Beginnings are awesome. Three weeks into my new role as MiraCosta College’s first Faculty Director of Online Education, I remain amazed and humbled by this opportunity. I have been given incredible latitude to define the role, to assess the possibilities, to learn about challenges, to build relationships, to engage the MiraCosta community.
MiraCosta’s Program for Online Teaching is a wonderful invitation to undertake this journey with seasoned travelers and fellow learners. The requirement to blog, along with the space I’ve been given in this position, is what I’ve needed for years. I’m a long-time microblogger, but have merely nibbled around the edge of blogging and participating in communities of bloggers. It is time to open wide.
I’m an avid user of Evernote. When I learned that MiraCosta was hiring me, I began keeping a list there of questions to pursue regarding online education at MiraCosta. I anticipate that for some time, this blog will be all about answering, refining, and struggling with these questions, while asking ever more. And I hope that this blog will extend the dialog to other MiraCostans and beyond.
Without further ado, my questions, loosely organized …
Student support issues
- Are there info literacy/tech literacy requirements/desires for students?
- What are student opinions about online courses, technologies, support?
- What are the most-cited pressures/frustrations/challenges/problems/concerns of students?
Faculty support issues
- What concerns are there re intellectual property? copyright issues? course ownership?
- What are the hot button issues? FERPA? “curriculum” compliance?
- Who’s responsible for FERPA issues – defining/policy-making, training, enforcing, etc?
- What are the most-cited pressures/frustrations/challenges/problems/concerns of faculty?
- Relationship with campus bookstore? Use of eBooks, readers, Cafe Scribe? Policy on eBook purchasing/format (Follett/Cafe Scribe)?
Pedagogical support issues
- Are there examples of courses heavily using synchronous sessions?
- Innovations in course materials? eBooks? OERs? etc.
- Anyone doing/discussing portfolios/ePortfolios?
Technology support issues
- Moodle v. Bb. – history, current state, vision for future
- Integration of library resources into the CMSs?
- What web 2.0 tools being used? Any problems with use of cloud storage/sharing tools such as Dropbox, google docs, etc? Social media such as twitter, facebook?
- What tools are used for supporting non-academic group activities?
- Is “let a thousand flowers bloom” working for faculty and students w/regard to instructional technologies? Are things moving toward consolidation/standardization, toward increasing diversity, or stasis?
- Where is there trust/confidence? Where wariness/uncertainty/lack of confidence?
- Who are the key players (individuals & departments)?
- Course outcome measures? (or other statistics being tracked/cited?)
- Are there common student learning outcomes across programs? How are those implemented/taught/measured/tracked?
- Are there different measures/tracking being used for online vs. other courses?
- What is being done that should stop that would enable increases in quantity and/or quality of online education?
- What needs to be started to enable increases in quantity and/or quality of online education? (eg policies, procedures, practices, people, programs, technologies, expectations, fears, misunderstandings, budget)
- What are the bridges between in-person courses and online courses?
- What do I need to wrap my head around about MiraCosta and CCs in general, coming from SDSU and the 4-year world?
- Are people on the same page about MiraCosta’s mission? What is that?
- What are the exemplars/aspirational institutions MiraCosta should look to?
- What are the organizations MiraCosta is/should be part of to help get there?
- Are there areas outside of strictly “online education” where this position could provide leadership/support?
- What are the administrative procedures I should know about? Who are the key getting-things-done people?
- What are the compliance mandates, reporting requirements, regulatory issues, etc. which I need to be aware of/publicize/enforce/compile/create/deflect?