You might need to read the previous three posts to get a feel for all of my concerns about the proposed changed to MnSCU course definitions. For now let's just say that I think they're on the verge of turning a molehill into a mountain. (That's my photo from Pilot Mountain, NC - definitely not a molehill.) So, you should be asking, what is my proposed solution?
- On-ground courses: any course that is scheduled in a traditional classroom setting for the traditional amount of seat-time, which for us equals about 16 hours per credit. It should not matter whatsoever whether the faculty member chooses to use the Internet (in reasonable ways, see caveat #1 below), whether they use active learning exercises, whether they use PowerPoint, or whatever. Faculty members teach their classes how they choose to, within the normal guidelines of the institution.
- Blended courses: any course that meets in the traditional classroom for a portion of the normal amount of seat time and has required online activities that make up the remainder of the learning activities for the students. The portion of learning that is assigned to classroom seat-time can be as small as 25% of the normal amount of seat time (4 hours per credit) or as much as 75% of the normal amount (12 hours per credit). These courses are not designed or intended for distance students.
- Online courses: any course that is conducted completely online or can otherwise be completed at a distance. A maximum of two proctored assessments may be required. Students should understand that some online learning activities may require them to interact in real-time with other students and/or with the instructor. No traditional seat-time is required or allowed. (See caveat #2 below.)
That's it. Easy peasy. Biggest changes from the current definitions are as follows:
- Online: No required on-campus meetings are allowed. Offer a blended class instead.
- Online: Doesn't matter what technologies or techniques a faculty member chooses to use (for example: synchronous or asynchronous). These change frequently anyway. Don't try to dictate so much.
- Blended: 25% - 75% of the normal amount of seat-time. Everything else online.