Middle States Expectations for Distance Education
Institutional Context and Commitment
Institutional commitment to Morgan Online includes processes and resources for development and delivery of online courses and programs, processes and resources for development and delivery of online certificate programs, membership in Maryland Online and participation in the Maryland Online Seat Bank, guidance from the MSU Distance Education Committee, and oversight by the Division of Academic Affairs, the Office of Professional and Continuing Studies, and the Center for Performance Assessment.
Curriculum and Instruction
Programs and courses offered through Morgan Online are consistent with the role and mission of Morgan State University and the offering departments or programs. There are no distinctions between programs offered through distance education and those offered in a traditional format. Only approved courses and programs (see University and MHEC policy guidelines) will be offered through Morgan Online. Selection of programs to be offered via distance education is the decision of the appropriate academic unit. The academic units provide oversight of a program that is offered via distance education to ensure currency of the program, its courses, and resources. Courses pass through the required MSU approval process and evaluated via the Quality Matters Rubric for online course design and delivery.
Middle States requires and Morgan mandates adequate support for faculty in the development and delivery of an electronically offered course or program. In establishing the growth of Morgan Online to support the mission and strategic goals of MSU, Morgan and its faculty have considered issues of workload, compensation, ownership of intellectual property resulting from the program, and the implications of program participation for the faculty member's professional evaluation processes.
Program delivery and student support in an online learning environment differs from that of the traditional class and campus venue. Today's student is different, both demographically and geographically, from students of previous generations. These differences affect everything from admissions policy to library services. Reaching these students, and serving them appropriately, bring major challenges to today's institutions. Distance education increases the challenge of meeting the evolving needs of these twenty-first century learners, supporting their learning and providing them with the tools to be successful in their courses, their programs and their career.
Evaluation and Assessment
Middle States mandates assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness relative to the campus mission and strategic goals at all levels of the institution. As with any program on campus, Morgan Online offerings must comply with the requirements of the MSU Comprehensive Assessment Plan which requires annual reporting on student learning outcomes and use of data for program improvement. The results of assessment of Morgan Online, as will all assessment at MSU, are used to guide curriculum design and delivery, pedagogy, and educational processes, and will affect future policy, decision-making, resource allocation, and planning.
Morgan Online Goals
- Increase access to course and program offerings for Morgan's key constituencies to most effectively accommodate the scheduling challenges of today's college student.
- Increase student success in online academic programs by providing ongoing, intentional and planned support services for their learning.
- Offer alternative methods of course and program delivery to increase flexibility of course and program delivery options for students enrolled in degree completion programs or non-credit offerings.
- Increase market share in and out of the region and reach a more culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse student population.
- Increase enrollment by expanding service area, access, delivery options, and content/program offerings.
- Use a student-centered approach to ensure provision of excellent services to students through continuous evaluation and improvement of courses and programs offered at a distance.
- Provide challenging, rigorous, high-quality coursework based on clear and understandable objectives from which students can develop intellectually, personally, and professionally.
- Provide all necessary resources, including technical support, library services, and administrative support to students to ensure effortless transition into and maintenance in the distance education environment.
Morgan Online Objectives
The goals for Morgan Online will be accomplished through the following objectives:
- Develop and offer quality online credit and non-credit courses and programs in keeping with high standards for excellence required of all MSU traditional courses and programs, following the MSU and MHEC guidelines and procedures for development and approval of course and program offerings.
- Train faculty in the design, development and delivery of effective online courses using the Quality Matters rubric as the standard for evaluation of these courses and programs.
- Recruit and enroll students using Morgan's recruitment and admissions processes and under the guidance of the sponsoring departments and the Office of Continuing Studies.
Assess and evaluate student success within the framework of MSU's Comprehensive Plan and in keeping with best practice in assessment and in compliance with the requirements of Morgan's Center for Performance Assessment and Comprehensive Assessment Plan.
Meet the online learning needs of the community by providing outreach, educational opportunities, and workforce training in areas relevant to local, regional and national priorities.