Prior to the formation of our Intake Team, there were no systems in place to help faculty when they contacted OSU Extended Campus about developing an online course. Depending on whom they talked to, the information the faculty member received would be different, leading to various problems in course development, marketing and budgeting. It was also a great frustration to faculty members because there was no clear system for them to follow.
The Intake Team formed to solve this problem. The team evaluated the current processes, discussed and researched solutions and then devised the current system.
Faculty are informed of this process and sent a link to the form when they inquire about developing courses with Ecampus. The form is a PDF document that is short and to the point and only takes a few minutes to fill out. The PDF is a copy of a Web form that is fed into a custom database designed by Ecampus.
All the information regarding the process is presented on a webpage along with the link for the faculty to get started filling out the form.
The Intake Team meets weekly to evaluate all new course proposals from faculty. All proposals are submitted in a consistent manner via a custom-programmed Web form that feeds into a database designed by the Intake Team. The team determined the evaluation criteria to be used for each new course, which allows each proposal to be rated according to the same standards while also being tracked and funded in a systematic manner. This creates a consistent message to faculty who inquire about development funding and about teaching online courses. Internally, it also means there is now increased communication throughout Ecampus. Now a member of Marketing, Department and Student Services, and Program Development and Training are fully engaged in the process. All new course proposals and course refresh proposals are evaluated by the team using unique perspectives and expertise.
The database the team created allows for the ability to track proposals that have been submitted, if they have been approved and how much funding was awarded. It maintains a record of the scoring systems and the number of points awarded to each course proposal, and it also stores any emails related to the proposal. The database allows documents to be uploaded, such as a copy of the course syllabus, a copy of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) and the notation of the date the signed MOU was received by the department. Since its inception, the Intake Team has approved and successfully developed and delivered more than 250 online courses for OSU. These courses are in a broad range of subjects dfrom almost every college at OSU and many courses that are greatly relevant to the thematic areas of our strategic plan.
The Intake Team has been a major success thus far, and our process could easily be duplicated and implemented at other continuting-education units. Our Effecitve Practice has made a significant impact on the advancement of the strategic mission of OSU Extended Campus. Most importantly, the actions of the team have given faculty a clearer understanding of what it takes to develop an online course and how to obtain all the pertinent information regarding this process. The number of quality courses offered online via Ecampus has grown considerably as a result of the Intake Team’s efforts, which, in turn, means more distance students worldwide are able to continue their education with an accredited institution such as OSU. In addition, the increased course selection was a contributing factor in OSU being ranked among the nation’s 25 top colleges that administer online degrees by thebestcolleges.org earlier this year.
Access – When looking at a proposed course, one of the questions we ask is how many times per year will the course be taught and if it is intended to provide additional access to students. We look favorably on those courses that provide additional access to students in different formats.
Faculty Satisfaction – Faculty know that their submissions are being held to the same set of criteria as others when going through the proposal process, and this clear formula helps them more easily understand what it takes to propose (and, in many cases, develop) a high-quality course for their students. The process of proposing and developing an online course is much more effective as a result of the guidelines established by the Intake Team.
Learning Effectiveness – We look at the course subject and outcomes to make sure it is something that lends itself to high-quality online learning that is representative of a premier research and teaching institution such as OSU.
Student Satisfaction – All courses have a student evaluation process they submit to, meaning students directly benefit from the practices implemented by the Intake Team.
The only equipment needed to implement the Ecampus Intake Team's Effective Practice is Internet access, a capable web browser and the database we created in order to track the course proposals made by OSU faculty.
The process and service is cost effective. There is no income/expenditure analysis because this process is accomplished in a weekly meeting.