Twelve Strategies to Promote Online Growth While Ensuring Quality
On Friday morning of the Sloan Consortium’s 7th Annual International Symposium on Emerging Technologies for Online Learning, Dr. Brian Udermann, Director of Online Education at University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, shared his experience and the lessons he learned through trial and error when he assumed his current position. With these twelve steps, Dr. Udermann has seen exceptional growth and success in UW-La Crosse’s online services. The twelve steps to promote online growth while ensuring quality:
1. Centralize the administration of online education.
- Consistency and standardization are critical.
2. Create an online advisory board.
- Include faculty, administrators, instructional designers, program directors, student support, business services, and students.
3. Hire an instructional designer.
- At least one.
4. Create a policy and procedures manual for online education.
- SEIS, enrollment, finals schedule, how to drop online courses, workload and compensation.
5. Create an online education fact book.
- Include number of courses, number of gen ed requirements, % of students online, student credit hour production, number of instructors, impact on graduation.
6. Create faculty buy-in!
- Include faculty (both exemplary and obstinate) in the online advisory board, share current research, offer trainings, showcases, and luncheons, include a faculty-sole-ownership agreement for course content.
7. Offer faculty development opportunities.
- Offer workshops, one-on-one consultation, funding to attend conferences, and instructor training courses.
8. Provide financial support.
- For online instructor training, course development, and successful course reviews.
9. Be abnormal!
- Have fun, be creative, and do things differently!
10. Offer quality student support services.
11. Treat online and face-to-face courses equally.
12. Have an online course review process in place.