Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tracking the Impact of eLearning at Community Colleges

The Instructional Technology Council (ITC) is an organization that provides leadership and professional development to its network of eLearning experts by advocating, collaborating, researching, and sharing exemplary, innovative practices and potential in learning technologies. The organization recently released a report titled 2008 Distance Education Survey Results: Tracking the Impact of eLearning at Community Colleges.

The report is a must read for faculty, administrators, technical staff, graduate students, anyone involved with distance education at any level - not just community colleges. Here's some of the key findings:

  • Campuses reported an 11.3 percent increase for distance learning enrollments, while increases in overall campus enrollments averaged less than two percent -- 70 percent of the respondents stated student demand exceeds current distance learning course offerings.
  • Many colleges have significantly increased their number of blended or hybrid and/or Web-enhanced or Web-assisted courses.
  • Most colleges have rapidly expanded their student services and technology support services to meet accreditation expectations of “equivalency” with traditional face-to-face courses.
  • Thirty-one percent of the campuses surveyed are considering switching from Blackboard/WebCT, which had seen a near monopoly in the past. The merger of Blackboard and WebCT has prompted a number of campuses to review their learning management system commitments.
  • Administrators continue to identify finding and/or compensating adequate “support staff needed for training and technical assistance” as their greatest challenge. Workload issues are their greatest challenge related to faculty.
  • Assessing student learning and performance in the distance education environment emerged as the greatest challenge for students in 2008.
The report was authored by Fred Lokken , Associate Dean for the Truckee Meadows Community College Web College.

A downloadable PDF of the 9 page report is linked here.

No comments: