around a table group of instructors who will take ownership and provide continuity for the program.
ii. Graduate assistants and others may help faculty members develop and teach online courses. However, instructors cannot and should not avoid learning the essential skills for developing, managing, and delivering their online courses.
iii. Our experience indicates that it is best for the person who develops an online course to be the person who teaches it, at least for the first time it is offered.
iv. The Office of eLearning will assess faculty members’ skills in technology, provide basic training, and provide one-on-one support during online course design and development.
e. Plan for continuing administration and management of the program.
i. The Office of eLearning and Cohort Programs will provide some
services and will advise the department in setting up and funding
administrative support systems that must be provided by the
ii. Online programs require more administrative and managerial attention than on ground programs. There will need to be stable staffing for
o Responding promptly to inquiries from prospective
students, sending them information, and/or referring them to
appropriate individuals at ETSU, and following-up.
o Advising and troubleshooting.
o Helping prospective students at a distance go through ETSU’s processes for application, admission, registration, fee payment, etc.
iii. Once students are admitted and an online program starts, the department must fulfill its obligation to the students to offer the full curriculum.
B. Support provided for developing, offering, and
managing online programs
1. Academic Technology Support, Myra Jones, Director, 118 Sherrod Library, firstname.lastname@example.org, 98614
a. Course Management System Instruction
b. Support for developing and migrating exams from word processing format to the Course Management System via Respondus.
c. Support for developing and integrating content specific games, puzzles, etc., through the use of StudyMate
d. Development and training is offered through several programs
- Workshops are presented each semester
- Approximately 14 hours of workshops are available for the complete series on the Course Management System.
- Cohort workshops are available.
- One on one training and help for developing online courses is available on an as needed basis.
e. Faculty Technology Leadership program supports the development of online courses.
- Faculty participants receive development and training in a
variety of software products used to support online course
- Faculty members develop an online course as a deliverable for the Faculty Technology Leadership Program.
f. Development and training are available for a variety of multimedia applications that may be used to create interactive online course materials.
g. Development and training are available for standard ETSU software and hardware to facilitate faculty’s ability to utilize available technology in the development of course materials.
h. A streaming server is available to enable faculty to stream audio and video to students enrolled in online courses.
i. Equipment including audio and video recorders are available for faculty use. ATS staff will provide support for equipment use.
j. Digitization service to convert slides and analog video is available for faculty.
k. Support the effective use of the university’s course management system and distance education initiatives.
l. Facilitate peer review of electronic instructional materials produced by faculty in an effort to verify the scholarship of work for the promotion and tenure process.
m. Conduct pilot projects incorporating new technologies in teaching, learning, testing.
n. Provide faculty, with the means to experiment with a variety of technologies which might make their jobs easier or more efficient.