FALL 2010 eLEARNING UPDATE

Sacramento State has a long tradition of providing students open access to its educational resources. In today’s financially stressed world, this means finding ways to offer the greatest array of learning opportunities to enable students to achieve their degrees in a timely fashion. To this end, while recognizing that some courses may be well suited for pure online delivery (as determined by programs and faculty), the Provost has encouraged the development of more courses to be delivered in the “hybrid” modality. Since this modality includes both face-to-face and online instruction, it promotes student/faculty and student/student interactivity, is responsive to student IT learning culture, maintains the integrity of the educational process, and helps satisfy the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI). All these instructional objectives can be achieved while offering flexibility and convenience for our students. More efficient use of university instructional facilities and space also is accomplished.

Definitions:

  1. Hybrid Course:  a course in which 20%-67% of course activities, including class meetings, are delivered electronically. Through the use of a variety of technologies, actual seat time is reduced and replaced with activities, discussions, and assignments completed at a distance. 
  2. Online Course: a course in which greater than 67% of course activities, including class meetings, are delivered electronically. Generally these courses have no regular on-campus class meetings. However, at the discretion of the instructor, an online course may have occasional organizational, assessment-related and/or on-campus class meetings.

Objectives:

  1. Increase hybrid/online courses offerings to 10-20% of all courses over the next five years. (Note: in the spring 2010 semester, Sacramento State offered 64 online courses, and 85 hybrid courses.) 
  2. Provide the support that promotes quality and consistent hybrid and online course development and implementation. 
  3. Encourage departments to use CMS to accurately identify their hybrid and online courses. 
  4. Encourage programs to use technology (e.g., SacCT and Blackboard Collaborate™) to enhance academic advising.
  5. Identify and develop the campus resources (faculty support and infrastructure) that are required to deliver quality courses using eLearning modalities.

Key Milestones and Achievements:

  1. eLearning Policy adopted in the spring 2010 – Hybrid and Online courses are now clearly defined and the approval process for these modalities clearly delineated.
  2. My Sac State searchable class schedule now offers students the ability to include hybrid and/or online courses in their search criteria.
  3. eAcademy initiated. This is a new curriculum development program, with participation from ATCSCTL, the LibrarySSWDIRT, and several faculty across colleges, to support department cohorts transforming face to face courses to hybrid modality. The first cohort of 6 departments / 22 faculty begin the 13-week program this fall, and will offer their hybrid courses fall 2011. Incentive is provided upon completion of the eAcademy and course readiness.
  4. The Teaching Institute administered by CTL continues to be an individually-based program that also gives support to self-selected faculty for technology-enhanced pedagogy.

Infrastructure Systems:

  1. SacCT, a Learning Management System (LMS) that is robust, reliable, supported by expert staff, and easy to use by both faculty and students.  Nearly 2000 courses use SacCT each semester.
  2. Blackboard Collaborative/Elluminate, a virtual classroom software that allows faculty to reproduce face to face interactivity online.  It is an ideal tool for delivering virtual academic advising.  We have a campus-wide and perpetual license
  3. Video-based technology (televised and/or video stream) is also available and utilized as an option for course delivery.