Committee on eLearning
Annual Report for 2019-2020
Introduction and Thank You
I would like to thank all Committee members for their willingness to serve and commitment to shared governance over the past year. This was a successful and productive year for the Committee’s goal of providing oversight and support for eLearning on campus, especially until Covid-19 pandemic. Even during this challenging situation, the Committee continued its work as much as it could. I would like to give a special thank you to Peter Novick, who provided exceptional service as the Secretary for the past two years and is departing from the Committee with me. It has been an honor to serve as a member of this Committee for the past three years and as Chairperson for the past year. I’m confident that the excellent work of this Committee will continue under the leadership of Dr. Sasa.
– Zeynep Akcay Ozkan, Ph.D., August 2020
For 2019-2020, the Committee was composed of: Zeynep Akcay Ozkan (Chair), Svjetlana Bukvich-Nichols (who replaced Joseph Goldenberg due his retirement since the beginning of the Spring semester), Eugene Desepoli, Susan Lago, Zivah Perel Katz (Steering Committee designee), Peter Novick (Secretary), Nina Sarkar (who was unable to attend meetings in the Spring semester due to a teaching conflict), Randelle Sasa, Lakersha Smith, Shiang-Kwei Wang (President’s designee), and Zhou Zhou.
Denis Bejar of the Office of Educational Technology was a valuable attendee at some of the meetings. No student representatives were appointed for the past year. Susan Lago, who initially was the Steering Committee representative requested that she became an official member, so Zivah Perel Katz, who initially was an official member was appointed as the Steering Committee representative in December 2019 and they switched positions.
For 2020-2021, the terms of Zeynep Akcay Ozkan, Peter Novick and Nina Sarkar ended, while Punita Bhansali, Merlinda Drini Prelvukaj and Sebastian Murolo were newly appointed. At the May Committee meeting, Randelle Sasa was elected to serve as Chair and Susan Lago was elected to serve as Secretary for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The Committee met at its regularly-scheduled time (Thursdays at 3pm, the week of Senate meetings except when school holidays or conversion days required moving it one week earlier) throughout the 2019-2020 school year (9/12/19, 10/17/19, 11/14/19, 12/12/19, 2/13/20, 3/12/20, 4/23/19, and 5/14/19). Agendas and Minutes were posted on the Committee’s web site by the Secretary.
Steering Committee 2019-2020 charges and responses, including Committee activities, actions, and recommendations:
The Bylaws of the College as approved at the Senate meeting of 11/13/18 state that the Committee shall:
- Report and make recommendations to the Academic Senate on all matters related to eLearning, in particular concerning policies and procedures related to the development of, support for, and offering of fully online, partially online, hybrid and web-enhanced programs, degrees and classes;
- Develop and disseminate guidelines, standards, and best practices in online instruction to the College;
- Serve as the faculty advisory body for the College’s program for certifying faculty for instruction in online modalities, as developed in conjunction with the Committee;
- Provide standards for assessment of the quality of online course instructional designs, reviewing and revising these standards as needed;
- Work on the assessment process and criteria related to the eLearning program of the College and report findings to the Academic Senate; and
- Serve as an advisory body for all matters related to eLearning.
The Committee actively worked in these areas for the entire academic year, as detailed below.
The following activities which were noted in the 2017-2018 Annual Report of The Steering Committee as self-generated by the eLearning Committee, continued to be in the focus of the Committee:
- Report on committee representation at Tech Fee Committee meetings.
The Tech Fee Committee met once during the Fall 2019 semester. Dr. Sasa had committed to attend but the meeting time changed after it was initially announced which caused a misunderstanding and he was unable to attend. The Committee had scheduled a meeting for the Spring 2019 semester, Dr. Sasa again committed to attend but the meeting was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and no updates about a remote meeting was received.
- Report on any college adopted standards on eLearning.
Zeynep Akcay Ozkan has emailed all the department chairs in the beginning of the Fall semester to inform them about the availability of the QCC e-Learning Guidelines and to remind them that they could refer to it as they give decisions on PNET/FNET course offerings in their departments.
The Guidelines which were developed in Spring 2019 and decided to be revisited every year were reviewed and revisions were made thanks to the entire Committee for everyone’s role in providing input. The main addition was the peer evaluations of PNET/FNET courses, based on the related section in the most recent PSC Contract.
- Report on course assessment progress for eLearning.
The Committee held discussions and had progress on two ways of assessment of PNET/FNET courses; which are through peer and student evaluations. The peer evaluation of online courses has been regulated in the most recent PSC Contract and Zeynep Akcay Ozkan has updated the QCC eLearning Guidelines to reflect these regulations. Other form of assessment was the student evaluations of online courses. After initial discussion within the Committee, the Committee Chair contacted the Academic Development Committee and attended one of their meetings to discuss how to administer course evaluation forms in PNET courses. The College had two different forms, one to be used for the regular and PNET courses, and another to be used for FNET courses but the form used for the PNET courses did not meet the needs for this type of modality. The Committee merged these two existing course evaluations forms to create a separate form for the PNET courses which would meet its needs. The form created for PNET courses can be reviewed once again by the committee in the next year and further steps may be taken to officially use it.
- Report on linking of FNET/PNET courses with face-to-face learning
The eLearning Guidelines stress that FNET/PNET courses should offer the same outcomes as traditional face-to-face courses, and that assessment should occur to insure that the modality of instruction has no impact on the student experience. Although the Committee had previously analyzed the student grades, which did not show any difference modalities overall, lack of assessment of PNET/FNET courses has been subject of the discussions in the Committee meetings. For this purpose, Zivah Perel Katz contacted Ian Beckford to ask about any institutional efforts for assessing online courses and was informed that they did not have plans for assessment of online courses separately. The Committee could provide assistance if any institutional effort will be planned in the future.
The Steering Committee also specifically charged the Committee to:
- Provide input on the curriculum of the e-Learning Institute conducted for faculty development
In the beginning of the Fall semester, Denis Behar and his team has created a new e-Learning webpage for the College and asked the feedback of the Committee. The members reviewed the page and provided feedback to the OET team.
Denis Behar provided the Committee during the April meeting with updates concerning the e-Learning Institute that it had been cancelled; and instead, there was a university wide initiative for online training of summer and fall instructors who are not currently certified to teach online classes. There would be several cohorts during summer covering the fundamentals of online training.
- Monitor possible implementation of other “High Impact Activities” in eLearning
The Committee held discussions on the possible implementation of HIPs in eLearning. The committee agreed on the difficulty in including HIPs in online courses. Lakersha Smith made a research by contacting the coordinators of each of the HIPs to see which were being used in e-Learning courses. She was not able to find any courses (partially due to CETL not having a director at that time). Dr. Smith discussed how the charge weighs heavily on the Common Read and shared that she has incorporated “The Alchemist” for the Common Read into her PSYC101 PNET course this semester. She offered to share her results in future semesters in a brown bag lunch event.
- Maintain website with meeting minutes and agenda, with special attention to ADA compliance.
The Committee website is maintained by the Secretary and Chairperson and is up to date.
Other committee activities
The e-Learning Committee provided feedback to the Academic Development Committee for the survey that they have created and administered to the faculty at the end of the Spring semester.
The Spring and Fall newsletters, developed by Committee members Zeynep Akcay Ozkan, Peter Novick and Gene Despoli, were posted on the Committee’s website as well as disseminated by Committee members via departmental email lists and by the Committee Chairperson via the Faculty/Community Dialogue distribution lists.
Brown Bag lunch seminar for the Fall semester was organized by Zeynep Akcay Ozkan. The Committee member Susan Lago presented “Generating Class Discussion with Polleverywhere” and Dr. Fei Ye from the Mathematics department presented “How to Create a Reproducible Online Book in 20 Minutes using Rmarkdown” on 11/27/2019 to an audience of about 12 faculty members. The seminar which was in the process of being planned for the Spring semester did not run due to the pandemic.
Zeynep Akcay Ozkan, Ph.D.
Committee on eLearning Chairperson