Online Course Criticism Blog

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Training A Department Chair to Recognize Quality in Online Learning

Recently I have been involved in several inter-institutional conversations in which the need for department chairpersons to be able to recognize quality in online courses has arisen. The focus of these types of conversations tends to be on rubrics or checklists. However, to counterbalance these approaches (which do have value in their own right), I thought I would point to some specific elements of the Online Course Criticism Model that might be somewhat helpful in accomplishing this goal. While my focus in this model wasn't on training per se, I was motivated to find a way to help people who are inexperienced with quality online learning to become more aware (among other goals).

Let me point out a couple of sections from Constructing Educational Criticism of Online Courses: A Model for Implementation by Practitioners relevant to this question:

- One paragraph (on pages 173-174 of the pdf or 156-157 of the printed document) briefly explains the value of Online Course Criticism in "educating" those without online course experience.

- This idea is expounded upon in an earlier section (specifically pp 55-56 of the pdf or pp 38-39 of the printed document, but that whole chapter adds more depth).

- The importance of a robust, qualitative approach (as opposed to relying only on a "checkboxing" approach) is summarized in the paragraph starting at the bottom of p. 45-46 (pdf) or p. 28-29 (printed).

- The Online Course Criticism model is summarized in Chapter 6 (pdf page 114 or printed page 97), and an example criticism is provided in Chapter 7 (pdf page 136 or printed page 119). The "Portrayal" section (p. 137-149 or p 120-132) is probably *most* helpful as an illustration.


I'm curious to hear the thoughts of others on relevance/irrelevance of this kind of approach to "training" of chairpersons or others.

6 Comments:

  • Kelvin--One of the things that I like about your model is that it seeks to go beyond the "rubric" or "checklist" model that we use to measure quality courses which allows us to look beyond requirements and criteria.

    By Anonymous Elspeth, at 1:35 PM  

  • Thanks, Elspeth. That has been my goal! :-)
    That being said, I am beginning to connect the Online Course Criticism Model to a set of updatable "standards" since there is so much demand for such things. It is my hope that such a connection will facilitate the emergence of a set of empirically validated design guidelines. These, in turn, may play a role in the formation of a pattern language.

    By Blogger Kelvin, at 1:54 PM  

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