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L. Marion, A. Grant, M. Killen, R. Lum, F. Cornelius, K. Holt

Drexel University (UNITED STATES)
We report on Drexel University’s continuing process of culture change that is designed to enhance online teaching and learning, a process first presented at INTED 2013. At that time, we described the inaugural year, including the creation of the Online Learning Council (OLC), appointment of the OLC Fellows, and initial projects. This paper will report on the current successes of the program, best practices for the development of similar programs, and present an outline for research initiatives designed to validate these successes.

In year two, the OLC Fellows have made a noticeable impact, having received increasing requests for consultation and peer-review services. In addition to conducting 59 workshops/presentations university-wide, the Fellows provided professional consultation to 10%, conducted training with 19%, and rendered peer-review services to 7% of all faculty teaching online. Other University entities, such as the University Faculty Senate and the University Assessment Office, began requesting that the Fellows collaborate in ways that broadened the scope of the Fellows’ work. The Faculty Senate created a new committee on online teaching chaired by a Fellow. The Assessment Officer is working with a Fellow in developing learning outcomes assessment measures. The success of these efforts raises challenges in resource allocation.

Through exposure at national and international conferences, the Fellows have seen a need to develop and share models for successful adoptions of the program at other institutions. The recognition of this need led to the development of the Drexel INSPIRE website, which serves as a portal for best practices in online course design, delivery and review of online courses. Designed as a living environment, the site provides access to OLC courses, workshops and conferences that are available to both those inside and outside the Drexel community.

Increased exposure to the program also demonstrates the need for development of a comprehensive research and evaluation agenda in order to validate the program outcomes across the University community. Our research will be looking at learning that has or has not occurred in class from the student perspective, student assessment of learning from the faculty perspective, and average student and faculty time spent in the online classroom so that we can determine where next to build excellence across our enterprise. This presentation will provide specific details regarding our outcomes, with an emphasis on the impact the Fellows’ outreach activities have had upon a sustained culture shift within the university community. Lesson’s learned, next steps and strategies to replicate this initiative will also be discussed.