A UNIQUE APPROACH FOR CREATING STANDARDS FOR ONLINE COURSE DESIGN IN HIGHER EDUCATION
The introduction of online learning has had dramatic impact in higher education. Today, approximately 80% of colleges and universities offer online courses. As online course offerings have become mainstream, accrediting agencies have come to include examination of criteria used by institutions to set standards and measure the quality of those offerings as part of routine site evaluations. Concerns about the quality of online courses and how to determine institutional standards have prompted institutions to explore options for pre-formatted checklists of online course quality.
Despite a broad range of possible products and services, many institutions are challenged to find instruments that meet the critical need of establishing guidelines for online course design while allowing customization to meet unique institutional and programmatic needs and characteristics. Furthermore, standardized instruments have prompted faculty to question whether the instruments exert too much influence and restrict their academic freedom to determine the most effective methods of instruction.
This presentation will report on a unique process utilized at one institution to address the challenges of creating its own standards for online course design quality and the outcomes of that effort.