This will be my last post about the IMS Global Consortium LTAC meetings in Redmond, WA held last week. Thursday early afternoon - Panel Presentation: Standards and Best Practices for Providing Online Programs - Me, Russ Adkins of Broward CC, and John St. Clair of Tennessee Board of Regents.
$ - I talked about best (or at least pretty good) practices from the perspective of both LSC and MnOnline, including the following: 1) LSC Online Student Mentors, 2) LSC Events-based Distance Learning, 3) Quality Matters at both LSC and MnOnline, 4) Noel-Levitz PSOL data gathering at LSC and MnOnline, 5) online tutoring at LSC and MnOnline, 6) Minnesota efolio, 7) Statewide electronic library services.
$ - Russ talked about how BCC went from almost no e-learning five years ago to a very large e-learning operation today.
- BCC overall has about 23,000 FTE and about a 60,000 student headcount.
- In 8 years, they grew from nothing online to about 200 full-time and 350 part-time faculty teaching something online.
- They have 5 associate degrees and 4 certificates available completely online, and have started working toward SCAS accreditation for online programs.
- In ’06-’07, they had over 12,000 student enrollments in online classes, almost 3,600 in blended (hybrid) courses, and another 12,540 web-assisted classes.
- They support a faculty mentoring opportunity for new online faculty.
- They have created a scalable and affordable course development and delivery capacity through an emphasis on learning objects and master courses.
- Going through the SACS accreditation change request (for online degree programs) is helping them sustain energy for improving online services, shining a light on the existing on-the-ground services, and providing new institutional resources; in particular: a) Research/business intelligence, b) Cyber advisors, c) Library instruction, d) Infrastructure expense, e) E-program management and advising, f) E-learning becoming ‘everyone’s job.’
- The TBR seems to be a pretty good parallel collaborative for MnSCU. There are 45 schools and 180,000+ students. It includes all the public colleges and universities except for the UT schools. They’ve gone from about 2,000 online enrollments in fall 2001 to over 13,000 in spring 2007. 96% of their online enrollments come from Tennessee residents.
- Unlike MnOnline, they have made a much more bold effort to eliminate duplication of courses, programs, and services. They have also achieved system-level branding, which is a ship that sank in MnSCU a long time ago. Unlike MnSCU, not all online courses within the system are considered to be part of the TBR. Only courses and programs that conform to certain guidelines are part of TBR.
- They have a significant surcharge for online TBR courses. Students pay 40% extra to take an online TBR course. Standard tuition for a 3-credit course (2007) would have been $504. The surcharge adds another $204 to the cost of tuition. Of the surcharge, 30% ($61) stays with the “home institution” of the student, where presumably they receive most or all of their student services. 70% of the surcharge ($143) goes to the central office for administrative costs and state-wide services, etc. Apparently they have one tuition rate for all of the TBR online courses, at least at the same level (bachelor’s level, for example). The base amount of tuition stays with the “delivering institution,” which is the school that provides the instructor for the course. The FTE for the course stays with the home institution (again, the school where the student is earning a degree). There is one more factor, something called the “developing institution.” That is the place where the course was first developed for the TBR. This is apparently how they eliminate some of the duplication of efforts. If I understood it correctly, the developing institution has the right to be the delivering institution for the first 60% of the sections offered by TBR in a term, up to the first six sections.
- The contrast between TBR and MnOnline are stark. Two state systems that seem to have a lot of similarities appear to have gone after the online collaboration process in completely different ways. Neither one is perfect, but I believe that one is vastly superior to the other in their planning and execution. Can you guess which?
- Much like MnSCU, TBR has distributed many of the needed support services to campuses around the state that are able to provide the service. For example, their server hosting and help desk are handled by the University of Memphis. Their P.R. and marketing efforts are contracted to Tennessee Tech. Their classroom evaluations are handled by East Tennessee State U.