East Texas Baptist University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 51-58
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0032
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
In the eternal battle of faculty autonomy and the need for standardization for regional and programmatic accreditation agencies nothing has perhaps been impacted more than online curriculum. In online education there are two major curriculum models used: standardized and open curriculum. When standardized curriculum is used, the course is usually written beforehand for a fee and when taught by other instructors, it has to be taught exactly as it was created. This is to ensure that course alignment exists and that assessments that may be used to meet program learning outcomes are included. This model has several problems. In fields that are currently changing, courses may not be current. Instructors are often left to teach things they may view perhaps as problematic such as discussion forums that do not encourage discussions. In open curriculum in online courses and programs, there is no standardization; every faculty member creates his or her own course and teaches what he/she wants. This model is fraught with problems as well. Critical assessments for program evaluation may be left out of the course. Different instructors teaching the same course often use different texts which leaves students with very different learning experiences. Most faculty are not experts on online design and do not know how to enhance the learning experience effectively for students.

In online curriculum, it does not have to be all or nothing. There is a way to solve the problems of both of these models with a third option: partial standardization of curriculum. This model was briefly mentioned in the literature starting back in 2011, but there has been almost no research on this subject. This researcher adapted partial standardization of online curriculum in 2012 and has been very successful using this model at two different universities. This session will discuss how this model works, how it solves the problems of standard and open curriculum and how learning management systems and processes can be adapted for this model. In a post-COVID-10 world where the return to online instruction can happen at any time, this model is an effective one to meet both accreditation needs and desire for faculty autonomy.
Online curriculum, partial standardization, standardized curriculum, faculty autonomy, accreditation.