ITC eLearning 2023, Day 2

The Creation “Healthy” Online Course

Presented by Cynthia Krutsinger, Pikes Peak State College

In 2020, Colorado Online was established with the intent of allowing students to take courses/complete programs in a fully online format, regardless of which college offers the program. While the CO program is hosted at the state level, the creation, design, and maintenance of the courses is done at the campus level.

The standards that are developed to ensure consistency starts with Quality Matters and adds additional items, creating what they call QM+.

In their new course review plan, there are 3 components that will be in place:

  • Healthy Course Checklist (includes QM/QM+, DEI checklist, accessibility checklist, etc.
  • PPSC Best Practices for Online and Hybrid Course Design
  • Required Common Course Framework (CCF)

Faculty will have the ability to use a common course framework as a starting point. This appears to be optional.

Given the number of sections that they are anticipating for the next few terms, it’s interesting that they only have a staff of 4. It does make me wonder how many course reviews are done by the large handful of Instructional Designers in our ACC Distance Education office.

Policies, Practices, & Attitudes: A Playbook for Involving Adjunct Faculty

Presented by Marc Farrior & Stephanie Hoon, Pima Community College

This session is a panel of faculty & support staff that provided various ways of engaging with adjunct faculty. Most of the answers are around how the Teaching & Learning Center at Pima Community College is unique.

One of the things that came up that resonated with me is that adjunct faculty are not just participants in the various training sessions that they offer, but adjuncts are allowed and encouraged to present in professional development sessions. Beyond the presenting for TLC sessions, Pima also has an Adjunct Faculty Institute (AFI) that is led by adjunct faculty, which is unique.

This session had a lot of interesting points. Unfortunately, like with many of the sessions at this conference, I didn’t take away any action items for me. This would have been a good session for our Faculty Development Office, although this conference generally doesn’t seem to draw a lot of faculty development professionals.

Distance, Online, Hybrid, and HyFlex: Policy Differences, Surprising Agreements, and Practical Implications

  • Online means everything is done online (synchronous or asynchronous)
  • Hybrid/Blended is a mix of in-person and online course delivery.
  • HyFlex is students can move between online and in-person course delivery at their preference.

I agree with these definitions and I wish it were feasible to consolidate the many definitions that exist at ACC. It gets so confusing with the ~8-9 different definitions that we have, that this would make things so much easier. I don’t expect this to actually come to fruition anytime soon though…

Let’s TILT (Transparency in Learning and Teaching) Your Online Course

Presented by Leslie VanWolvelear, Oakton College

I really didn’t know what to expect from this session as I had no knowledge of TILT beforehand. My understanding is that TILT is the idea of injecting transparency into the curriculum – ensuring that students understand the purpose and value of various assignments, projects, etc. By understanding the value, students tend to have more buy-in and take the course more seriously.

ITC Award Winner, Innovative eLearning Technology – An AI Approach to Online Discussions: Engage Curiosity and Cultivate Confidence

Presented by Pamela Sulger, Brad Butler, and T. Adam Baldry, Pima Community College

This session was pretty interesting, as they talked about how they implemented Packback to increase student curiosity and engagement in online course discussions.

I didn’t take much away from this session, but that’s mostly because I’m already familiar with Packback. The vendor should have been a sponsor of this session and been represented at the conference with how much it was talked about. I think Packback could provide some benefit to instructors who are dissatisfied with the Blackboard discussion forum tool, but our efforts to pilot Packback at ACC have been fruitless.

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