Last year both Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota brought together task groups to formulate more strategic approaches to online learning. At Minnesota State, an Online Strategy workgroup chartered by the Leadership Council published a report titled Advancing Online Education in Minnesota State that supported four broad goals: (1) to collaborate across institutions in ways that increase (2) access to and the (3) quality of online opportunities that remain (4) affordable for students compared to other higher education providers. The workgroup also prioritized nine immediate action steps resulting in the development of a quality improvement process (QIP) site to provide a common framework to implement those actions steps and advance the state of online education throughout the systems. The University of Minnesota, through its Online Steering Committee and TeachingSupport collaborative, addressed five areas including (1) a strategic positioning statement; (2) operational support; (3) a process to evaluate the current and emerging system-wide technologies supporting online; (4) building a collaborative approach to provide resources, faculty development, and best practices for online instruction; and (5) ensuring that colleges, academic units, and campuses have guidelines for online teaching and course development. In this session, we will share the approaches we took to gather data, seek input from key stakeholders, issue recommendations, and share current status.
Kim Lynch, Minnesota State; Bob Rubinyi, Center for Educational Innovation, University of Minnesota