FACULTY INVOLVEMENT IN THE QEP
The cornerstone of the QEP is ensuring that our online courses meet national standards for effective online course design and that our instructors are implementing best practices in online-course instruction. To this end, faculty are asked to complete two online courses—online-course design and online pedagogy—to certify that we have a common language and understanding about these best practices. These courses, offered in the new Desire2Learn learning management system (LMS), will guide instructors through the best practices in designing courses and conducting an online class.
Faculty will first study online-course design, during which each faculty member will be placed into a Course Design Group of four members. These groups act as support for faculty who will eventually revise or design new courses. After completion of the design course, faculty then enter the pedagogy course, which will cover best practices in engaging students, provide feedback, and examine other behaviors of successful online instructors. Following the successful completion of the two courses, the faculty member will be “certified” as an online instructor.
To be sure, some of our faculty already have training and experience that exceeds that of these two courses. We strongly believe, however, that everyone can learn something useful when engaged with fellow instructors in the process, where everyone involved becomes pupil and mentor.
After completing the design course (whether or not the pedagogy course has been completed at that point), faculty can choose either to design an online course from scratch or to revise an existing online course as needed.
The faculty member first submits a course-design request form to the CTE. Once that request has been approved, the faculty member designs or revises a course to meet the standards of the BC Quality Online Course Rubric (see also the Rubric Guide) and other goals as identified by the faculty member. This may be a major design or redesign process or a simple tweak of an existing course, depending on whether or not the existing course meets the applicable standards. During this process, the Course Design Group acts as a sounding board for ideas, helping the faculty member through the process. The CTE is also available as needed to assist in that process. See the Quick Guide to Online Course Design for an overview of the design process.
When the faculty member believes the course is complete and has met all standards, he or she submits a QEP Course Review Request form to the CTE requesting that the design be reviewed. The CTE then assigns the course to another Course Design Group, which reviews the course and checks it for adherence to each of the rubric’s standards. After reviewing the course, the CDG submits their rubric to CTE indicating whether the course meets the standards. If it does not, the CDG provides feedback to the faculty member about what areas need to be addressed. The faculty member revises as necessary and resubmits the course until it successfully meets the standards set out in the Quality Online Course Rubric.
Course Certification and Stipends
Once the CTE receives the CDG’s recommendation and verifies the course, the course is “certified” and the faculty member receives a stipend (see the Course Design Request form for details). Faculty members can then repeat the process with a different course until they have revised or designed all online courses offered at Bainbridge College.
In the case of faculty requesting stipends to build or revise the same course—for instance, two faculty requesting to revise English 1101—the QEP director will select one recipient for the stipend based on previously received stipends, past success in course revision, and if necessary, seniority. If additional stipend funds become available, more than one faculty member may revise the same course.
All courses become available to other faculty, including adjuncts, for use in instruction, in essence creating a library of well-built designs for every course we offer online, ensuring that all our online courses meet minimum standards and can be taught effectively by a number of different instructors.