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ACCJC DE Standard III.A

Beyond Compliance: Excellence in Distance Education @ SBVC

 ACCJC Standard: III.A.1

The institution assures the integrity and quality of its programs and services by employing personnel who are qualified by appropriate education, training, and experience to provide and support these programs and services.


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

• What analyses and discussions have led the institution to determine the qualifications of faculty and staff involved in offering distance education and correspondence education

 Evidence that the institution has a reasonable means for deciding what employee qualifications are needed for positions aimed at teaching distance education and/or correspondence courses.


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

All faculty are hired under the same faculty hiring process. (SBCCD Administrative Procedure 7210, line 1135) Faculty who teach online classes are held to the same standards as faculty who teach traditional, face-to-face classes. Minimum qualifications must be met. Additionally, the needs of the department must be considered. Department Faculty Chairs recommend to Division Deans the faculty to teach certain sections. For online sections, both the Faculty Chair and the Division Dean affirm that the person selected for a specific section is qualified to teach that section. Various criteria are used to determine whether a faculty person can successfully teach online. Most faculty who want to teach online have either taken a course or a series of courses on online teaching/learning or have taught online before. In addition, SBVC has a self-paced "Online Teaching Prep" course, housed in the Blackboard Learning Management System, if faculty members want to begin the preparation for online teaching that way. Furthermore, some departments have created extensive, albeit informal, mentoring programs for online teaching. For example, the English department in 2002 would not allow any of their classes to be taught online. With a new Department Faculty Chair, however, one section was permitted. After that person was successful, another English faculty person paired with the online instructor to learn to teach online. In the fall of 2011, six different English faculty members are teaching nine different sections of Freshman Composition and Intermediate Composition. This successful mentoring program is mirrored in the Modern Languages Department with online Spanish classes. [pdf--SBCCD Administrative Procedure 7210]

As a part of the hiring process, the Faculty Chair and/or the Division Dean confirm the various ways in which he or she is prepared for the delivery mode.  Record of such successful preparation for online teaching is a part of the Comprehensive Quality Control Process for online classes. This information is used by the Deans and Department Heads to determine if the experience and training is sufficient for the discipline's needs.   [webpage--Preparation for Online Teaching


Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.  


 


ACCJC Standard: III.A.1.a

Criteria, qualifications, and procedures for selection of personnel are clearly and publicly stated. Job descriptions are directly related to institutional mission and goals and accurately reflect position duties, responsibilities, and authority. Criteria for selection of faculty include knowledge of the subject matter or service to be performed (as determined by individuals with discipline expertise), effective teaching, scholarly activities, and potential to contribute to the mission of the institution. Institutional faculty play a significant role in selection of new faculty. Degrees held by faculty and administrators are from institutions accredited by recognized U.S. accrediting agencies. Degrees from non-U.S. institutions are recognized only if equivalence has been established.4 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 Does the institution advertise specifically for personnel with expertise and experience in DE/CE? What is the rationale? 

 How does the college decide whether an applicant is well qualified in the field of DE/CE? Has the institution formulated specific selection criteria? 

 To what extent does the institution involve personnel with experience in DE/CE in the recruitment of new personnel?  

 By what methods does the college define and evaluate "effective teaching"  in its hiring processes for faculty to be involved in DE/CE? How is that effectiveness judged? 

 

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC 


Description:

 Does the institution advertise specifically for personnel with expertise and experience in DE/CE? What is the rationale? 

The college does not have its own Human Resources Office.  The Human Resources Office is a District Office serving both SBVC and our sister campus, Crafton Hills College.  As such, the college shares personnel and hiring policies at the District level.

Having said that, when the college decides to hire a faculty member in a discipline where distance education will be an option or a preference, that information is included in the packet of information provided by the District which advertises the position.  At this point, the rationale for including or not including that information is determined at the department level.  Online classes were first offered in January of 1996 at SBVC.  And over the course of the last 18 years many departments have developed robust online offerings.  Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies are examples of departments where all the courses have been approved for distance education delivery.  In departments like those, it would be relevant and important to include information about expertise and experience in online teaching during the application process. 

 How does the college decide whether an applicant is well qualified in the field of DE/CE? Has the institution formulated specific selection criteria? 

The college has not formulated specific selection criteria for faculty desiring to teach distance education courses.  Early on in the history of online learning at SBVC, it became apparent that the criteria for being "well qualified" to teach in various disciplines was dramatically different.  In the department of Music, the necessary familiarity with multi-media components of learning is crucial.  In the department of Philosophy, that multi-media focus is not so crucial.  In the department of English, the ability to give feedback on student writing in the online format is essential.  In the department of Accounting, that element is trumped by the ability to deal with numbers and spreadsheets.  So the criteria selected for determining whether an applicant is well qualified in the field of distance education happens at the department level.

Having said that, a part of the Comprehensive Quality Control Process includes reflection on what counts as adequate preparation for teaching in the distance education modality.  Again, there are multiple ways to document that someone has the necessary background and abilities to teach in distance education courses.  [website--Quality Control Process]

 To what extent does the institution involve personnel with experience in DE/CE in the recruitment of new personnel?  

Again, this happens at the department level.  Experienced distance education instructors in a specific department are included in the hiring process if the need for distance education teaching is specifically included in the advertisement for a position.  If the department is small or is new to distance education, then the Online Program Committee is consulted and included, if necessary.  This element of consultation is included in the Online Learning Plan of the Online Program Committee. [website--Online Learning Plan]

 By what methods does the college define and evaluate "effective teaching"  in its hiring processes for faculty to be involved in DE/CE? How is that effectiveness judged?

"Effective teaching" in the distance education format would be judged in the hiring process in a way similar to the way effective teaching would be judged for on ground teaching.  Letters of recommendation, statements of applicants, results of students surveys, and evidence on transcripts are typical elements included in this process.  And typically there is a "teaching demonstration" required of applicants who make it to the interview stage of the hiring process.  Those teaching demonstrations vary depending on the department doing the hiring.  And if the department wishes to include a demonstration of online teaching, that would be a part of the information in the hiring packet developed by the District Human Resources Office.  Applicants would be required to include that demonstration as a part of the interview process.  "Effective teaching" in the distance education modality is then judged by the hiring committee.

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education. 

ACCJC Standard: III.A.1.b

The institution assures the effectiveness of its human resources by evaluating all personnel systematically and at stated intervals. The institution establishes written criteria for evaluating all personnel, including performance of assigned duties and participation in institutional responsibilities and other activities appropriate to their expertise. Evaluation processes seek to assess effectiveness of personnel and encourage improvement. Actions taken following evaluations are formal, timely, and documented. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 Do evaluation criteria specifically measure the effectiveness of personnel in performing their duties related to distance education and correspondence education activities? 

 To what extent do the evaluation processes identify areas for improvement of duties related to distance education and correspondence education activities, including faculty’s interest in future involvement in this field or need for development? 


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

The evaluation of all faculty at the college is guided by a collective bargaining agreement with the local California Teachers Association union.  The criteria for evaluating faculty who are teaching distance education courses is very similar to those for faculty who teach on ground classes.  However, the formalized evaluation instrument does include specific references to online learning.  This arose because of the increased number of online sections offered by the college and because of a desire to formalize and normalize the evaluation processes. 

One element of the evaluation process is the inclusion of student responses to the teaching of the instructor.  That happens for all online courses when the instructor is scheduled for evaluation.  The surveys are identical to the surveys given to students taking on ground classes.  The process is secure.  And the information from the online students is included in the overall evaluation of the instructor. 

The result of the evaluation process for a faculty member always included the identification of areas for improvement.  If the areas of improvement include duties related to distance education, then those are identified and included in the final evaluation packet.  

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education. 



 

ACCJC Standard: III.A.1.c

Faculty and others directly responsible for student progress toward achieving stated student learning outcomes have, as a component of their evaluation, effectiveness in producing those learning outcomes. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013) 

 What discussions have faculty had about how to improve learning outcomes in DE/CE? What plans have been made? 

 What changes have faculty made in teaching methodologies to improve learning in DE/CE mode after evaluation and analysis of evidence of effectiveness? 

 What changes in course content or sequencing of DE/CE courses have resulted from analyses of how well students are mastering course content? 

 What methods has the institution developed to evaluate effectiveness in producing student learning outcomes? Do these methods cover the effectiveness of producing student learning outcomes in DE/CE mode? Are these methods yielding meaningful and useful results? 

 How has staff development supported faculty performance in satisfactory achievement and assessment of student learning outcomes in DE/CE courses? What kinds of support have been provided to staff?   


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

 What discussions have faculty had about how to improve learning outcomes in DE/CE? What plans have been made? 

The Online Program Committee has included in its Online Learning Plan the need to evaluate the student learning outcomes in the distance education format.  Prior to 2013, these discussions were more generic.  After 2013, when the college revived the electronic warehouse for SLO data, eLumen, the Online Program Committee has begun the process of looking at specific departments and groups of departments to identify interventions for improving the student learning outcomes for those classes offered in the distance education mode. [website--Online Learning Plan]  

 What changes have faculty made in teaching methodologies to improve learning in DE/CE mode after evaluation and analysis of evidence of effectiveness? 

The department with the highest percentages of retention and success in the DE modality is the Spanish department.  Since the faculty use Skype to interact visually and aurally with their students, the hypothesis is that that multimedia interactivity increases retention and success.  Several faculty in other departments are testing that hypothesis by including audio and video interactive elements in their online classes.  

 What changes in course content or sequencing of DE/CE courses have resulted from analyses of how well students are mastering course content? 

One specific example of changes made to improve learning in the DE mode comes from the Chemistry department.  They offered their basic chemistry class in a distance education format but experienced very low success and retention rates.  So the department decided not to offer that basic chemistry class in the DE format.  Other higher level chemistry classes could be offered in appropriate DE formats, but the need to ground students in the discipline necessary to succeed in chemistry could not be met with a DE format.

 What methods has the institution developed to evaluate effectiveness in producing student learning outcomes? Do these methods cover the effectiveness of producing student learning outcomes in DE/CE mode? Are these methods yielding meaningful and useful results? 

Since the Student Learning Outcomes are the same for each course regardless of delivery mode, the evaluation of effectiveness in producing student learning outcomes includes online and hybrid classes.  After 2013, when the college revived the electronic warehouse for SLO data, eLumen, the Online Program Committee has begun the process of comparing Student Learning Outcomes in courses offered in the DE mode and courses offered on campus.  [website--Online Learning Plan]

 How has staff development supported faculty performance in satisfactory achievement and assessment of student learning outcomes in DE/CE courses? What kinds of support have been provided to staff? 

SBVC has an office of Professional Development that provides many opportunities for faculty to hone their skills and practice their craft in the online format.  For example, there is weekly drop in sessions to learn more about Blackboard.  Weekly lunches provided an opportunity for faculty to see how iPads could improve the distance education offerings in their classes.  The college has 10 licenses with Lynda.com that provide faculty with access to all the resources of that company to improve skills related to technology.  And the college provides access to @One, a repository of resources funded by the state.  Access to those webinars and seminars also helps support distance education faculty.  [website--Professional Development]

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.

 



 

ACCJC Standard: III.A.1.d

The Institution upholds a written code of professional ethics for all of its personnel.


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

  • How does the institution address issues of professional ethics related to DE/CE and do these efforts foster ethical behavior of employees? Are these issues included in the Code of Ethics? What is the rationale for the approach?

   Evidence that the institution applies an ethics document or documents for all personnel that appropriately takes aspects of teaching in distance education and correspondence education mode into consideration.


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


 


Description:

The Online Program Committee has stipulated that the Faculty Ethics Statement approved by the Academic Senate applies to all faculty, regardless of delivery mode.  There is no distinction between instructional and non-instructional faculty.  So too there is no distinction between on campus and online instruction.  The ethical principles evinced in that statement apply to all faculty at SBVC.  [webpage--faculty code of ethics]

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.


 

ACCJC Standard: III.A.2 

 

The institution maintains a sufficient number of qualified faculty with full-time responsibility to the institution. The institution has a sufficient number of staff and administrators with appropriate preparation and experience to provide the administrative services necessary to support the institution’s mission and purposes. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 By what means does the institution determine appropriate staffing levels for each program and service involved in the offering of programs and courses in DE/CE mode? 

 How does the institution decide on the organization of administrative and support staffing for DE/CE mode? 

 How effectively does the number and organization of the institution’s personnel work to support its DE/CE programs and services? How does the institution evaluate this effectiveness? 

 

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

There is no separate office of Distance Education at the campus level.  The hiring of faculty for distance education is done in the context of each division's specific needs.  Any clerical support for distance education related tasks also comes from the division level.   The technical support staff are in the District Office of Distributed Education.  That office has grown over the last decade as the number of online classes has grown at SBVC and as the number of faculty using Blackboard as a supplement to their face-to-face classes has grown as well.

When the distance education offerings at SBVC were solely telecourses, a faculty member was given 50% reassigned time to coordinate those telecourses.  However, in approximately 1992, the District made the decision to hire a full time Distance Education Coordinator.  So the organization and administration of distance education has been for two decades centered on the District level, rather than the college level.

The Online Program Committee's Faculty Satisfaction Survey for online instructors includes questions about the effectiveness of the organization and administration of distance education activities at the district level.  There is general satisfaction with the organization and administration of distance education at the district level. [website--Faculty Satisfaction Survey]

 

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.



 

ACCJC Standard: III.A.5.a

 

The institution plans professional development activities to meet the needs of its personnel. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

 What professional development programs relevant for DE/CE personnel does the institution support? 

 How does the institution determine the professional development needs of its personnel involved in DE/CE? 

 What development programs on teaching methodologies in distance education does the institution provide? 

 

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

There are two levels of professional development activities related to Distance Education.  The campus Office of Professional Development is charged with providing professional development opportunities for all facutly, staff, and administrators, regardless of their relationship to Distance Education.  However, a significant number of workshops are focused on assisting faculty who are teaching online.  One example was a monthly brown bag lunch gathering faculty who were interested in incorporating iPads into their teaching.  This year-long activity is just one example of many such programs designed to improve teaching for faculty teaching online and hybrid classes.  [website--Professional Development]

The second level of professional development is provided at the District level.  The District's Office of Distributed Education has a staff person who provides face-to-face seminars as well as webinars to both SBVC and Crafton Hills College.  Although the focus of many of these is Blackboard, the District's learning management system, there have also been seminars and webinars on cutting edge technology and on using mobile technology in the online environment.  

The Online Program Committee deploys a faculty satisfaction survey to online instructors each spring.  One of the questions on that survey deals with satisfaction levels for professional development.  Many of the comments from that portion of the survey have been translated into professional development activities for online instructors. [website--faculty satisfaction survey]


Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.


ACCJC Standard: III.A.5.b

 

With the assistance of the participants, the institution systematically evaluates professional development programs and uses the results of these evaluations as the basis for improvement. 


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

  What impact do professional development activities related to DE/CE have on the improvement of teaching and learning? How does the institution evaluate that improvement? 

 

Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

At the conclusion of every professional development activity an evaluation is presented to each participant.  Those evaluations give the participants an opportunity to describe ways in which they can incorporate new information into their teaching strategies.  This includes faculty who are teaching online and hybrid classes. [website--Professional Development]

Furthermore, the Online Program Committee includes in its Online Learning Plan periodic evaluation of professional development activities related to Distance Education.  [website--Online Learning Plan]

Evaluation:

It is the opinion of the Online Program Committee that SBVC meets this standard in terms of Distance Education.