The meeting was called to order by Chair Senger at approximately 8:55 a.m. May 7, 2009 room 126 Wing.
Members present: Czerwinski, Glass, Senger, Kastantin, Gendreau, Seebach, Sudhakaran. (Yu was excused due to class meeting conflict) (Poulton was excused due to a prior commitment. Poulton submitted email comments for the on-line education recommendations)
Minutes for the APC meeting April 30, 2009 were reviewed.
MSP to approve as drafted.
The meeting focused on an APC response to the additional committee charge from Faculty Senate dated September 2, 2008: Review the current status of on-line education at UWL and recommend ways that the University can plan for the long rage future of this area of instruction. Chair Senger drafted 6 recommendations together with discussion points for 5 of the recommendations. The recommendations and discussion points were well prepared and mirrored APC’s prior discussions on the topic. The recommendations and discussion are as follows:
1. Definition of Online Course: Online courses are defined as those courses where 50% or fewer of the contact hours occur as face-to-face classroom activities.
Discussion: Currently, courses at UW-L are assessed an "online fee" based upon the extent to which they use D2L for content delivery and work performed (e.g. quizzes, exams, assignments). While this may be an appropriate definition for determining the assessment of a fee used in supporting the technology it is not necessarily a definition useful for academic and program review. The proposed definition focuses on the extent to which online activities replace traditional face-to-face contact hours.
2. Recommendation: The Registrar's Office should implement mechanisms for tracking offerings of course sections that meet the proposed definition of online courses.
Discussion: One possible mechanism is to designate a range of section numbers that can be used to indicate that a section will follow an online format. This identification along with the usual data maintained on courses (e.g. term of offering, number of students, distribution of grades or average GPA) and reported for various purposes (e.g. retention and promotion review of faculty as well as program review) will allow programs, and committees such as APC and APR, to better assess course offering patterns and their effectiveness in programs.
3. Recommendation: The Academic Program Review committee should require programs to discuss the use and effectiveness of any replacement of face-to-face contact hours with online activities.
Discussion: The last few years have seen an increase in courses that utilize online activities as a substitute for face-to-face contact hours. The intent of this recommendation is to ensure that this shift in offering patterns occurs in a purposeful way and is monitored by departments.
4. Recommendation: The Academic Planning Committee should add to its list of review criteria a discussion of the use of online courses in proposals for new programs. Where proposals build on existing programs (e.g. moving a minor to a major) prior use and effectiveness of online offerings should be addressed.
5. Recommendation: UCC and GCC should develop policies to re-review existing courses that over time shift from a regular offering format to an online offering format.
Discussion: It is reasonable to expect that for the foreseeable future new courses will be proposed that utilize an online offering pattern and that some existing courses will evolve into an online offering pattern. The intent of this recommendation is to ensure that these two situations are equally reviewed.
6. Recommendation: APC should re-review existing programs if programs change to the point that 50% or more of the courses in the program are offered as online courses.
MSP to approve these recommendations and forward same to Faculty Senate.
Faculty Senate Chair Heim expressed interest in receiving the APC recommendations concerning the additional charge for any further Faculty Senate directed actions. Expeditious submission of these minutes seemed an appropriate measure to satisfy Faculty Senate Chair Heim’s interest.
Chair Senger was commended by APC for his exemplary leadership during the year.
This represented the final meeting of APC for the academic year.
Meeting adjourned approximately 9:15.
Joseph T. Kastantin, Secretary