Assessing Distance Learning. One Accreditation Story

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1 Assessing Distance Learning One Accreditation Story

2 Mississippi College-1826 Private, not-for-profit 5,000+ students 2,500 undergraduates 1,500 graduates 500 law students

3 Mississippi College Law degrees JD & LLM 14 graduate degrees Masters, Specialists, Ed.D., and DPC 80 undergraduate programs

4 Six online degrees MS in Higher Ed. Adm. MHSA RN to BSN degree completion MS and BS in Communication MED in Teaching Arts

5 SACS/COC Standards Educational programs, to include student learning outcomes Academic & student support services Policy compliance

6 CS & The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in each of the following areas:

7 CS The institution complies with the policies of the Commission on Colleges.

8 Applicable Policy Statement An institution includes a review of its distance learning programs in the Compliance Certification.

9 What institutions should do: In order to be in compliance with this policy, the institution must have incorporated an assessment of its compliance with standards that apply to its distance education programs and courses.

10 Policy on Online Education Appropriate pedagogical practices Chats Discussion boards Availability of faculty i.e. office hours Description of a semester hour (policy) Student attendance described

11 Documented Equality of degree programs CS Syllabi (same learning outcomes) Credentials of Academic advisors Curriculum (same in both modalities) Faculty (same professors teaching in both modalities) Student evaluations

12 Traditional Course Syllabi HED 6500 Basic Understandings in Higher Education Administration HED 6501 Law and Higher Education HED 6502 Finance in Higher Education HED 6503 Student Development Theories/Ethics & Inquiry HED 6504 Research Methods & Procedures HED 6520 Basic Effective Leadership EDU 7530 Issues & Concepts of Personnel Management COM 5403 Negotiation GBU 6551 Organizational Behavior HED 6587 & HED 6588 Practicums Online Course Syllabi HED 6500 Basic Understandings in Higher Education Administration HED 6501 Law and Higher Education HED 6502 Finance in Higher Education HED 6503 Student Development Theories/Ethics & Inquiry HED 6504 Research Methods & Procedures HED 6520 Basic Effective Leadership EDU 7530 Issues & Concepts of Personnel Management COM 5403 Negotiation GBU 6551 Organizational Behavior HED 6587 & HED 6588 Practicums

13 Factors Syllabi MS in Higher Education (Traditional Mode) Master syllabi indicating minimum areas of coverage MS in Higher Education (Online Mode) Uses the same master syllabi indicating minimum areas of coverage Curriculum 31 hours as shown by the current catalog, including two 60-hour practicum experiences Requires the same 31 hours as shown by the current catalog and website (exception: an additional Communication option is available for traditional students)

14 Factors Faculty Outcomes assessment MS in Higher Education (Traditional Mode) Major classes taught by qualified faculty Assessment Results: During the year, 18 students graduated in this program 10 in the online degree program and 8 in the traditional degree program. 100% of the practicum supervisors rated our HED students (both populations) as very good or excellent. MS in Higher Education (Online Mode) Major classes taught by the identical qualified faculty (Exceptions: Leadership, HR, and Law taught by different but well-qualified part-time faculty) For more information on faculty qualifications, see CR Assessment Results: The evaluation includes questions about initiative, responsibility, learning, communication, engagement, and professional conduct. All mean scores were between 4.6 and 5.0 with no appreciable difference between the online and traditional populations mean scores.

15 Mississippi College Post-Baccalaureate Program Length & Coordinator of Program(s) with Credentials School Departm ent/ Program Degree with Concentration/Major/Post Baccalaureate Certificate Length in Total Hours Coordi nator Crede ntials Education Teacher Education & Leadership M.S. Higher Education Administration (traditional and online formats) Program Description: This program is designed to develop qualified graduate students who have an interest in higher education administration and leadership. 31 Steve Stanford Debbie Norris Ph.D. Ph.D.

16 Comparison of Program Outcomes Portfolio results Comprehensive exams First-careers Research projects Qualifying exams Practicum results

17 Goal I: Graduates of the HED degree program will have the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful as a college administrator. Objective 100 percent of the HED graduate students practicum evaluations will be either very good or excellent. Results During the year, 11 students graduated in this program 5 in the online degree program and 6 in the traditional degree program. 91% (10 out of 11) of the practicum supervisors rated our HED students (both populations) as very good or excellent. The evaluation includes questions about initiative, responsibility, learning, communication, engagement, and professional conduct. All mean scores were between 3.0 and 5.0 with no appreciable difference between the online and traditional populations mean scores.

18 What happened? Actions Overall, practicum supervisors were satisfied with the graduate students performance. However, one practicum supervisor wasn t satisfied. We reviewed the comments to determine why not. The supervisor circled all 4s and 5s on the evaluation, and wrote "Brandon is dependable and thorough. He has a very good understanding of our work." He also circled "Satisfactory" as opposed to "Unsatisfactory" for the recommended grade for this student. Based off of his evaluation, we could not determine why the ranking was "Good" as opposed to "Very Good" or "Excellent. Each student conducts 2 practicums, resulting in 22 total practicums. Of these, 12 practicums were done in private universities, 4 in public universities, and 6 in community colleges, indicating diversity. Student feedback indicated an interest in adding a course about the Community College. The HED faculty created HED 6506 The Community College and began offering it to students in the Summer In addition, the university hired an attorney who works with colleges to teach the online HED HR class beginning Spring 2012.

19 Degree Traditional Online Higher Ed. Adm. Average response on question #40 of SIR instrument - rate overall quality of instruction 4.15 (scale 1 to 5 where 5 is best) Average response on question #40 of SIR instrument- rate overall quality of instruction 3.84 (scale 1 to 5 where 5 is best). The mean scores of classes except one were between 4.5 and 4.7. However, one class had a rating of This class is being removed from the rotation and replaced with a Community College course since so many of our graduates work at CCs.

20 Degree Traditional Online Health Services Admin. Average response on question #40 of SIR instrument - rate overall quality of instruction 4.01 (scale 1 to 5 where 5 is best). Average response on question #40 of SIR instrument- rate overall quality of instruction 4.24 (scale 1 to 5 where 5 is best).

21 In addition to SIRII In-course student survey at the end of each online course. Includes a series of questions used for course improvements and faculty evaluations. Results are distributed to each faculty member for use.

22 The instructor challenged my thinking and improved my desire to learn.

23 Policy on Online Instruction CS Academic & student support services Students informed of available instructional support, student services, library resources, and student support services. Technical support consistent with that available to on-campus students.

24 Library Provided Assessments All academic programs where online degrees exist Library support for online faculty training Provided library activity for online learners Library website dedicated to online learners Library online policy developed LibGuides created for online courses

25 Provided Assessments Graduate, Registrar, and Career advising Survey data for online graduate students Academic advising Retention office Academic Alert System Instructional Technology New line position added Provides faculty training for online classes

26 Offices and College personnel were accessible as needed to carry out transactions necessary to the completion of my degree program. Office Graduate Studies Office Agreed strongly Registrar Agreed strongly Curricular and career advising was adequate. Agreed with reservation or agreed strongly Percentage 100% 100% 100%

27 Provide improvements based on assessments One student commented: I would like to see a Human Resources course geared more toward HED than secondary education. As a result of this comment, MC hired an attorney who handles its own HR cases to teach the online HR class for the Spring 2012.

28 Retention: Example The Academic Alert system is one example of how these retention services are being provided to our online students. This is a copy of an Academic Alert system that was sent to the online student and the online student's advisor for intervention.

29 Your current grade indicates you may be in academic trouble in this class: CLASS: HED 6504 STUDENT: Name of student INSTRUCTOR: Franklin, Bobby J. ADVISOR: Norris, Debbie Please contact your professor or advisor to discuss and determine steps you may take to improve this grade. You are expected to schedule a meeting within the next week to help you correct this situation. This may include a referral to a tutor or other study skills advice. Your academic success is important to us!

30 In conclusion Provide for Educational programs, to include student learning outcomes Academic & student support services Policy compliance

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