Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, Ph.D.
Many of us are aware, whether slightly or extensively, of the various entities a university campus must partner. Participation in such entities fosters current knowledge sharing and assurance of agreed-upon benchmarks to adequately progress while maintaining compliance.
This month, I’ll share with you an entity called the C-RAC. The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions stipulates nine guideposts for distance education to demonstrate integration and support in all aspects of teaching and learning.
Nine Guideposts (C-RAC, 2011) for the evaluation of successful distance education programs namely:
- Online learning is appropriate to the institutions’ mission and purposes
- The institution’s plans for developing, sustaining, and, if appropriate, expanding online learning offerings are integrated into its regular planning and evaluation
- Online learning is incorporated into the institution’s systems of governance and academic oversight.
- Curricula for the institution’s online learning offerings are coherent, cohesive, and comparable in academic rigor to programs offered in traditional instructional formats.
- The institution evaluates the effectiveness of its online learning offerings, including the extent to which the online learning goals are achieved, and uses the results of its evaluations to enhance the attainment of the goals.
- Faculty responsible for delivering the online learning curricula and evaluating the students’ success in achieving the online learning goals are appropriately qualified and effectively supported.
- The institution provides effective student and academic services to support students enrolled in online learning
- The institution provides sufficient resources to support and, if appropriate, expand its online learning offerings.
- The institution assures the integrity of its online offerings.
I partnered with the Center for Teaching and Learning, ELearning Design and Services, Undergraduate Affairs Committee, IU Online, and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Margie Ferguson to map these nine guideposts to units and expound on identified tasks to offer the campus a seamless, cohesive, and integrated response to online education. The mapping moves the nine items into two camps: Administration and Curricular (often falling within schools and governed by faculty).
Institution Responsibility…ensures online offering is…
- Mapped to mission
- Integrated into regular planning and evaluation
- Incorporated into systems of governance and academic oversight
- Provided sufficient resources to support and expand offerings
- Delivered by appropriately qualified faculty
- Evaluated for effectiveness and results used to attain goals
- Integrity assured
Curricular …units ensure online learning offering is…
- Coherent ,
- Cohesive, and
- Comparable in academic rigor to traditional offerings
Look out for the unveiling in the months to come.