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Dalton State College-2015--Hybrid Courses, -Entirely Online Courses, -Entirely Online Degree Programs

Year: 
2016

Goal 8 – Restructure Instructional Delivery -- Strategy 8.1 – Expand completely online opportunities

As noted earlier, the majority of students at Dalton State are challenged by the need to juggle work, family, and school responsibilities.  Expanding online opportunities offers students more flexibility and often enables them to enroll in an increased number of credit hours, as it eliminates the need to schedule time on campus.  We began addressing this need in 2011 when we became an eCore affiliate in the USG.  Combining eCore and Dalton State-based online courses, 695 students (438 unduplicated) enrolled in 164 course sections with a total of 1976 credit hours in Fall 2014.  In Spring 2015, 973 students (duplicated) took 207 combined eCore and Dalton State based online courses, for a total of 2733, which indicates a significant rise (40% in duplicated headcount, 38% in credit hours).   Of these attempted hours, 1374 (Fall 2014) and 1608 (Spring 2015) were eCore.  Additionally, many of our faculty teach for eCore.  One challenge has been the success rate in online courses.  Of the 137 sections offered since Spring 2011, the overall average completion rate has been 74%, but sometimes as low at 59% (high of 90%). 

To add to our success as an eCore affiliate, we offered to become the first institution to collaborate with Valdosta State University in the development of a shared eMajor program.  We were approved by the BOR to join the eMajor program in 2013, offering the B.S. in Organizational Leadership, for which we developed and are offering a concentration in Health Care Administration. The Organizational Leadership degree is specifically designed to be an adult completion degree, and with the entirely online format, we anticipate shortened time to degrees for this population. In early 2015 DSC was approved to collaborate with Georgia Southwestern State University on an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; later in the year DSC was approved to offer its own (non-collaborative) four-year degree in Health Information Management Systems, which will offer its upper-level coursework online.  Upper-division courses for the Health Information Management Systems degree will begin in Fall 2016, and those for the eMajor B.S. in Criminal Justice in Fall 2015. Enrollment in these programs has slowly increased; for example, the total enrollment for the B.S. in Organizational Leadership eMajor has grown from ten students in 2011 to fifty-three in 2015; currently twenty of those are Dalton State students, and there are eighty Dalton State students taking courses in eMajor programs.    

In early 2015 DSC was approved to collaborate with Georgia Southwestern State University on an online Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and to offer (by ourselves) a four-year degree in Health Information Management Systems.  Classes for these courses will begin in Fall 2015.   In addition, we are encouraging faculty to develop more completely online courses, especially those at the 3000 and 4000 level and those lower-division courses which that are not available through eCore.  We have been hampered in that regard because of loss of funding for our Instructional Technologist position in an earlier round of budget cuts.  However, that position was restored in Spring 2015 and the position filled in July 2015.  The individual who took the position has been able to offer enhanced training in online course development for our faculty.  The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) will be holding a sustained learning community for faculty desiring to build online courses.  Interest among faculty appears to be increasing with new hires who are more comfortable in an online environment and with increased promotion, training, and support for online instruction from our Center for Academic Excellence and library staff.  The college is now a member of Quality Matters as part of the University System of Georgia’s membership in that organization.  Additionally, the campus’ Online Education Committee is working to revise rubrics, approval processes, and registration processes for online courses to ensure quality and better student retention in those courses. Finally, beginning Fall 2015, faculty are being given the opportunity to apply for grants to develop new online and hybrid courses.  Two-thirds of the grant goes to the faculty member and one-third to the academic department. 

Hybrid instruction has, in general, been more popular than fully online courses with our faculty and students.  In Fall 2011, 864 students were enrolled in hybrid classes; in Fall 2014, 936, which was a percentage increase of 3.55%.  In Fall 2013, 3034 credit hours were attempted through hybrid instruction, an 8% increase from the Fall 2012 number of attempted credit hours.  Successful completion of hybrid hours has remained fairly consistent with an average of 86% from Fall 2011 to Spring 2015.

GOAL

Restructure Instructional Delivery to Support Educational Excellence and Student Success

Strategy -- ONGOING

Expand completely online opportunities

Summary of Activities

Joined eCore in 2011; approved to be a collaborative partner with Valdosta State University in USG’s first eMajor program in 2013; offering a concentration in the eMajor BS in Organizational Leadership program in Health Care Administration; Center for Academic Excellence and Library providing ongoing workshops and presentations about online instructional methods; Office of Distance Learning established format, guidelines and quality control process for online instruction; working with other institutions on additional eMajor programs, two of which we are providing leadership (Health Information and Criminal Justice); hired Instructional Technologist in Summer 2015.

Baseline

In 2011 there were 11 fully online courses offered by DSC faculty.

In 2011 there were 864 students enrolled in hybrid courses.

In 2011 ten students were enrolled in the B.S. Organizational Leadership program.

Measures of Progress

Ability to offer entire core curriculum online through eCore; increased number of completely online courses from 11 in 2011 to 14 in 2012 to 16 in 2013; offer 3 completely online bachelor’s degree program as of 2015.  By Fall 2015 20 Dalton State students were enrolled in the B.S. Organizational Leadership program and 28 in the B.S. Criminal Justice.

Measures of Success

By 2020

By this point we will have produced graduates from the two online programs (B.S. Criminal Justice, B.S. Organizational Leadership with concentration in Health Care Administration, and will have launched in Spring Fall 2016 the B.S. in Health Information Management Systems.

100% increase in number of completely online courses 100% (from 11 to 22)

50% increase in number of fully functioning, completely online programs, from two to three (50%) – B.S. in Health Information Systems Management

Partnerships

USG system office staff; Adult Learning Consortium staff; Valdosta State University eMajor staff; University of West Georgia eCore staff; Georgia Southwestern State University eMajor staff

Resources

Funds for faculty development; faculty training time; funds for technical support for faculty and students

People Involved

Vice President for Academic Affairs; Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs; Instructional Technologist; Director for Center for Academic Excellence; Library Director and staff; eCore staff; eMajor staff; selected faculty; professional advisors