Friday, August 28, 2009

Setting Expectations for Online Learning

One of the major projects during the upcoming academic year at Lake Superior College will be to develop several lists of expectations regarding online learning. This is our thirteenth year of offering online courses and programs and we have always preached certain things about how to teach online and how to learn online.

However, we have never had a written list of what those expectations are. So, anyone who wasn't in the room when we were talking about these things probably never actually heard our expectations. This is a problem particularly when we bring in a new online faculty member and they might not get all the information that the long-term faculty have heard time and time again.

For example, we have always had the expectation that our online courses will NOT be electronic versions of independent study (also called e-correspondence courses). We expect faculty members to plan for and design into their courses a great deal of interaction - including student-to-student and student-to-instructor. BUT, no where does it actually state that in writing that we can point to.

Therefore, we will have a work group comprised of people throughout the college, plus student representatives, who will work to put together the following lists:

  • 1. Expectations that we have for online students
  • 2. Expectations that we have for online faculty
  • 3. Expectations that we have for administrators of online learning
A couple of weeks ago I tossed out a quick tweet seeking ideas and resources from my Twitter network about this topic of expectations. I received a thoughtful response from one of my Twitter friends and I will be using her input to make a couple of posts regarding her experiences with shaping expectations in online learning. Coming soon.


Lisa Cheney-Steen said...

We have our faculty expectation on our wiki at

You are welcome to any of it.

Lisa Cheney-Steen

Barry Dahl said...

Most excellent. Thanks Lisa. I am working on some posts about expectations developed at St. Pete College and will post those soon. I also received a great e-mail today about UMUC and will share that as well. Now I'll try top absorb yours as well and see where this all takes us. Thanks again.

Lisa Cheney-Steen said...

The biggest problem with ours is that we got a little excited when we wrote it up..... bunch of very wordy academics. In reality our QA program is now all about the discussion area - response time and whether or not the response re-engaged the students.

EJ said...

When you decide on the objectives and expectations, the next step is to find elearning authoring tools that would work for your students and faculty.