Distance Learning Steering Committee
Minutes of the Meeting
Members Present: Melanie Clay, Janet Gubbins, Donald Wagner, Paul Smith, Tom Beggs, Bob Gehling, Kathy Kral, Elizabeth Bennett, Barbara Mc Kenzie, John Fuller, Diane Smith, and Carol Goodson
The meeting was called to order at 10:50 am in the Carriage House.
- Melanie stated that the Distance Learning Steering Committee would meet at least 3 times per year to discuss various issues.
- Melanie updated everyone on emerging technologies.
- GSAMS use has declined significantly. We will be closing the Business GSAMS facility but will explore other technologies such as Envision. The limitations of Envision is that it's only for point-to-point use. We may purchase several Envision Systems to use in the future.
- We are investigating the possibility of purchasing portable video-conferencing units. The unit we are currently researching and about to test is a Polycom Unit.
- Due to bandwidth issues, we presently discourage video streaming but we encourage digitizing video's and burning onto CDs. Distance Learning is considering buying some equipment for the TV studio to help faculty edit video for CD-ROMS. Tom Beggs also has the equipment at LRC. The LRC is capable of burning multiple copies of CDs quickly. We will encourage the faculty to keep it simple and do short lectures (10 minutes or less).
- Melanie raised the issue of who is supposed to do what for our faculty? Distance Learning or LRC? Tom Beggs stated that the LRC has the equipment to digitize video's and burn onto CDs. Melanie stated that the Distance Learning Office will provide training and instructional design assistance to the faculty for distance and distributed course development. Melanie handed out Job Responsibilities of the Distance and Distributed Education Department vs. the Learning Resources Department.
- Melanie stated that her main responsibility as IDEA Administrator is to ensure quality of courses based on the SREC Guidelines. Melanie stated that even after setting guidelines and procedures we still find out through evaluations that some faculty are not interacting with the students, etc. This brings up the issues of credit and rewards. Distance Learning has come up with a three tier program for training and certification of Distance Faculty. This will be a way to provide recognition for the distance faculty and will lead to various levels of certifications. Handouts were given to each person in the committee meeting. A major issue was raised:
- Who's going to determine testing procedures? The group agreed that the testing committee needs to involve selected faculty.
- Barbara Mc Kenzie stated that evaluations tend to be lower when teaching in the DL formats. She said that the administrators need to support and better understand teaching in this format, and that regular evaluations aren't suitable for this teaching medium. Dr. Wagner stated that we cannot change the standard evaluation form but we can improve the Distance Learning Evaluation form. The question was raised at whether we should send the DL evaluation forms to the Department heads rather than to the individual faculty member? The group agreed that we should send the evaluations to the Department Head and send a notice to the individual faculty member.