Student concerns and preferences prompts introduction of new prioritization method for online faculty

Faculty involvement and expertise were assigned as primary considerations for full-time faculty, teaching distance education courses.

This new system of prioritization was discussed during the May 17 Academic Senate meeting.

Online and Distance Education Advisory introduced such practices based on policy studies at other colleges in the California Community College system.

Distance Education Advisory Committee Chair, Moses Wolfenstein, discussed the steps faculty should take to promote a cohesive experience and development of academic achievement in students.

While course assignment is entirely up to the Division Deans, the Online and Distance Education Advisory prepared a statement outlining suggested practices in response to concerns regarding faculty availability to students.

“This should not be conceived of as a policy or practice guide,” Wolfenstein said.

Full-time Human Development Professor, Kristie Daniel-DiGregorio, said this semester there was a reluctance for students to take classes in person.

The result, students have shifted toward taking online classes, which ODE said should be taught through certification and professional development.

“The reason we’re considering this is that we know there is a future in demand for online that is not reflective of our past,” Wolfenstein said.

The practices limit the maximum percentage load of online or in-person courses allowing deans to allocate the appropriate modality and number of courses to faculty with experience and skill in distance education courses.

Academic Senate President, Darcie McClelland, said there have been concerns in various areas about how online sections will be given to faculty who were receiving evaluations that were very skeptical of their online teachings.

“If we don’t have system stance of contact in our classes, that’s going to affect our credition and that means all of us will be out of jobs. It really should be the business of every faculty member on campus to make sure every online class is taught with integrity,” McClelland said.