Colorado Online @ Project Update: March

Colleagues,

This has been a busy semester for the Colorado Online @ project and I have a number of updates for you.

Connecting across colleges.  More than 350 faculty, instructors, and staff participated in the Online Faculty and Instructor Mini-Conference on February 18. Participants were able to see first-hand the progress each subcommittee has made, ask questions, and work with each other to provide feedback during focus sessions and discipline breakout groups. Recordings and PowerPoint presentations used during the mini-conference can be found on the Colorado Online @ blog under each subcommittee’s page: Academic Affairs, Learning Design, Learning Resources, Student Support Services, Technology.  We will follow up on suggestions for additional conversations at the 2:2 this fall and in other venues.    

Course scheduling/registration model.  In February, representatives from each subcommittee worked with online learning consultants from MindWires, Inc. to review the viability of different models. On March 1, the Steering Committee decided on the following approach:

  • There was consensus that we should use consortial (aggregated) sections vs. listing all course sections individually (as long as we are able to stay in compliance with Title IV rules and it can work technologically). 
  • The new model will emphasize home college sections, with enough aggregated sections to ensure that students from all colleges have access to flexible online options (like the accelerated courses and different parts of term currently available through CCCOnline). 
  • Students who enroll in aggregated sections will be assigned to specific sections more frequently throughout the registration process so that they are notified of their instructor and required course materials further in advance.  
  • The number of online sections to be taught by each college will be based on historic enrollment data and will be determined centrally to support strategic enrollment management across the consortium.  Colleges will be responsible for hiring instructors and providing instructional oversight.
  • To realize the full benefit of our consortial approach, the Steering Committee noted that we will likely need to do things more alike than we do now (examples included pre-requisites / co-requisites, start dates/parts of term, and use of OER).

Timeline.  I will convene a very small group of people to build the final registration model, lay the foundation for the financial model, and draft the preliminary IT project request over the next couple months.  Once we know how long it will take to build the necessary registration technology, we will be able to determine the timing for when courses will begin transitioning to the new model.  Our plan is still to start small with just a few Colorado Online @ courses in Spring 2023 (SPA 111, ECE, and one or two courses taught by most if not all colleges so that we can verify that the new registration process works as anticipated).  Most courses will then transition to the new model during the following year, AY23/24. 

Next Steps. I am in the process of reviewing recommendations presented to the Project Team in March, including:

  • Software and resources needed to better coordinate disability services among colleges (Student Support Subcommittee)
  • Messaging in D2L, and integration with ReadSpeaker software (Technology Subcommittee)
  • A shared course framework and a syllabus management tool (Learning Design Subcommittee)

Check out the Colorado Online @ blog for more details and a list of upcoming recommendations.

I will host an open forum on April 21, 2022, from 3:30-5 p.m. to provide additional updates and answer questions before the end of the academic year. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me or Tammy Vercauteren, Project Director for Colorado Online.     

Sincerely,

Landon

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