Quality Assurance for blended and online courses

2019-20 — CSUSB— Quality Assurance in Online/Hybrid Teaching

Proposal Summary:  For 2018-19, our target was to create and pilot a two-year program for redesigning several campus bottleneck courses for online or hybrid teaching (E-learning Academy), as well as pilot department-specific programs able assist departments with their online course redesign efforts. 

Campus QA Goals

As part of the GI2025 commitment and the campus efforts to transition to a semester-based curriculum (Q2S), CSUSB recognized the need to: 

  • Focus on increasing access to campus bottleneck courses by providing well-designed online/hybrid sections; 
  • Work with faculty members from interested departments to tailor training programs to departmental needs; 
  • Conduct research to understand the barriers that CSUSB faculty encounter when teaching online/hybrid courses and that CSUSB students encounter when taking such courses; 
  • Provide increased support to new and existing faculty for teaching in online/hybrid formats and showcasing their work. 

Accordingly, the campus had the following goals: 

Campus Goal for Quality Assurance

  1. Develop and assess the effectiveness of a campus-wide two-year program for faculty professional development in online teaching targeted to campus bottleneck courses (E-Learning Academy)
  2. Develop and assess the effectiveness of department- and college-specific year-long programs designed to improve the general online teaching competency of CSUSB faculty
  3. Assess student barriers to learning in online/hybrid courses
  4. Incorporate professional development with QLT and accessibility training into new faculty onboarding
  5. Increase support for course certification.

Quality Assurance Lead(s)

  • Dr. Mihaela Popescu, CSUSB QA Campus Lead, Faculty Director of Academic Technology and Innovation (ATI)

Supporting Campus Partners

  • Dr. Shari McMahan, Provost
  • Dr. Sam Sudhakar, VP for Information Technology Services, CSUSB CIO
  • James Trotter, ATI Assistant Director
  • ATI Instructional Designers
  • Dr. Jo Anna Grant, Director of the Teaching Resource Center (TRC), co-Director of the Faculty Center for Excellence (FCE)
  • Christine Fundell, Accessibility Specialist, ATI
  • Dr. Monty Van Wart, Faculty Research Associate for SQuAIR, Faculty Development Coordinator for the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration

Campus Commitment Toward Sustainability of QA Efforts

  • The Provost's Office, Academic Technologies & Innovation, and the Teaching Resource Center work together to ensure funding for faculty development with online/hybrid teaching
  • Information Technology Services funds the Assistive Technology & Accessibility Center, which supports all campus accessibility services in online/hybrid teaching
  • Information Technology Services funds campus licenses for the academic technologies used in online teaching

Summary of Previous QA  Accomplishments

  • CSUSB uses both QLT and QM. Since AY 2013-14, faculty and staff members enrolled in almost 160 sections of the CSU QA online courses in order to prepare for online/hybrid teaching; 
  • The number of online/hybrid sections at CSUSB grew from 566 in 2014-15 to 796 in 2018-19. Similarly, the enrollment in online/hybrid sections also grew over the same period; 
  • 3 instructional designers received peer review certification with QLT; 2 instructional designers co-facilitate QLT online courses for the CSU QA program;
  • The campus currently has 4 online/hybrid courses certified (all in the past 3 years). 

Dissemination of QA Efforts— Conferences 

On August 7, 2018, instructional designer Tracy Medrano and accessibility specialist Christine Fundell presented the webinar "An Immersive Approach to Rapid Blended Course Design Using QM" as part of the Quality Matters Success Stories. The webinar had 198 participants. 

Access the recording here

Quality Assurance Results

Training Completions

During 2018-19, 29 faculty participated in online trainings offered through the QA CO program. 

Number of QLT/QM course completions by CSUSB faculty since 2013-14

In addition to our faculty members participating in the online trainings offered by the CO, we: 

  • offered five workshops within the E-learning Academy program. Within the E-learning Academy program, we identified 12 campus undergraduate course bottlenecks defined either in terms of demand or terms of the DWFI rate and recruited 17 faculty to participate in their redesign for online/hybrid teaching, 14 of which actively participated in all activities. The redesigned courses are: Applied Business Statistics (ADMN 210); Principles of supply chain management (SCM 304); Government-Business Relations (PA 315); Business Finance (FIN 313); Marketing Principles (MKTG 305); Information Systems and Technology (IST 309); Spanish & Latin American Literature in English (SPAN 290); PR Theory and Practice (COMM 341); Communication Theories (COMM 306); Topics in Biology (BIOL 100); Health & Human Ecology (NSCI 351); Introduction to Geology (GEOL 101) 

An E-Learning Academy workshop during 2018-19

  • completed a pilot QLT training program involving six workshops with the Jack H. Brown College of Business, Department of Public Administration (7 faculty participated) 
  • delivered one onboarding program to 22 new faculty and exposed them to QLT principles
  • delivered a presentation to the Faculty Senate on Feb. 19, 2019 about the state of online education at CSUSB and started a campus conversation on the nature of support needed to grow the number and quality of online courses

Course Peer Review and Course Certifications

PA 611 Public Administration Theory & Practice taught by Dr. Jonathan Anderson in hybrid format received QLT certification. 

Home page for PA 611 Public Administration Theory & Practice. 

Student Quality Assurance Impact Research 

As part of the SQuAIR program, Dr. Montgomery Van Wart, the 2018-19 SQuAIR fellow, contributed to designing a 50-item questionnaire on student opinions about online courses and collected 362 responses from among business students. The research team is currently analyzing the results. 

"How much difference do you think that the instructor's training in online teaching makes in their teaching online classes?"
"From your experience or perception, what percentage of CSUSB faculty are well trained in online teaching?"

  • 46% of the student respondents believe that it instructor training for online teaching makes "a lot of difference" and "an enormous difference" 
  • 38% of the student respondents estimate that "most" or "almost all" CSUSB faculty are well trained in online teaching, and about 22% of the respondents estimate that about half of the CSUSB faculty are well trained in online teaching. 

Development of Campus QA Resources

We recorded 6 videos to assist the campus with improving interactivity in their online courses:

Accessibility/UDL Efforts

  • The campus Accessible Technology Team continued the Blackboard Ally pilot. Now in its second year of implementation, Ally, which provides faculty with real-time information on the accessibility of their Blackboard course materials, has been implemented in 61 courses. 
  • The Assistive Technology & Accessibility Center (ATAC) captioned 556 instructional videos and remediated 47 instructional documents for accessibility
  • Over 50 students received individualized one-on-one assistive technology support through the ATAC lab. 
  • Accessibility was one of the workshops offered during the New Faculty onboarding. 

Next Steps for QA Efforts 

  • We will continue the E-Learning Academy program with year 2 for the pilot cohort. We will recruit the next faculty cohort (at least 10 faculty working on at least 10 bottleneck courses) and offer them an improved program that incorporates what we learned from the pilot
  • We will continue to include graduate teaching associates to assist faculty with the curation of online resources, and undergraduate students to offer feedback on various elements of the course redesign projects. 
  • We will continue the development of department- and college-specific year-long training programs designed to improve the general online teaching competency of faculty. We seek to (re)design at least 20 new courses in online/hybrid formats using QLT. 
  • As part of the SQuAIR program, we will analyze the data gathered during 2018-19
  • We will continue to incorporate professional development with QLT and accessibility training into new faculty onboarding. 
  • We will implement a campus repository of training materials and technology demos to assist faculty with online teaching.