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1 University of Maine System November 2015 ThinkMissionExcellence.Maine.edu

2 Table of Contents I. Introduction. 3 II. III. IV. Unified Online: Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning 5 Recommendations 21 Center of Excellence: Institutional Collaboration Model...25 V. Timeline for Implementation. 26 VI. VII. Proposed Implementation Budget Appendix. 29 Unified Online Charter Background and Conceptual Overview of Unified Online Fall Distance Education Credit Hour Enrollment by Modality By Campus UMS Online Programs Historical Context of UMS Distance Education and Online Current University College Structure and Deliverables Overview of Research Consulted in Preparing this Overview and Proposal 2

3 Introduction The Chancellor and the Board of Trustees have identified the need for a strategic approach for online, distance, hybrid and other digitally enhanced teaching and learning modalities (hereafter online ) as a critical priority of the University of Maine System in order to meet learner and state needs, enhance student success, support faculty teaching in distance modalities, and increase enrollment. In recognition of this, the Presidents Council provisionally recommended an institutional collaboration model for system and campus online resources across the enterprise. An institutional collaboration model recognizes our online resources as a unified system asset supporting faculty and students across the system and serving the priorities of the academic enterprise, that will be managed to ensure: resources are effectively leveraged to benefit the entire enterprise; a prioritization process occurs to address the most urgent learner and state needs; and a fair process is put in place to develop a portfolio of quality online academic courses and programs. In August of 2015, the Chancellor and the Presidents Council issued the Unified Online Charter to develop an implementation plan for an institutional collaboration model for Unified Online. This report outlines the implementation plan through a vision for a Center of Excellence in Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning, a set of specific recommendations for advancing this initiative, an organizational rendering of an institutional collaborative, and an implementation timeline and budget. The recommendations are accompanied by an extensive report that provides the background regarding previous efforts related to advancing excellence in digitally enhanced teaching and learning, as well as a conceptual overview of the optional models available and the case for the institutional collaboration model. The recommendations are part of a greater framework for One University for All of Maine a multi- campus, mission- differentiated framework with significantly reduced and reformed administration, as well as educational programs that leverage and integrate academic resources system- wide. These priorities are inter- reliant: campus mission differentiation; reduced and reformed administration; academic transformation; an enterprise- wide budget that leverages resources to meet student, community and state needs; a modernized, common, and robust technological infrastructure; and a unified online collaboration between the seven universities to support faculty in designing online, hybrid and in- person courses and innovating with new pedagogies and technologies competency based methods, direct assessment, and interactive technology to position our universities on the cutting edge of digitally enhanced teaching and learning; and to develop state of the art services to support online students 24/7. Over 180 comments were received on the report, through the online survey tool as well as individual s and letters. Many suggestions were made and some significant concerns were 3

4 expressed. Nothing in the recommendations contained herein would alter faculty ownership of the curriculum or the campus- based academic governance of programs. Nor is a new entity being created, rather it is a model of collaboration between and among the seven campuses to support faculty and students engaged in distance education and to provide strategic planning for online programs (academic programs where substantially all of the required courses are offered through a distance modality). Only one new administrative position is proposed, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Distance Learning this was born of necessity to gain the support of the Presidents Council and the Chief Academic Officers. The original model had no new administrative positions, but it became apparent that at this stage of the Chancellor s One University initiative a neutral party not affiliated with a particular campus was needed to build trust in the model. The revised report attempts to clarify and address many of the concerns expressed and also adds language to ensure appropriate processes are developed by leadership to engage faculty and honor existing campus- based academic governance in the development of academic policy for online programs. 4

5 Unified Online: Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning In the early days of the Distance Learning Steering Committee, an advisory group to our distance and online initiatives, the group evidenced a vision that needs to be at the core of our future development and which is reflected within our vision for a Center of Excellence in Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning, The Universities of the UMS hold the educational needs of the students and the state of Maine as our top priority. We are thus committed to be major providers of high quality distance education courses, programs and services. Our offerings in distance education will be fully integrated into the academic units on our campuses and will be of commensurate quality as those offered in all of our programs. The key phrases in this vision are students and the state of Maine as our top priority and major providers of high quality distance education courses, programs and services... What will best distinguish a Maine version of a unified online approach will be the access we provide to the people of Maine regardless of where they live, and the high quality we employ as we do so. Both of these will ultimately result in an online approach which will enable us to expand into other markets and better meet the demands of our current and future students. In recognition of the design concepts within an institutional collaborative model, the recommendation is to form a Center of Excellence (COE) in Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning. There are several key factors that have influenced and contributed to this vision: Governance Stay true to the collaborative model selected and chartered by the Chancellor and the Presidents Council (see Appendix); Create reporting, decision- making, and other governance systems that enable progress after proper deliberation (see Recommendations and the COE Model); Design structures and systems to encourage collaboration and innovation; Position the online and distance initiative, including all associated support systems at the university campuses and University College centers, to be a value- added channel distributor that can overcome the historical barriers to collaboration; and Position the governance of our online and distance initiative in the academic center of the enterprise and honor traditional campus- based academic governance. 5

6 Student- Centered Approach Better facilitate underserved student segments with high- quality, relevant education at a distance; Ensure that online and multi- campus students have streamlined and user- friendly student service with consistent policies and practice across all of our institutions; Align academic policies and practices as they relate to student enrollment for those programs delivered online or as part of a collaborative degree or certificate program; Enable access to our academic and academic support resources across the State and beyond; Reduce the cost of education and reduce the time to completion for students; Strengthen the link between the labor market and post- secondary education by providing access to degrees needed for workforce development beyond what might be available locally; Focus on the pedagogy and the learning outcomes rather than the new technology ; and Regain market share and re- invest in the University to serve students, communities and the State. Leverage Resources Leverage resources (instructional design, faculty support and technology assistance) across the seven university campuses and the University College centers, while retaining the services at the host campuses that created them; Provide a broad spectrum of faculty support and development to ensure the development of best practice; Ensure the institutional collaboration is solution- focused and highly efficient, not an additional burden to overcome; and Invest in resources needed to advance our digitally enhanced teaching and learning footprint. 6

7 Center of Excellence for Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning The underlying principles of the Center of Excellence s mission are to: Offer access to select degrees from the seven universities, as well as collaborative degrees, to students throughout the state of Maine who are not able to attend campus classes; Respond efficiently to Maine s workforce and economic development needs by providing timely, in- demand educational programs; Offer niche online programs with national and international appeal; Enhance student success in distance programs; Support faculty teaching in distance modalities; and Significantly increase enrollments and generate revenues to reinvest in the UMS. The Center of Excellence will support the UMS campuses by: Providing leadership and guidance in the development of innovative online courses that optimize the learning experience Assisting faculty in developing high quality, competitive online and blended programs at all degree levels, from certificates to Ph.D.s; Providing an infrastructure for collaborative degrees by leveraging the use of state- of- the- art technology; Providing consistent and high level learning design support for all faculty; Providing the highest quality infrastructure for student advising and support services; Providing a robust web portal for self- service; and Developing a strong and competitive marketing and outreach campaign. The Center for Excellence will include these elements of a successful online strategy: Coherent vision and strategy for online academic programs; Strategic short and long- term plans for growth of online programs and enrollment; Data driven decision making; Excellent collaborative partnerships with campuses, centers and academic units; Comprehensive enrollment management; Infrastructure to support collaborative degrees; Consistent high quality standards; State of the art student support services; R&D in pedagogical innovation, continuous quality improvement and reputation building; Robust assessment of learning outcomes and development of comprehensive learning analytics; Competitive pricing of online programs in the marketplace and a single, consistent tuition for collaborative programs; 7

8 Entrepreneurial Enterprise budget; and Market assessment capacity and marketing strategy. The Center of Excellence s organizational structure should include: An academic leader to provide vision and cohesion to high quality academic standards and support services that enhance all programs; Positioning within Academic Affairs under a VCAA and working in collaboration with the campus Chief Academic Officers; Distinct from any campus but in strong partnership with campus- based resources; Teams of highly collaborative and talented cross- campus individuals providing leadership to support: ü Innovation in teaching and learning ü Innovation in technology and state- of- the- art application of emerging technologies ü Online course design and development ü Integrated assessment model for online courses and programs ü Enrollment management for online courses and programs ü Enrollment advising ü Academic advising and student support services ü Market research, and marketing and outreach ü Campus- based academic program leadership Center of Excellence Leadership: Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for Distance Learning This System- wide position provides strategic direction and direct management of collaborative online education development and delivery. Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning works closely with the campus Chief Academic Officers and directs the cross- campus functional teams to advance the quality, efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness of all aspects of online learning. The Associate VCAA for Distance Learning develops a competitive, distinctive online education program that cohesively unites and builds on the missions and quality of the individual university programs. In particular, the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning: Develops an effective unified platform for marketing online education to the residents of Maine and beyond as a seamless set of learning opportunities; Leads the development of programs that are responsive to Maine s economic and community development and serve students education, career and access needs; 8

9 Coordinates the offering of programs across the universities to minimize unnecessary duplication and maximize collaborative and mission- differentiated opportunities; Advances the quality of all aspects of online learning, including advising, course design, pedagogy, student support, and program- level development; Leads development of system- wide policies to enhance the coordination and effectiveness of online learning; Collaborates with University College, US- IT, libraries, and other partners to assure that infrastructure and resources are developed to seamlessly advance collaborative approaches to online learning; and Coordinates, through a functional leadership team, the multiple aspects of advancing a collaborative online program; e.g., marketing, instructional design, access expansion, and assessment. Center of Excellence Leadership Team The Associate VCAA for Distance Learning is supported by dotted reporting lines from the Executive Director of Lifelong Learning at UMaine, the Executive Director of University College at UMA, and the Director of Online Teaching and Learning at USM, each of who has oversight for significant online resources which under the direction of the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning may be leveraged across the enterprise. Additionally, the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning is supported by cross- campus functional teams of individuals with expertise in the areas of faculty development, instructional design, library and media services, student services, marketing, enrollment management, assessment, and SARA monitoring. The COE Leadership team will be convened by the Associate VCAA to bring direction and cohesion to the UMS online programs. The team will develop a system- wide strategic plan for distance education, including online, hybrid and other digitally enhanced teaching and learning modalities and will address system- wide work to advance each functional area. Additionally, the COE Leadership Team will: Identify the investment needed to scale the new entity so that it provides the best student/faculty experience and education in the online realm; Provide support to all collaborative degrees as the result of academic integration. (This means that each collaborative program would have full access to a coordinated and holistic approach to: learning design/production; assessment; enrollment advising; budget management; recruitment, marketing, and enrollment management; and Develop a time- frame in which all existing programs will be inventoried and identify programs with first priority access to improved services and supports in FY17. The team will 9

10 develop a 3-4 year plan in which all existing programs are reviewed, aided with improved services, etc. Online Faculty Ambassadors This body will be comprised of faculty experienced in teaching distance courses 1. They will serve as the academic advisory group to shape and advance online learning system- wide. Spanning all UMS institutions, they are a self- selected group of individuals drawn from all disciplines that engage in online learning. They serve as a group to complement the primary academic development work completed by institution- based program faculties, including collaborative programs. As such, the Online Faculty Ambassadors provide advice on academic directions and priorities to the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning, the COE Leadership Team, and the Distance Education Advisory Council. Overall, they provide the forum to develop the academic character, dimensions, and priorities for the portfolio of online programs. In particular, the Online Faculty Ambassadors will serve as an advisory body on academic best practices for: Learning management and video- conferencing technology, structuring and support needs; Instructional design attributes and priorities; Pedagogy and course design dialogue and standards; Program development and peer review; High- quality online education, providing collegial leadership among the broader faculties to increase knowledge of best practices and dialogue on instructional excellence; Academic input on system- wide policy developments that support online students and a cohesive collaborative structure for online learning; and Faculty development, student services, and the marketing of academic programs. Online Faculty Development Across the seven campuses, including University College and its centers, we are fortunate to have many knowledgeable and skilled faculty and staff who can provide quality faculty development. Increased coordination, communication, and collaboration are the missing pieces. For the Center of Excellence to succeed, faculty will need ongoing support and information about producing quality online and digitally enhanced courses. 1 Courses available to students at any location via digital- based modes of communication 10

11 At the center of faculty development to support the Center of Excellence is a focus on the pedagogy of teaching and learning, and how technology can enhance good pedagogy. The transition of traditional classroom- based degree programs into robust, high- quality online or hybrid offerings involves a reconceptualization of teaching approaches that acknowledges the specific needs of the online learner and the potential of the technology. Learning about the technology options and receiving training in their use is certainly essential, but the core of faculty development is the pedagogical strategy to meet learning and course objectives as determined by the faculty. Thus, an essential part of a unified approach to online is coordinated and expanded faculty development opportunities. These can be conceptualized around several themes. System- Wide Programs The annual University College Faculty Institute is a well- established and successful day- long program. The recent Course Redesign Workshop, conducted by instructional designers from three campuses, was a very well received new offering. Plans are to offer it at other campuses. The Short Course for New Online Faculty has been completely revised and updated by University College. Each of these initiatives have benefitted from the efficiency of cooperative resources and the opportunity for faculty from multiple campuses to share effective practices. They are also examples of collaborative learning opportunities that can be expanded to other formats and topics system- wide. Campus Based Workshops and Activities We will leverage the range of workshops and other faculty development activities occurring at the campuses to the benefit of all faculty system- wide. Through the use of videoconferencing, Google Hangouts, and streaming of digital recordings, faculty and staff expertise can be shared between campuses. At USM, the Center for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL) and the USM Faculty Commons have regular workshops and programming that can be shared. UM recently hired an experienced Director of Innovation in Teaching and Learning whose expertise will inform the system- wide faculty development initiative. Each campus has faculty and staff who are great resources as program presenters and mentors to faculty new to online. Communities of Practice (CoP) CoPs are a powerful way to share lessons learned across campuses, to demonstrate how the technology can be used to build community and to spark conversations about best practices system- wide. CoPs can be organized around a variety of topics. Learning Objects Repository We should create a system- wide repository for faculty to share learning objects. Details would need to be worked out, but it could be an effective way to share resources among campuses and to expand the capacity of the instructional design team. Such a repository could be particularly useful for 11

12 materials that might be resource- intensive to develop but that have application across multiple campuses, such as simulations or adaptive learning modules in core areas. Faculty Development Website The development of a system- wide website of assets and resources for faculty teaching online, using hybrid formats, and using digitally enhanced pedagogies in live classrooms is essential. Such websites already exist at University College s faculty portal, USM s CTEL, and at other campuses. Bringing all resources together in a single robust website of video streams, tutorials, curated links to resources, and a calendar of system- wide faculty training should be an early goal for this initiative. Promoting Quality Faculty Development should play a role in promoting quality. Unified faculty development could play a role in helping start conversations about implementing basic quality standards across the system. Other Ideas Through surveys and focus groups, the Center of Excellence will identify areas of focus for faculty development and will build upon a number of excellent examples from other universities for programs and structures. One example is a Summer Initiative in which a partnership of areas (such as instructional design, libraries and IT) comes together with faculty mentors to develop a multi- day curriculum for faculty new to online and digitally enhanced teaching and learning. These programs are incentive- based and often have a project as an outcome with a commitment to further partnership work. Online Student Support and Development At the center of our success is the quality of the student experience, both within their academic program and coursework and in the depth and range of student support and service we provide. Students speak eloquently about their hopes that our new model for online will ensure an experience that is of equal or better quality than that of the typical classroom experience, and that opportunities for engagement between students, their peers and their faculty are consistent and multi- faceted. In addition, students seek a service and support experience that is transparent, easy to navigate and structured in such a way that multi- campus enrollment is not a barrier. Students taking online courses/programs must have excellent support services from the moment they make contact with the institution until they complete their degrees. These services must be high- touch, high- tech and on- demand. Today s students expect the high level of service they have come to assume from other areas of personal business (e.g. banking, shopping). In order to have quality in an online program, student services must include exceptional enrollment advising, transcript review services, academic advising, help with registration, tutoring, 24/7 tech support via phone and 12

13 chat, instant access to library services, online writing assistance, and career planning and placement services, all delivered on a robust, state- of- the- art technology platform. In short, the expectation is that the UMS will provide exemplary student experiences in the form of high quality online course and program development and comprehensive and responsive student support service in existence from the day a student first evidences interest in a program to the day they graduate. From the perspective of student service and support, the Center of Excellence must do the following: Provide standard student advisement, academic and retention support for online and distance students that can be accessed in person or online regardless of where the student resides; Ensure streamlined and user- friendly student service with consistent policies and practice across all of our institutions; Align academic policies and practices as they relate to student enrollment for those programs delivered online or as part of a collaborative degree or certificate program; and Ensure that students have all of the tools and supporting knowledge to effectively use any technology employed for our online initiative. Recommendations: Inventory current policies and practices that impact online and multi- campus enrollment (AY 15-16), determine and develop best options for improvement (AY 15-17) and implement (EOY AY16-17). Such review and revision must consider both undergraduate and graduate students. The review shall encompass current BOT, APL and campus based policies and practice, and will include realignment of practices within the MaineStreet student information system. This recommendation includes but is not limited to: ü Registration Students need the ability to register for any online course on any campus simultaneously, and all of their courses need to appear on one location and in one transcript. An online comprehensive catalog (across all campuses) should be developed, beginning with all courses offered via online or distance modalities; ü Payment Students need one unified, understandable bill with consistent terminology and explanations of charges; ü Financial Aid Online students need full access to the financial aid services available on a campus. In the case of collaboratively offered degrees, financial aid awards must be reflective of the student s entire enrollment; 13

14 ü Calendar alignment A common calendar which includes common start and end dates, add/drop and withdrawal dates and vacations shall be developed; ü Tuition policy, specifically as it relates to online and collaboratively delivered degree or certificate programs Students enrolling in a collaborative degree or program shall be charged one single, consistent e- tuition/collaborative program tuition; ü Orientation for online students Students both enrolling in and matriculating into an online or distance program should receive a mandatory orientation to both their academic experience and to the technology they will be using; ü Enrollment and ongoing academic advising Students will receive their enrollment and academic advising in a manner similar to on campus students. They should not be restricted to being advised only by their home campus but rather be able to access advising that may be available at or through a location closer to their residence. In addition, advisors and students should be able to see all of the coursework in which a student is enrolled (or is intending to enroll) ; ü Transcript review and transfer The transfer process should be transparent and seamless. For collaboratively offered programs/degrees, a common catalog with potentially common course numbering will be developed, eliminating the need for transfer of courses between campuses for these programs and enabling grades to count across the entire program. For all programs, the transfer portal currently in place must be constantly maintained and updated to ensure that students have clear pathways to degree completion across the offerings of all of our campuses (e.g., degree audits and equivalencies updated and in place). ü Residency policies for receipt of a degree Academic residency policies must be reviewed and revised to ensure that online and collaborative program students are not restricted by current policy. ü Tutoring and supplemental instruction Additional online tutoring support must be developed. Online writing assistance through VAWLT is in place and used by some campuses but is currently limited to undergraduate students. ü 24-7 technical and enrollment support Exploring cost effective and efficient ways to do this via phone, chat or well developed websites that can answer students question will be an important component of exemplary student service. ü Instant access to library services and support The work of Off Campus Library Services, working collaboratively with the campus based Libraries/Information Commons, should be expanded to ensure the delivery of broad based, online library support. ü Career planning and placement services Students shall have access to a range of career planning and support as a part of their overall advisement experience. 14

15 Working with the CIO and as indicated within the IT plan: ü Develop a consistent platform of technologies for online and distance classes to ensure that students do not have to navigate multiple systems; ü For those platforms in use, develop orientation programs and supplemental materials to aid students in using the technology and maximizing their academic experience; and ü Redesign MaineStreet to enable the elements contained within recommendation #1. As a component of the development and implementation of a marketing and outreach plan, develop a robust web portal for self- service and for services for potential students. This recommendation in part connects to the first recommendation above - specific to registration but including other services. Instructional and Information Technology: Challenges and Recommendations As a part of the development of the IT Plan, several forums were held in which participants discussed information technology including its impact and support of online learning. There were several information technology related themes identified from the candid discussions. Each is discussed below with action recommendations, some attempt at prioritization and estimated funding. Policy, Process and Standardization Many of the comments provide insight into the challenges students, faculty, instructional designers and IT staff face. This begins with the current state where the seven campuses do not use common platforms or technologies and choose to be non- standardized. Accessibility, course design, learning management tools, course numbering, and library databases are all established and managed uniquely by, in some cases, each campus. There is a student desire to see standards developed and utilized to provide better access. There are others who want freedom to innovate, to try new technologies or even choose the tools themselves as a matter of academic freedom. All of these factors point to a need for communication, engagement and a decision making process with strong representation from all interest groups. Recommendation: Establish a governance group with broad representation as a place to have discussions, inform the interest groups and ultimately make decisions when necessary (estimated cost is included in the CIO s State of Technology 2015 Report). 15

16 Support Information Technology and Instructional Design The most often referenced issue is support for faculty and students in the access to and use of the information technology tools in place today. Current hours of service are limited to weekdays from 7AM to 5 PM and evenings to 8PM when classes are scheduled. There is coverage of four hours during the mid- day on Saturday, Sunday and some holidays. In most cases, this is through the University Technology Support Center, available by phone and . Libraries at most campuses do provide some direct support on weekends and evenings to patrons. Though the number of calls in the evening and weekends is very low, there are many who desire 24/7 services with a live response. Further, the expectation is to increase the skill and training of support staff to expand the services they can provide. Faculty feedback highlights the desire for direct, face- to- face services. This includes IT and instructional design. Recommendation: Expand the hours of technology support by increasing internal technology support levels to cover 6AM to 11PM. Contract for a service provider to act as a Level I during off- hours support, with escalation in emergency situations to UMS on call staff (estimated cost is included in the Budget for the Center of Excellence and also in the CIO s State of Technology 2015 Report). Training US:IT has very limited resources set aside for training, none of which is earmarked for students. Faculty frequently are called upon to assist students in the use of BlackBoard Learn, First Class or other learning tools. Faculty are supported by instructional designers who assist with training on new and existing tools, but the service is managed by each campus and with varying approaches. University College does provide a consistent support to faculty, but coordination and cooperation with US:IT would improve the circumstances. IT should have responsibility for basic training on new technology tools provided online. This includes orientation for new faculty and staff and a response process for requests for more advanced support. This should be carefully coordinated with instructional design to assure the training and support is seamless. Online training modules should be developed or purchased to provide student and faculty tools for self service, supporting an anytime/anywhere expectation. 16

17 Establish a Training Team to develop, acquire and deliver necessary training to support online faculty and students. This should be a collaborative team assembled to include Instructional Designers in support of all modalities. Estimate a total of three staff for this purpose (estimated cost is included in the CIO s State of Technology 2015 Report). Classroom Technologies Classroom technologies have two components. Existing classrooms must be updated to allow for recording of individual classes. Some rooms should be designed to act as a recording studio for faculty looking to use this technology. Some classrooms should be designed to support collaborative, synchronous engagement with students at a distance using video conferencing. Rooms must have high- speed wireless technology. The virtual classrooms established within the learning management system(s) in use today have sufficient functionality to support online learning, including the use of mobile devices. Students desire a single system, if possible, and one that is full featured and reliable. Other tools like course capture (today known as Panopto), course evaluation, proctoring and other services must be well designed, operated and supported. The current environments are individually selected and designed by campus leaders. Recommendation: Support the Classroom Technology Upgrade Project within the State of IT report recommendations. Video and other classroom infrastructure (including wireless access) will be addressed, improving the environment for all modalities Course capture services are being competitively acquired through an RFP. Faculty and Instructional Designers are involved in the process. Selected product should become the standard tool, and require its use for online class delivery of pre- recorded media and live capture (no cost associated with this recommendation as it is covered by existing funding). Course Evaluation Recommendation: Course evaluation should be standardized to a single tool, such as IDEA used by UMPI. Recommend going to RFP to select and create a contract with a service provider (estimated cost is TBD and is referenced in the in the CIO s State of Technology 2015 Report). 17

18 Proctoring Recommendation: Proctoring, clickers, authentication of students, and other innovative technologies are important tools that should be considered and budgeted over time, prioritized by a governing body against available resources and competing needs (estimated cost is TBD and is referenced in the in the CIO s State of Technology 2015 Report). Maine Street MaineStreet, especially the student management system Campus Solutions, was designed to segregate data by campus. Significant redesign and modification is necessary to create ease of access for students and faculty, and to respond to the recommendations contained elsewhere in this report. This effort is recommended within the State of IT report. This is a major project and likely a project that takes one to two years to complete. Recommendation: Support the State of IT recommended redesign of MaineStreet in support of program integration and the online initiative (estimated cost is TBD and is referenced in the in the CIO s State of Technology 2015 Report). Productivity and Operational Efficiency projects Several suggestions were made to address a variety of existing or emerging issues and tools. The UMS should monitor and advocate for these initiatives. Recommendation: A cross sectional team of faculty, staff, students and IT representatives should be created to regularly evaluate the landscape of technology and user needs and advise/prioritize investments as determined appropriate. An annual budget allocation could be set aside for these investments as prioritized (estimated cost is included in the CIO s State of Technology 2015 Report). 18

19 Online Marketing Plan One online marketing entity will eliminate duplication, fully deploy leading- edge online instructional design approaches and sharpen the brand messaging, as well as leverage the entire University of Maine System to its fullest extent for online degree program recruitment effectiveness. This service is critical to the delivery of online courses and programs and benefits all campuses. While each campus would likely continue to invest in its own, local marketing efforts, the marketing of online education falls into a category of an activity that is critical to the success of our online education offerings, but one which is appropriately distributed and supported by all campuses. Recommendation: Develop a comprehensive marketing plan and establish a singular web identity in order to seize a lucrative piece of the growing online education market in an ever- shrinking window of opportunity. Components of the development of a marketing plan and approach for a Center of Excellence include but are not limited to: Brand development and messaging; Website redesign; Analysis of current resources and technologies available, including Target X; Analysis of the market: market share, market trends, competition, programs and pricing, identify opportunities; Creation of valuable and relevant content to attract, acquire and engage various audience to existing and new programs; Identification of digital marketing strategies (devises and platforms) and advertising buys that also lead to best search engine optimization; Use of media tools to create brand exposure opportunities that boost awareness and market share, and interface with tools that may be in existence at the campuses or University College centers; Identify marketing approach for different populations (existing and new students, in and out of state and international); and Determine best tracking method to track response rates. Description of the Services: Services associated with marketing are in three categories (estimated cost is included in the Center of Excellence Budget: 19

20 1. Development of the Center of Excellence website including design and launching of the site will be accomplished primarily through reliance on external consultants. 2. Enhancement of the website includes regular updating and maintenance of the web site, possible programming (to ensure database integration with MaineStreet), and continuous improvement of the site as our online educational offerings grow. This work would be accomplished primarily through the use of internal resources. 3. The coordinated marketing campaign includes development and implementation of a marketing campaign to include print, radio and social media, designing search engine optimization for the website, development of a coordinated social media campaign (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and augmentation of program- specific regional, statewide, and national marketing efforts. 20

21 Recommendations I. Develop an institutional collaboration model for Unified Online and establish a Center of Excellence in Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning (COE) under the oversight of a Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. A. Commence an immediate and traditional academic search process for a Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA) and include oversight of the new COE in the Vice Chancellor s portfolio of responsibilities (note, the VCAA position is budgeted for FY16 and is currently vacant); B. Commence an immediate and traditional academic search process for an Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for Distance Learning (Associate VCAA for Distance Learning), who would serve as a member of the Chief Academic Officer s Council, and include oversight and direct management of the new COE in the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning s portfolio of responsibilities (note, this is a new position to be funded); C. Adjust the job descriptions of the Executive Director of Lifelong Learning at UMaine, the Executive Director of University College at UMA, and the Director of Online Teaching and Learning at USM to reflect a dotted reporting line to the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning (note, direct reporting lines to campus- based supervision continue; University College remains an administrative unit of UMA and persists its current mission to provide support to faculty and students system- wide, and provide a conduit to the academic programs at all seven campuses); D. Convene regular meetings of the leadership of the COE led by the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning to include the Executive Director of Lifelong Learning at UMaine, the Executive Director of University College at UMA, and the Director of Online Teaching and Learning at USM; E. Create cross- campus functional teams from current staff for: faculty development; instructional design; library services; multi- media, videography and graphic design services; marketing services; student and advising services; enrollment management; assessment; and SARA monitoring. The functional teams will be overseen by the leadership of the COE under the direction of the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning; 21

22 F. Convene the Online Faculty Ambassadors to serve as the academic advisory group to shape and advance online learning system- wide, providing advice on academic directions and priorities to the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning and the Distance Education Advisory Council; G. Create the Distance Education Advisory Council with cross- functional representation of stakeholders from all seven campuses and chaired by the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning. The Council will have three committees: the Graduate Distance Program Committee; the Undergraduate Distance Program Committee; and the Multi- Campus Collaborative Programs Committee. The Council and its Committees will consult with the Online Faculty Ambassadors as part of their deliberations and Online Faculty Ambassadors will be represented in the membership of the Council and its Committees. The Council will also have cross- representation with other appropriate UMS committees, including ETAC (note, the Council would replace the Distance Learning Steering Committee); H. Expand the role and resources of the Center of Excellence in Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning to: support faculty in designing online, hybrid and in- person courses and to innovate with new pedagogies and technologies competency based methods, direct assessment, and interactive technology and position our universities on the cutting edge of digitally enhanced teaching and learning; and to develop state of the art services to support online students 24/7. II. Empower the Associate VCAA for Distance learning under the direction of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, with the advice and counsel of the Chief Academic Officers and the Distance Learning Advisory Council, and to: A. Work with the leadership of the COE and the Distance Education Advisory Council to engage faculty, students and other stakeholders in developing a system- wide strategic plan for distance education, including online, hybrid and other digitally enhanced teaching and learning modalities (hereafter online) that incorporates all of the recommendations included herein; B. Oversee and collaboratively manage the collective online assets of the seven universities and ensure resources are effectively leveraged to benefit the entire enterprise; C. Acquire an understanding of the current local, regional and national market for online programs and prioritize and solicit the development of new online programs to meet the most urgent learner and state needs; D. Develop and implement a marketing plan for online programs with a consistent brand; 22

23 E. Streamline the governance process for development of new online programs and develop a process for peer faculty review of new online programs; F. Develop a process to engage faculty and honor existing campus- based academic governance in the development of academic policy for online programs; G. Develop a common look and feel consistent with best practices for courses in online programs to advance the student experience; H. Working with the campus Chief Academic Officers, develop a process for ongoing campus- based online program review; and I. Work with faculty to bring current online programs up to best practice. III. Collaborate with the campus Chief Academic Officers, the System Chief Information Officer, and the System Chief Financial Officer to make needed changes to System policy, technology, and budget in order to support the success of online programs. A. Work with the Chief Academic Officers to implement the necessary policy changes to remove barriers and streamline the educational experience of online and multi- campus students in collaborative and other online courses and programs, and support the work of the Academic Transformation led by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. 1. Make the academic calendars consistent across the seven universities; and 2. Implement UMS policies that ensure online and multi- campus students in collaborative and other online courses and programs have a seamless experience navigating the seven- campus system. B. Work with the System Chief Information Officer to implement the necessary technological changes to support faculty online teaching and streamline the learning experience of online and multi- campus students in collaborative and other online courses and programs, and support the recommendations and investments outlined in the CIO s State of Technology 2015 Report. 1. Set standards for technology, which encourage and support innovation, but limit the number of products for wide- scale use to promote ease of navigation, support and maintenance; 23

24 2. Make the necessary changes to MaineStreet, the UMS ERP system, to ensure common data sets, identify a home campus or center for online students, and ease navigation of MaineStreet for multi- campus students; and 3. Plan and implement investments to create a modern technological infrastructure that ensures a common, robust, and effective platform for online academic courses and programs. C. Work with the System Chief Financial Officer, who is developing tuition and financial aid models for the Unified Budget, and support the goal of achieving a Unified Budget by FY Ensure the tuition and financial aid models resolve inter- campus issues relating to the costs and revenues associated with online and collaborative programs and effectively serve online and multi- campus students; 2. Ensure the tuition model allows for competitive pricing of online programs in the marketplace and provides for a single tuition rate for students in collaborative programs; and 3. Ensure the Unified Budget model sufficiently provides ongoing resources to support innovation and the growth and development of quality online programs by establishing the Center of Excellence for Online Teaching and Learning as an entrepreneurial enterprise within the Unified Budget. 24

25 Center of Excellence: Institutional Collaboration Model Center of Excellence for Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning 25

26 Timeline for Implementation December June 2016 (FY16) > Conduct searches and hire the VCAA & Associate VCAA for Distance Learning by June 30, 2016 > Review & revise policy and pracmces to bener serve online and mulm- campus students - concnues in FY17 > > Work with the System CIO to plan for the informamon technology investments and to develop online faculty and student technology supports - concnues in FY17 >Work with System CFO, who is developing tuimon and financial aid models for the Unified Budget, to serve mum- campus students and allow for compemmve pricing in the marketplace and an entrepreneurial enterprise budget for the COE - concnues in FY17 > Revise COE leadership at UM, UMA, and USM to create doned repormng lines to the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning July June 2017 (FY17) > Establish the Center of Excellence for Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning > Establish the COE leadership team led by the Associate VCCA for Distance Learning > Develop a system- wide strategic plan for distance educamon and begin implementamon > Establish the cross- campus funcmonal teams under the direcmon of the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning > Launch the Online Faculty Ambassadors program > Establish the Distance Learning Advisory Council chaired by the Associate VCAA for Distance Learning > Expand the resources of the Center of Excellence and develop state of the art services for online faculty and students JUL JUN 2018 (FY18) > Complete implemenmon of the strategic plan > Establish the Center of Excellence for Digitally Enhanced Teaching and Learning as an entrepreneurial enterprise within the Unified Budget > Advance towards a mature COE suppormng faculty in designing online, hybrid and in- person courses and innovamng with new pedagogies & technologies to posimon our universimes on the cupng edge of digitally enhanced teaching and learning; and suppormng online and mulm- campus students with state of the art services 24/7 26

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