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ACCJC DE Standard III.C

Beyond Compliance: Excellence in Distance Education @ SBVC

ACCJC Standard: III.C.1

1. The institution assures that any technology support it provides is designed to meet the needs of learning, teaching, college-wide communications, research, and operational systems.


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•How does the institution make sure that its technology needs for DE/CE are identified?

•How does the institution evaluate the effectiveness of this technology in meeting its range of needs? How effectively are those needs met?


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

•How does the institution make sure that its technology needs for DE/CE are identified?

Several levels of planning are aligned to ensure that the technology needs for SBVC's distance education courses are met.  At the District level, there is a District Technology Plan.  That plan includes the needs for "Distributed Education" at both SBVC and Crafton Hills College.  The District Distributed Educational Coordinating Council (DECC) has input into that District Technology Plan.  The DECC is comprised of representatives from the respective committees of the two colleges charged with oversight of distance education.  So the colleges are represented at the district level to ensure that the technology is in place for distance education. [website--District Technology Plan]

At the college level, the Technology Committee has developed and periodically revised its Technology Plan.  As a part of this Technology Plan, the Online Learning Committee aligns its Online Learning Plan so that all the needs for distance education courses, including the technology need, are addressed. [website--Technology Plan] [website--Online Learning Plan]

When a need is identified, the need is addressed at the appropriate level.  The District oversees the contract for Blackboard services.  The Technology Committee can commit monies for refreshing computers on campus that students use to take online courses.  And the Online Program Committee can contribute to the Program Review Process on behalf of individual divisions or department. 

•How does the institution evaluate the effectiveness of this technology in meeting its range of needs? How effectively are those needs met?

Each of the plans mentioned above includes an element of evaluation.  For example, the Online Learning Program annually evaluates the technology need of online and hybrid classes.  In addition, the regularly scheduled meetings of the Technology Committee, the Online Program Committee, and the District's Distributed Education Coordinating Council provide occasions to evaluate whether the programs are progressing smoothly or there are need to be addressed. [website--minutes of technology committee] [website--minutes of Online Program Committee


Evaluation:

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

ACCJC Standard: III.C.1.a

 a. Technology services, professional support, facilities, hardware, and software are designed to enhance the operation and effectiveness of the institution.


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•How does the institution make decisions about technology services, hardware, and software to ensure that the needs of faculty responsible for DE/CE are met?

•By what processes does the institution determine the technology solutions which are appropriate for its DE/CE courses and services?

•Whether technology is provided directly by the institution or through contractual arrangements, are there provisions for reliability, disaster recovery, privacy, and security to ensure that the technology platform for distance education courses and programs is reliable and sustainable?


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

•How does the institution make decisions about technology services, hardware, and software to ensure that the needs of faculty responsible for DE/CE are met?

•By what processes does the institution determine the technology solutions which are appropriate for its DE/CE courses and services?

Since the decision for a Learning Management System is a District decision, the college is represented at the District Distributed Education Coordinating Council (DECC).  The faculty co-chair and the administrative co-chair of the college's Online Program Committee are standing members of the DECC.  The technology solutions appropriate for SBVC's distance education program have to be compatible with the solutions appropriate for Crafton Hills College.  The DECC is the place where the needs of both campuses are considered.  The campus Technology Committee and Online Program Committee are the voices for the technology needs for distance educations classes at SBVC. 

•Whether technology is provided directly by the institution or through contractual arrangements, are there provisions for reliability, disaster recovery, privacy, and security to ensure that the technology platform for distance education courses and programs is reliable and sustainable?

Blackboard is the Learning Management System used by most of the distance education classes.  There are some departments that use discipline-specific software, such as the Real Estate Department, but the vast majority of online and hybrid classes use Blackboard as the Learning Management System.  The licenses for Blackboard are funded at the District level.  And Blackboard also hosts the LMS.  That means that the hardware as well as the software are the responsibility of Blackboard hosted at an off-site facility.  As a part of that contract, Blackboard is guaranteed to be availability 99.9% of the time.  There are provisions for data recovery.  And the system is password protects to ensure privacy and security of both faculty and students. 

 

Evaluation:

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

 

ACCJC Standard: III.C.1.b

b. The institution provides quality training in the effective application of its information technology to students and personnel.


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•How does the institution assess the need for information technology training and provision of other types of information either written or provided in live electronic format for students and personnel engaged in DE/CE?

•What technology training and information does the institution provide to students and personnel engaged in DE/CE courses and programs? Is the training different from training and information to students and personnel engaged in a traditional teaching mode? What is the rationale?

•How does the institution ensure that the training and technical support it provides for faculty, staff and students is appropriate and effective? How effective is the training and information provided? How is it evaluated?

•By what means does the institution provide training and information to faculty, staff, and students? How does the institution ensure that the training and information is provided in a timely manner?

•How does the institution ensure that technology support is provided in a timely manner and how is the support organized?  

What technology or process does the institution employ to ensure that the student enrolled in a DE/CE course is the same student that participates and receives credit for the course? (New in June 2013.)


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

•How does the institution assess the need for information technology training and provision of other types of information either written or provided in live electronic format for students and personnel engaged in DE/CE?

At the conclusion of each professional development activity sponsored by the campus Professional Development Office, there is an evaluation provided to each participant.  These evaluations are collected and used to determine whether the activity met the needs of the participants.  There is an open ended question on these evaluations asking for ideas for future professional development activities.  In addition, the Online Program Committee's Online Learning Plan includes the responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of all the training provided to faculty, staff and students regarding the distance education offerings of the campus.  [website--Professional Development] [website--Online Learning Plan] 

•What technology training and information does the institution provide to students and personnel engaged in DE/CE courses and programs? Is the training different from training and information to students and personnel engaged in a traditional teaching mode? What is the rationale?

For students, there is a "Learn to Learn Online" self-paced Blackboard shell available.  In addition, the technical support person from the District also provides on-campus training for students interested in the distance education modality.  For faculty, there is an "Online Teaching Prep" shell in Blackboard.  And of course the Office of Professional Development provides regular and frequent opportunities for training.[website--Learn to Learn Online] [website--Online Teaching Prep] [website--Professional Development]

•How does the institution ensure that the training and technical support it provides for faculty, staff and students is appropriate and effective? How effective is the training and information provided? How is it evaluated?

At the conclusion of each professional development activity sponsored by the campus Professional Development Office, there is an evaluation provided to each participant.  These evaluations are collected and used to determine whether the activity met the needs of the participants.  There is an open ended question on these evaluations asking for ideas for future professional development activities.  In addition, the Online Program Committee's Online Learning Plan includes the responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of all the training provided to faculty, staff and students regarding the distance education offerings of the campus.  [website--Online Learning Plan]

•By what means does the institution provide training and information to faculty, staff, and students? How does the institution ensure that the training and information is provided in a timely manner?

There are three levels of support for training for faculty.  The District's office of Distributed Education includes a technical support staff person.  A part of that person's job description is to provide training and professional developement for faculty at the college.  In addition to the district support, the college has an office of Professional Development.  That office provides training opportunities for staff, including licenses to Lynda.com and access to the archives of the @One project at the staff level. 

For students, there is a "Learn to Learn Online" self-paced Blackboard shell available.  In addition, the technical support person from the District also provides on-campus training for students interested in the distance education modality.  [website--Learn to Learn Online]

•How does the institution ensure that technology support is provided in a timely manner and how is the support organized?

SBVC has a unique history in the development of online learning. As such, the "management structure" is also unique. There is no distinct director or dean of Distance Education at SBVC. The District has an Executive Director of Technology and Educational Support Services. That position provides the support for the infrastructure for online learning. That is, internet connectivity, learning management systems, and software licenses are handled at the District level. Furthermore, the Blackboard Administrator, also a district position, provides extensive professional development and software support at both SBVC and Crafton Hills College. There is a campus network administrator at each campus to assist with software related issues. Management support at the campus level is in the office of the Vice President of Instruction. Managerial oversight and clerical support services are provided through that office. The Technology Committee and the Online Program Committee both provide the collegial support for the management and staff. The faculty and administrative co-chairs of the Online Program Committee are key in communicating to the Vice President of Instruction concerns and issues regarding online learning. And the Coordinator of Professional and Organizational Development provides for extensive training opportunities for faculty interested in teaching online. This history and structure have been recorded in detail in the two Substantive Change Proposals submitted to the ACCJC.  [website--Professional Development] [website--Substantive Change Proposals]

*What technology or process does the institution employ to ensure that the student enrolled in a DE/CE course is the same student that participates and receives credit for the course?

Student authentication is done through a secure username/password log in scheme when a student attempts to enter into Blackboard.  In addition, there is a statement of academic integrity that appears on that log in screen.  So every time a student logs in, not only is there a technological check affirming that the student who is enrolled in the class is indeed the student doing the work and receiving credit, but there is also a reinforcement of a culture of integrity.  Once in Blackboard, students see a module that yet again affirms that the student logged into Blackboard is the student registered for the course.  [website--Blackboard] [pdf--Blackboard landing page Academic Integrity]

Evaluation:

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

 

ACCJC Standard: III.C.1.d

d. The distribution and utilization of technology resources support the development, maintenance, and enhancement of its programs and services.


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013) 

•How does the institution make decisions about use and distribution of its technology resources in relation to DE/CE?

•What provisions has the institution made to assure a robust and secure technical infrastructure, providing maximum reliability for students and faculty when offering its DE/CE courses and programs?

•What policies or procedures does the institution have in place to keep the infrastructure necessary to maintain an effective platform for DE/CE reasonably up-to-date?

•How effectively is technology distributed and used?


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

•How does the institution make decisions about use and distribution of its technology resources in relation to DE/CE?

Planning documents at several levels guide the decisions about the use and distribution of technology resources in relation to distance education.  The District's Technology Plan covers the technology resources for both SBVC and Crafton Hills College.  The campus Technology Plan focuses on the specific needs of SBVC.  And the Online Learning Plan aligns with the campus Technology Plan directly concerning itself with technology resources in relation to distance education. [website--District Technology Plan] [website--SBVC Technology Plan] [website--Online Learnng Plan]

•What provisions has the institution made to assure a robust and secure technical infrastructure, providing maximum reliability for students and faculty when offering its DE/CE courses and programs?

The district Technology Plan, the campus Technology Plan, and Online Learning plan guide discussions regarding infrastructure.  Because the hardware and LMS are controlled at the District, decisions about the infrastructure are made with input from both campuses.  For several years, Blackboard was hosted on site, with servers monitored by district personnel.  However, reliability was an issue.  So the decision was made to have Blackboard hosted off site, with the maintenance responsibility contracted out.  This has greatly improved the performance of the LMS and, as a result, has greatly increased satisfaction of both students and faculty using Blackboard. 

•What policies or procedures does the institution have in place to keep the infrastructure necessary to maintain an effective platform for DE/CE reasonably up-to-date?

The Office of Distributed Education, a part of the Technology and Educational Support Services at the district, is the place for discussions about keeping infrastructure up to date.  The District's Distributed Educational Coordinating Council is comprised of members from the district as well as representatives from both SBVC and Crafton Hills College.  Despite being very different "educational ecosystems," SBVC, CHC, and the District have successfully navigated several changes in Learning Management Systems over the course of the last decade.

•How effectively is technology distributed and used?

The campus climate survey, the satisfaction survey for online students, and the satisfaction survey for online faculty all indicate that there is agreement that technological resources is used effectively and distributed equitably for online and hybrid classes. [website--student satisfaction survey] [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.C.2

 

2. Technology planning is integrated with institutional planning. The institution systematically assesses the effective use of technology resources and uses the results of evaluation as the basis for improvement.


ACCJC Guide for Evaluating Distance Education (June, 2013)

•What evidence is there that the institution bases its technology decisions on the results of evaluation of program and service needs and that the evaluation includes the needs related to DE/CE?

•How does the institution determine that technology needs in DE/CE programs and services are met effectively?

•How does the institution prioritize needs when making decisions about technology purchases relevant for DE/CE? How effectively are those needs met?


Beyond Audit and Compliance: DE Excellence at SBVC


Description:

•What evidence is there that the institution bases its technology decisions on the results of evaluation of program and service needs and that the evaluation includes the needs related to DE/CE?

SBVC has a robust Program Review process.  The needs of distance education programs are addressed through this process.  For example, the Biology department wanted to use a set of iPads for use in a hybrid human anatomy class.  That request went through Program Review, was evaluated and ranked and, eventually, funded.  

At the district level, decisions regarding distance education needs and programs are made by the Office of Distributed Education and the Distributed Educational Coordinating Council. For example, discussions about using Turnitin or SafeAssign as anti-plagiarism was made at the District level, with input from both colleges through the DECC.

•How does the institution determine that technology needs in DE/CE programs and services are met effectively?

The campus climate survey, the satisfaction survey for online students, and the satisfaction survey for online faculty all indicate that there is agreement that technological resources is used effectively and distributed equitably for online and hybrid classes. [website--student satisfaction survey for online students] [website--faculty satisfaction survey for online faculty]

•How does the institution prioritize needs when making decisions about technology purchases relevant for DE/CE? How effectively are those needs met?

SBVC has a robust Program Review process.  The needs of distance education programs are addressed through this process.  (See preceding paragraphs.)

Evaluation:

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