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Edwiygh Franck Article Review #2 Article Review #2

ADE 6265 Spring 2013

This paper presents a summary of an article which examined the effectiveness of a team approach and quality assurance system for online course development and delivery. Online education has become the new normal for many universities. With society s demands increasing day after day for individuals, alternatives to traditional face-to-face education, such as online education, are needed to continue to serve students. However, with online education come many challenges that school have to overcome. Face-to-face education has its benefit because it allows for the human interaction and adlibbing; but for online education, every detail has to be thought about and executed in order to provide students with meaningful and effective experiences in order for them to be motivated to learn and acquire knowledge. To foster such experiences, colleges and universities have to take aggressive steps to ensure that the quality of the online education that they are providing is equal to or greater than the quality of face-toface courses, because the human factor is lost, and students need to be motivated to become selfdirected learners. One university, Fort Hays State University (FHSU), decided to take the team approach to course development and implement a robust quality assurance program to ensure the quality of the courses offered and support the online faculty members. The university offers ten (10) masters degree and eighteen (18) bachelors degrees online, and it has been offering online instruction since the 1990s (Gould, King, Wang, 2009). They have gone through many phases in their online instruction delivery system in an effort to improve student experience, increase enrollment, and increase completion rates. The university decided to include the following components to support their team approach and quality assurance initiatives: administrative support, professional support and peer support. The administrative support included a technical support infrastructure to facilitate training and support for online instruction, and an instructional reward system to recognize quality online instruction (Gould, King, Wang, 2009). In order to ensure the satisfaction of their faculty members, the university began to offer a more intentional technical support infrastructure, by adding a course management system support specialist to their support staff who mainly focuses on assisting faculty with any technical issues with their online courses, and also adding teaching excellence coordinators who consult with faculty on instructional strategies to ensure that the students are engaged in the courses (Gould, King, Wang, 2009). The coordinators also handle new faculty orientation training, peer sharing program, instructional evaluation and various support projects. In addition, the university created an incentive program to reward faculty who teach online courses to motivate them to continue to provide quality instruction. The reward system includes three levels: level one (1) includes faculty who develop new courses, they receive $3000.00; level two (2) includes faculty who revise existing courses to make them more effective, they receive between $600.00 to $2000.00 depending on the amount of revision that need to be done; and finally level three (3) includes faculty who bring courses from outside of the university that meet the universitys standards, they receive $500.00. Such an incentive program motivates the faculty and make them feel valued and appreciated. In order to professionally support the faculty in overcoming the challenges of online instruction, they provided them with a comprehensive course development manual which walks them through the course development process step by step. Finally, they provided them with peer support through roundtable session, brown bag lunch meetings, and discussion sessions where faculty members can share their experiences with their online courses; share best practices; and use the group as a support system to bounce off ideas and get a sense of community. After the university implemented these new initiatives, they went back to the faculty members to see how they were doing and how they felt about the new initiatives. The faculty members reported that the model has been effective in helping them conduct high quality online courses. The university conducted a survey to see where additional gaps were; however, the faculty members expressed their overwhelming satisfaction for the new initiatives and hardly had any suggestions for improvement.

Edwiygh Franck Article Review #2 References

ADE 6265 Spring 2013

Gould, L., King, D., Wang, H. (2009). Positioning faculty support as a strategy in assuring quality online education. Innovate 5 (6). Retrieved from http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=626