Goal Set: Allocate resources according to a strategic plan for course development based on market potential of related degree programs.

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1 Summary of Goals Set/Goals Met: Part 1: Division of Online and Distance Education (Student and Administrative Support) Restructured in 2011 (see related organizational charts), the Division of Online and Distance Education is a new institutional organizational structure at Ball State University that combined the previous School of Extended Education with a newly formed unit for faculty training and support for online and blended learning known as the Integrated Learning Institute (ilearn) all overseen by an associate provost for learning initiatives. The division also includes student, administrative, and marketing/recruitment support for online and distance education. The restructuring was an outcome of the Growing Online Education Task Force, appointed by the provost and which included a cross-section of Ball State faculty, administrators, and staff. Two overarching goals of the task force were to 1) increase online enrollments; and 2) improve the quality of online courses. Underneath these, the task force set several specific organizational and institutional goals: 1. Increasing Online Enrollments Goal Set: Allocate resources according to a strategic plan for course development based on market potential of related degree programs. Previous to 2011, if an academic department wanted to create a new online degree or move a main-campus degree online, the department was not required to do any homework on the market potential of the degree. This meant a program might be approved even though there were few prospective students needing a degree in a particular field. Because Online and Distance Education is expected to be a source of new revenue for the university, and because of emerging state policies requiring state universities to prove labor market potential before a degree is approved, Ball State now requires academic departments to provide this research. Online and Distance Education provides help with this by coordinating third-party research via Eduventures and the Education Advisory Board. Goal Set: Sustained growth in graduate programs, coupled with increased growth in undergraduate courses and degrees. Page 1 of 6

2 o Per-term enrollment numbers increased by 2,500 from in undergraduate online programs as a result of online growth and increased enrollment by main-campus students made possible by better designed online courses that integrate with main campus systems and structures. o Added a new online bachelor of business administration degree in 2012 and a bachelor of early childhood education in 2013, which together has about 150 declared majors (new students). o The online graduate programs in special education has grown at rates of more than 50% annually for the past three years, despite changes in Indiana law that have eliminated financial incentives for teachers earning advanced degrees. o Other graduate programs, such as the MBA, public relations, and education administration, are seeing increased enrollments, keeping the division on-track to meet an aggressive 35 percent overall increase in online enrollments by Goal Set: Increased faculty acceptance of online and blended instruction, thus breaking down a key barrier for growth. o Provide financial incentives. For instance, Online and Distance Education provided over $1.2 million in online faculty pay to support departments in fall 2013 alone. o Online and Distance Education s change to semester-based courses allowed faculty to teach online courses as part of normal teaching load. This has controlled course costs, saving over $800,000 to date while still maintaining smaller course sizes. o Ongoing coordination with faculty members, chairs, deans, governance structures and others regarding changes or proposed changes related to online learning. o Rollout of an e-textbook initiative, Online and Distance Education is leading the conversion to electronic testing for all faculty and coordinating with Information Technology to determine when learning management tools are upgraded. Page 2 of 6

3 2. Improving the Quality of Online Learning Goal Set: Increased accountability through tracking key metrics, like retention, student learning outcomes, grade distributions, and costs o To improve advising and retention for online undergraduate students, the division added constituent relationship management (CRM) software, which currently tracks over 2,000 student interactions monthly and which has allowed 6,219 prospects to be identified and communicated with more effectively. o Online and Distance Education is leading training efforts for assessing campus-wide learning outcomes and managing the faculty implementation and use of learning analytics tools, such as Blackboard Analytics. Goal Set: Improvement and integration of online learning processes, policies, and practices, in alignment with main campus. o Liaison support for online students interacting with other divisions of the university such as Financial Aid, Registrar, Bursar, Graduate School, academic departments, and other units. Online and Distance Education uses a "concierge focus" for student support staff to encourage them to resolve problems without bouncing students to other departments unnecessarily, embedded an online-focused employee in the undergraduate admissions office, and Online and Distance Education staff regularly coordinate with other units. o In the Banner system used by the entire campus, developed an online student attribute which is used to ensure online-only students have priority registration in online class sections. o Added a second online undergraduate advisor to the division, and are in the processing of hiring another. o Continue to support graduate advisors in recruiting efforts, and at times cover the cost of adding new advisors to growing online programs. o Extensive cross-training among all staff in student services. o Created a new director of student services position. Page 3 of 6

4 o Aligned more student policies (such as undergraduate admissions requirements, tuition, drop/withdrawal policies, and others) to be consistent with policies for main-campus students. Part 2: Integrated Learning Institute (Faculty Support) Formed in fall 2011, Ball State's Integrated Learning Institute (ilearn) is a unique online teaching and learning innovation center. Housed under Academic Affairs and the Division of Online and Distance Education, ilearn brings together four previously separate support and development units into an integrated start-to-finish Institute: instructional design, faculty development, media creation, and research initiatives. By bringing these areas into a new strategic alignment and streamlining how these teams can work collaboratively to support new innovations, Ball State has been able to greatly expand its efforts around pedagogy, research, and faculty development, while increasing the quality and accountability of our online and blended courses. ilearn is an exemplar of best practices in online education through in its creation of new and sustainable approaches to improve the quality of online learning. ilearn, in the first two years of its operation, has demonstrated local and national leadership in the field of online learning. The following strategic organizational and institutional goals were set by the Growing Online Task Force and the initial proposal for the creation of the Division of Online and Distance Education and ilearn: Goal Set: Develop new custom learning tools to enhance online learning ilearn Research has developed three new custom learning tools: o Context LMS is a learning management system that delivers the instructional content for two online programs using innovative web design, the Digital Media Minor and the Emerging Media Journalism Certificate. o Homework Improvement and Tracking System (HITS), a metacognitive and prior assessment learning dashboard system, has been piloted in several Ball State mathematics and accounting courses to improve student learning outcomes and to support just-in-time teaching strategies. o Open Text Tool for Online Video (OTTO) is a new way to curate and discuss video content in online lectures that was used in its first pilot courses in Goal Set: Improve online course quality using nationally recognized standards ilearn has joined Quality Matters, and the QM Rubric is used to assess Page 4 of 6

5 all online courses at Ball State. Furthermore, all six Ball State instructional designers have been trained in applying the QM Rubric. o 333 new and redesigned online courses were developed to meet QM standards, another 156 courses are currently in development. o 47 faculty have completed an online course to become certified in applying the QM rubric to online and blended courses. Goal Set: Expand faculty development opportunities ilearn's learning technologists have greatly expanded faculty development opportunities through an expanded slate of online and face-to-face training sessions and supporting materials. o When it moved to its new offices in 2011, ilearn designed and opened Training Stadium, a dedicated training space at ilearn where faculty can meet and share information about online pedagogy with ilearn's learning technologists. Use of Training Stadium by the faculty has grown rapidly over the last two years. o ilearn's Learning Technology team have created dozens of online tutorials and online handouts so that faculty development can shift towards an "anytime/anywhere" strategy for faculty members. o The Learning Technology team has expanded from 44 faculty members attending some form of training in spring semester 2012 to 518 trained in during fall Better designed workshops, drop-in workshops, and the timing of workshops to match semester activities have all allowed a much better training product which appeals to a larger faculty pool. o Since the Learning Technologist team joined ilearn in February 2012, they have offered 145 workshops attended by 1,361 faculty members. o Learning Technology hosts a yearly mini-conference that brings together professional staff and faculty to showcase Ball State's best online and blended learning innovations from the previous year. Goal Set: Seek external funding and support for ilearn Research Projects ilearn is an active research institute, pursuing projects that seek to advance the future of online education. Since its creation in 2012, ilearn Research has received external grants from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to study learning analytics in online accounting education, from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to disseminate online STEM education, and from Creative Associates International (CAI) to gamify an online Life Skills Curriculum for at-risk youths in developing countries around the world, among others. Page 5 of 6

6 Goal Set: Pilot new online and blended learning initiatives ilearn has begun several unique interdisciplinary initiatives to experiment and study emerging practices in online education: o In Spring 2013, ilearn designed and supported three immersive Humanities MOOCs through the Canvas Network. One of Ball State's MOOCs, Gender Through Comic Books, was cited by Information Week as one of eight MOOCs that is transforming higher education. o ilearn has been active in researching best practices in the flipped classroom, included piloting new approaches to making flipped lectures. One such project, PodcastLab, involved creating highly original "radiotheater" style podcasts for an introductory Theatre course. o ilearn has begun pilot programs in open educational resources (OER) including creating and supporting an OER-based online mini-course for organic chemistry students at Ball State. o ilearn has been active in designing online modules to improve student success around large introductory courses. In 2014, ilearn will be launching the "Pathways for Successful Learning" initiative in which online modules will be used to provide additional scaffolding for learners in large introductory courses. Goal Set: Present research findings and best practices at national conferences In the last two years, ilearn professional staff have given numerous national conference presentations at such venues as Sloan-C, Quality Matters, AECT, UPCEA, and HETL. Page 6 of 6

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