Monday, November 22, 2010

you can't make me

I'm just finishing up a recent study about various approaches to managing instructional, operational, and technical aspects of online education programs. Granted, the study focuses on full online programs, but there's a lot SU can take away -- particularly in regard to faculty preparation and quality assurance.

In this and similar studies, it becomes clear that the schools/colleges with the most successful online initiatives are those that mandate training for their faculty. It only makes sense, but can you imagine the blow-back from faculty who see themselves as working "with" the university rather than "for" the university?

The same resistance would/is felt when you attempt to position quality assurance in front of faculty. Quality is of critical importance to the success of any online education initiative. Yet how do you get faculty to understand that if they want to teach online, they will be required (mandated?) to actively engage in coordinated and systematic examinations of their course designs and pedagogical strategies?

There are advantages to working for a private university. One advantage is that you can make up your own rules. It only gets dicey when you have to navigate the politics of dancing; mandating faculty to do things in the best interest of the institution.

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