Quality of University Graduate Programs on the Iowa Communications Network
Executive Summary Recommendations
March 9, 1995
- Assessment of course or program quality for off-campus offerings should be commensurate with that for on-campus offerings.
- Develop a series of workshops, seminars, and demonstrations to provide faculty the opportunity to examine and exchange viewpoints about distance education and use of the ICN in graduate courses and programs.
- Ensure adequate time and support for faculty to adapt existing and new instruction suitable for teaching at a distance over the ICN. By using a formative research model, programs will be able to assess the quality of courses and their impact on learning, hence, maintaining the highest quality of on-campus courses to those being offered over the ICN.
- Provide faculty training and hand-on experience in becoming proficient in the technical aspects of using ICN telecommunications. To date--faculty have been trained to teach over the ICN.
- Provide adequate recognition and reward systems for teaching over the ICN.
- Ensure that the appropriate infrastructure--including course scheduling and student enrollment, technical staff, library resources and services, properly-equipped classroom facilities--is in place before approval of course or program offerings over the ICN.
- Offer only those programs or courses best suited to instruction over the ICN, paying attention to issues of access, cost, and quality. The role of the faculty is essential to establishing instructional programs. Faculty empowerment is needed in the areas of: curriculum decisions, participation, change considerations
- Explore partnerships and strategic alliances with other postsecondary institutions, schools, employers, and government to further develop the University's ICN capabilities.
- Residency requirements should be left up to the academic areas who would be better informed as to the need for this requirement. Departments offering graduate programs over the ICN should be held accountable for maintaining integrity and quality standards associated with residency.
- The role of the Graduate Council should be to develop guidelines for academic departments. Should discrepancies exist between department programs and Graduate Council guidelines, appropriate action between the Graduate College and department should be taken.