UPCEA Central 2017 Concurrent Sessions


Wednesday, October 18

2:30 - 3:20pm      Concurrent Sessions I 

Practical Campus and Community Engagement
Community and Economic Engagement

Community engagement and outreach are part of the mission of a land grant university. Kansas State University Global Campus has supported efforts to involve the Manhattan community and state through educational outreach for over 50 years. UFM Community Learning Center, the community outreach department in Global Campus, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018, providing community education serving the campus and community through practical volunteer-driven programs and services. This presentation will review key principles of program and community development and discuss two projects that serve a community need and also serve the university through student service learning and faculty engagement. The two programs to be discussed have won regional and national awards for service to the community and to underserved populations. UFM’s Teen Mentoring program serves high-risk teens in the local school district. KSU students serve as mentors. This is a structured after school program that provides informal support, discussion of key issues important to teen participants and opportunities for fun and recreation. Project EXCELL (Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning) provides enrichment and socialization to special needs adults in a college-like setting. Classes are held on Saturday mornings. KSU faculty advise the program and KSU students serve as mentors and classroom assistants. This past year, the program had 66 EXCELL students and over 100 KSU students volunteered during the semester to assist. The program will cover how these programs got their start, campus and community resources utilized, the service learning opportunities, expenses and funding for the programs.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) Key strategies for program development; 2) Review the importance of including campus and community partners in program planning efforts; and 3) Strategies for getting partners involved.

  • Linda Teener, UFM Community Learning Center
    : Linda Teener is the Executive Director of UFM Community Learning Center in Manhattan, KS. She oversees all aspects of this diverse organization, including educational programs, a lecture series, a community garden, and programs for specially targeted populations. Linda's specialty is creating programs to serve community and outreach needs.
  • Kayla Savage, UFM Community Learning Center
    Bio: Kayla Savage is responsible for managing UFM noncredit educational programs including course development and selection, securing teachers, producing class catalogs, distributing catalogs and promoting classes, registration, evaluation of classes and teachers. Kayla is very good at creating collaborations that benefit partner organizations and bring new opportunities to the community.

From Antiquated to Automated: How to Break Up with Excel and Still Get Engaged
Marketing, Enrollment, and Student Services

The Office of Online Education engages in marketing and recruitment for all IU Online programs. Historically, all OOE prospect communications were manually generated and largely generic. Our Request for Information (RFI) form tied to a simple in-house database. OOE staff collated prospects lists and sent simple email responses through Outlook. With no ability to track the effectiveness of our prospect engagement, OOE was ready for a new solution. Leveraging our CRM (Salesforce), we piloted an automated communication flow for one multi-campus undergraduate degree program in March 2017. After technical analysis and significant stakeholder engagement, 110 programs were automated by the end of May 2017. The new process includes a Salesforce-linked web form that loads prospects directly into our CRM. From there, prospects are automatically loaded into an appropriate communication “journey” in Marketing Cloud based on their interest in a specific degree and campus they are likely to attend.  This improved process has allowed us to reduce the timespan from initial web form submission to start of targeted messaging, automate prospect rosters and disseminate information, and increase the total number of engagements with prospective students. We can now ensure standard messaging and reinforce the IU Online brand for online programs offered across a multi-campus system. Using the power of analytics, we are reviewing open rates, click rates, and other metrics as we work to implement Phase II of our prospect communication plan. The goal is to move beyond patching an antiquated workflow and focus on building personalized relationships with online prospects.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) How to evaluate current business process to identify areas for improvement; and 2) How to use analytics to improve communication strategies.

  • Mitchell Farmer, Indiana University Office of Online Education
    : Mitchell Farmer is Assistant Director, Campus Partner Programs for the Office of Online Education at Indiana University. Mitchell supports the development of seamless online student services through a collaborative partnership model with offices across the IU system.
  • Kayla Miller, Indiana University Office of Online Education
    Bio: Kayla Elliott Miller is Associate Director, Online Recruitment for the Office of Online Education at Indiana University. Kayla is responsible for university-wide online recruitment efforts and prospective student services enhancements.

Changing the Tires on a Moving Car: Re-inventing Online Course Design
Program Planning & Implementation

Online course design is not new at Central Michigan University – quite the opposite, in fact.  We enjoy a long and successful history in online learning with hundreds of courses and many award winning programs as evidence. Despite this success, our course design practices were becoming increasingly challenged.  Our existing model placed the instructional designer at the center of the process, as liaison to several other areas, contracting agent, project manager, and the metaphorical carrier of the water for all involved.  Three full-time designers were able to contribute to the development of a few dozen new courses per year, and were quickly becoming overwhelmed. In the face of increasing demand, faculty push back, and aging paradigms, in a manner of speaking, something had to give. Dixon (2008) indicates that online course design is complex. Caplan (2004) suggests that course production requires concerted effort from many players.  Discover how these principles were leveraged to transform a design process at the end of its rope to one which acknowledges twenty-first century realities and has tripled capacity.  Hixon, E. (2008). Team-based online course development: A case study of collaboration models. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 11(4), 8.  Caplan, D.  (2004).  The development of online courses.  In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (Eds.), Theory and practice of online learning. Athabasca, AB, Canada: Athabasca University.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) How to leverage team-based course development; 2) Coordinating faculty to maximize peer-influence and motivation; and 3) Achieving more with the same resources through task alignment.

  • Jeremy Bond, Central Michigan University
    : Jeremy Bond is an education, instructional and information technology professional with twenty years experience. He is currently the Interim Director of e-Learning and an adjunct instructor at CMU and formerly taught  community college for fifteen years. Away from work, he is a dedicated husband, father, and numismatist.

Developing a Faculty Training Model to Promote Leadership, Collaboration and Creativity in Competency-Based Education
Online Administration

Developing competency-based education models in a traditional academic world requires creativity and solution-oriented leadership across a myriad of programmatic elements. At the University of Wisconsin-Extension, we are developing a sustainable, engaging, nimble training model for our faculty. Aimed at encouraging mentoring from within by identifying and engaging faculty leaders, it focuses upon continuous improvement and sustainable, standardized curricular development practices, the similarities between traditional and competency-based education, as well as the differences.  During this session, attendees will learn about the journey of developing such a training model, including the very real push-and-pull of workload, tight budgetary times, and focus upon enrollments that public institutions of higher education are facing.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) How faculty engaging and mentoring other faculty is extremely important; 2) How fitting long-term continuous training into the broader, institutional context is as essential as it is challenging; and 3) Learn how a training program that may seem insurmountable can begin with just a few, dedicated people.

  • Judee Richardson, University of Wisconsin-Extension
    : Judee develops competency-based education policies and curriculum. For 20+ years, she has built bridges between educational institutions, government, and local communities.  Judee has a Ph.D. in psychology, certifications in Evaluation Practice and Restorative Justice Mediation. Main areas of focus are social justice, data-informed strategic decision-making, research measurement and environmental stewardship.

4:40 - 5:30pm      Concurrent Sessions II 

Educational Access in Rural Communities
Community and Economic Engagement

Affordable educational high-speed broadband internet access is critical to address the serious “homework gap” of many rural students whose access is severely limited due to geographical and financial barriers. The Educational Access Network (EAN) is a first-of-its kind educational system designed to provide affordable, rigorous online educational access to rural communities. The EAN is designed not only to provide flexibility and access to degree-seeking students, but to provide opportunities for professional and personal development opportunities and improve public health and economic development. The presentation will outline local, regional, and national collaborations that were necessary to implement the EAN, the intended outcomes on rural communities, and the assessment plan for measuring its impact.  The changing landscape of higher and continuing education, the use of technology to gap the digital divide in rural communities, and the inherent obligation of colleges and universities to provide equal access will also be discussed.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will gain: 1) Appreciation for the importance of educational broadband for students across the lifespan; 2) Recognition of the digital divide between residents of rural communities and those who live in urban settings; and 3) Understanding of the inherent responsibility of colleges and universities to provide equal access to all students.

  • Steve VandenAvond, Northern Michigan University
    Bio: Steve VandenAvond, Northern Michigan University’s Vice President for Extended Learning and Community Engagement, came to NMU from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where served as the Associate Provost for Outreach and Adult Access. Before that, he was a faculty member and administrator at Silver Lake College and Michigan Technological University.

Student-centered Policies for Online Courses
Program Planning & Implementation

LAS Online is a program of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the largest academic unit at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Founded almost a decade ago, today it offers over 150 online courses some of which are offered as standalone and a substantial number as part of a set of fully online degree programs.  In the last two years, the program’s leadership among other initiatives is using past success as the foundation and contemporary challenges as the springboard to craft new policies that promote academic integrity, course quality, student feedback, financial sustainability as well as the development of new classes and programs. One example of these new policies that was implemented in 2016 with the goal of encouraging academic integrity is asking instructors to verify the identity of online students for a minimum percentage of the overall course grade. This policy applies for new development grandfathering existing courses until their renewals. The policy was welcomed by some faculty, questioned by others and is in the process of being adopted by several of the program’s courses.  In this presentation we will discuss the impetus behind this and other policies that were either implemented or are under consideration as well as the benefits for students and faculty and the challenges in conceiving and applying them. Furthermore, we will illuminate the steps that are taken to seek buy in from faculty, communicate, implement and improve the policies and illustrate how they can enhance the student’s learning experience.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) Strategies for collaborating with faculty and students as well as academic leaders to craft policies for online students; 2) How to incentivize faculty and academic units to participate in the formulation and adoption of policies; and 3) Practical tips and real examples of implementing policies.

  • Kostas Yfantis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    : Kostas Yfantis serves as assistant director for Teaching and Learning with Technology for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Illinois. He oversees the college’s online courses and programs and directs a team that provides support to faculty who design and teach online classes.  For more information, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/yfantis/


Linking Online Students to the Major: Building Belonging to Promote Student Success
Marketing, Enrollment, and Student Services

How can we engage online students in the major?  Research clearly indicates the importance for students of developing meaningful connections to faculty, yet for online learners, the department and faculty often remain faceless and distant. Data also indicate that students who don’t feel a sense of belonging are often at-risk for withdrawing from school, but how can they ‘belong’ from a distance? We are implementing several strategies intended to generate a sense of belonging for our online students. Our current strategies include: sending a welcome letter from the Department, using a variety of online and social media tools to connect to students, piloting student-focused video, and the development of a majors’ map that identifies specific strategies online students can implement to get more value from their major. In this session we will provide an overview of our recent work to connect our online students in their major, and how we believe they will promote student success. Throughout the session we will invite the audience to share their best practices in creating a sense of belonging for online students and for linking students to their major program and the faculty who teach in that program.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) What the research and data indicates regarding the need for meaningful connections to student persistence and completion; and 2) Strategies we have and are implementing for connecting online students with the major, faculty, and department.

  • Mary Emery, South Dakota State University
    : Dr. Mary Emery, Department Head for Sociology at South Dakota State University, oversees seven online programs including an AS, BS, and minor in Sociology; a BS in Sociology in Human and Services; minors in Human and Social Services and Criminal Justice, and an multi-university Master’s degree in Community Development.
  • Carey Kilmer, South Dakota State University
    Bio: Carey Kilmer is Assistant Director for Continuing and Distance Education at South Dakota State University.  She oversees the work to support and advocates for online and adult students.  Carey holds a B.S. in Sociology from SDSU and a M.S. in Adult, Occupation and Continuing Education from Kansas State University.

Developing Faculty Teaching Presence using the Community of Inquiry Framework
Online Administration

The retention rates for online programs is lower than traditional face-to-face programs. With some online programs having dangerously high dropout rates, as high as 94 percent (Simmons, 2014), there is a clear need for improving the online learning environment. With the overwhelming expansion of online classes and programs, it is vitally important to identify quality teaching practices, and how online learning departments can successfully train faculty to teach online. This session will present the results of a research study that looked at how an American Midwest College trains faculty to develop methods of teaching presence in order to create quality online courses. This study analyzed and evaluated one faculty’s online course training program to find evidence of best practices for faculty development. The findings will be interpreted through the lens of the Community of Inquiry framework, specifically showcasing evidence of the three indicators of teaching presence as defined by Anderson et al. (2001): design and administration, facilitating discourse, and direct instruction.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn the results of this research study have implications for: 1) Online learning departments and how they train faculty; 2) The administration looking to improve student satisfaction and retention in online classes; 3) Faculty teaching the classes, and ultimately for the students taking the classes.

  • Shaun Moore, Oakland University
    Bio: Shaun Moore is the Director of e-Learning at Oakland University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, with a specialization in Higher Education. Along with his staff position, he is a part-time faculty in the School of Business and the Writing and Rhetoric departments.


Thursday, October 19

11:20am - 12:10pm      Concurrent Sessions III 

Project Management Approach to Online Course Development
Online Administration

Institutions have utilized various models in course design and development. During this session, the presenter will examine the merit of the different models. Discussion will focus on a best practice using the collaborative approach; the whats, whos, whens, and how much.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) How to outline high level "Work Break Structure" for developing an online course; 2) Identify needed resources; and 3) Create a high level schedule and budget.

  • Adam Samhouri, Higher Learning Partners- Regis University
    : Adam worked with several professional companies and educational institutions as a Lead Instructional Designer and or as a Project Manager. Certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) with PMI and as HLP Academic Director with Regis University, Adam provides strategic, academic, e-Learning, project management and consulting services to partner institutions.

The Art of Online Advising: Engaging and Retaining Distance Students
Marketing, Enrollment, and Student Services

As the virtual realm of higher education increases, the age demographic broadens. Consequently, whether an online student is 18 or 81, comfortable with the latest technology or not, they tend to share the same feelings of angst in launching (or re-launching) their collegiate experience. Academic Advisors are here to help! Finding effective ways to build a trusted rapport with online students can be challenging, but it is certainly possible. In fact, students report that it is quite necessary. This session focuses on the art of advising distance students: how to convey the tone you want students to “hear” in form of an email, how to address students’ feelings of apprehension, tips on building a trusted rapport and ways to foster a sense of belonging in an online environment.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:

Participants will learn practical ways to enhance their individual and mass communications to students, and leave this session with tangible examples to implement targeted campaigns and increase retention.
Session objectives include: 1) Roadblocks and strategies to efficient online advising; 2) Think critically about current communication practices in advising online students; 3) Strategies to convey a personal tone in individual and mass messages; 4) Explore ways to engage online students in their own advising practices; and 5) Discover how to implement new retention initiatives using personalized targeted campaigns for outreach.

  • Ashley Blake, Kansas State University Global Campus
    : Ashley Blake serves as academic advisor to undergraduate students in the distance Nutrition and Health and Social Science programs. As retention coordinator, she generates and refines outreach campaigns for all of K-State's undergraduate distance programs, placing a great deal of effort into personalizing communications so students feel connected, even online.

Adding Value: Data Driven Decision Making
Program Planning & Implementation

How can institutions that offer online or continuing education programs address the needs of students, potential students in the workforce seeking advancement or a career change, and employers? The University of Missouri has invested several million dollars since 2013 in new programs, as a request for proposal (RFP) process with MU’s schools and colleges has resulted in nearly 30 new online program offerings.  To assist academic units, the research unit at Mizzou Online has begun adding value for students and academic partners by producing market research and other reports upon request. This information is invaluable as it helps the academic unit determine whether an online program is viable prior to completing the RFP, or how to enhance an online program to improve career pathways and other outcomes for students. These reports provide information about online competitors, market demand, desired competencies and specialized skills, job titles, top employers and hiring region, historical changes in degrees conferred and employment in top occupations, relative growth of selected occupations, future projections, and salary levels. Mizzou Online is also beginning to utilize predictive modeling to forecast growth and give insights to aid in decision making. 

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:

Participants will gain an understanding of: 1) Using competitor and labor market information when making new program decisions; 2) Program evaluation in terms of labor market demand; 3) Curricular assessment in terms of workforce requirements; 4) Conducting skills gap analysis; and 5) Building, interpreting, and creating models for use in educational and market research as well as forecasting.

  • Terrie Nagel, Ph.D., University of Missouri
    Bio: Terrie Nagel has worked at Mizzou Online for 23 years,  recently as Assistant Director of Research, and in several UPCEA leadership positions. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from MU in 2016 and has received  the UPCEA Central Region John L. Christopher Outstanding Leadership and Research and Publication awards.


Not Only a Veteran: An Analysis of Online Veteran Student Subpopulations and the Implications for Student Services and Academic Support
Online Administration

In the summer of 2016, IU Online launched a collaborative partnership model for student services. The focus in the first year of the partnership model was to set up services that would support the general online student population. Moving into year two, existing partnerships will being to tailor services to different student population. Additionally, OOE expects to establish new partnerships for services specifically designed to support particular student subpopulations -- including student veterans. As part of that effort, OOE began to examine the online student population by traits including: age, gender, ethnicity, first generation, homeschool, and veteran/active duty. This presentation will apply the “veteran” indicator as a top-level filter and then look at the attributes and performance of subpopulations within the student veteran community. As much as possible, these veteran subpopulations will be compared against the non-veteran subpopulations of the same type as well as the larger online student population. OOE can also explore variations by campus types, from a national flagship institution, to a research intensive urban campus, to smaller teaching-focused regional campuses. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how the data will inform future development of student services and academic support for online students veterans as well as how it might enable us to better integrate student veterans into existing campus services targeted toward diverse student subpopulations.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:

Participants will learn: 1) How to use data to identify military connected students and to identify military connected student subpopulations;  2) How to compare military connected student performance against a general population; and 3) Strategies for supporting military connected students more holistically.

  • Mitchell Farmer, Indiana University Office of Online Education
    Bio: Mitchell Farmer is Assistant Director, Campus Partner Programs for the Office of Online Education at Indiana University. Mitchell supports the development of seamless online student services through a collaborative partnership model with offices across the IU system.
  • Rebecca Deasy, Indiana University Office of Online Education
    Bio: Rebecca Deasy is a Data Analyst in the Office of Online Education at Indiana University, where most of her time is spent reporting and analyzing online education data using business intelligence and data visualization software.


Friday, October 20

9:10 - 10:00am      Concurrent Sessions IV 

We Planned an Orientation but Built a Shopping Cart: Tranforming Orientation into a Customizable Student Resource.
Marketing, Enrollment, and Student Services

By moving away from a static, more linear, orientation of pre-programmed modules, IU Online’s student onboarding becomes a flexible experience by allowing students to select resources relevant to them at a particular point in time. Information about services and support can be difficult for students to track down - especially from off campus. Imagine an online student scouring a university’s numerous websites while trying to determine if online writing support is available, or whether the student is eligible to take part in a study abroad experience. IU Online’s onboarding site is housed in the university’s learning management system, thus providing not only an introduction to the LMS but also a one-stop hub for resources, information, and actual human support for students. Success coaches invite students to the onboarding portal within two weeks of admission and then make regular contact with new online students to assist with the transition back to college and/or to online classes. The coaches serve as conduits between students and other university service providers—including academic advisors and faculty members—to ensure students receive individualized support regardless of their ability to access a physical IU campus. Each coach is assigned a prescribed number of programs and students, and follows detailed communication and support plans based on best practices for support online student success. With the support of their coach, students identify their purpose for earning a college degree and establish a development plan focused on future goals, including how to leverage university resources to meet those goals.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) How to approach onboarding new online students; 2) How to use data to improve instructional design; and 3) How to leverage an LMS to create a just in time student resource.

  • Mitchell Farmer, Indiana University Office of Online Education
    Bio: Mitchell Farmer is Assistant Director, Campus Partner Programs for the Office of Online Education at Indiana University. He supports the development of seamless online student services through a collaborative partnership model with offices across the IU system.
  • Alison Bell, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
    Bio: Alison Bell is the Director of the Degree Completion Office at IUPUI, which provides online onboarding, success coaching, and career services in partnership with Office of Online Education.
  • Julia Sanders, Indiana University Information Technology Service
    Bio: Julia Sanders is a Principal Online Instructional Designer with eLearning Design & Services at Indiana University and works directly with OOE and faculty to design and build engaging online course environments.

Global Educational Leadership: Effective Strategies and Models

Strong educational leadership is at the heart of every successful school. Various models and strategies may be followed within various educational systems, yet they all point back to forming expanding exemplary frameworks. Such frameworks allow teacher leaders to inspire and influence future generations. This is the goal of the Galileo-Saudi Arabia Educational Leadership Immersion Program at Oakland University. In collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education, the Galileo-Saudi Arabia Educational Leadership Program seeks to train, educate and model strong leadership strategies that will transcend American school application to bring about lasting change and, ultimately, educational transformation. In our work within the program, we have learned many valuable strategies which enhance our educational leadership approaches towards an international base. Sensitivity to cultural paradigms form the foundation of all that we do. As we build capacity and efficacy for our teacher leaders through a shared leadership model, we develop theory to practice strategies. Such strategies will lead to personal commitments to be implemented in transforming their educational delivery models when returning to their home country. The Galileo-Saudi Arabia Leadership Program is committed to creating a strong educational leadership identity that moves across genders, and, ultimately, across oceans. We believe that when we build capacity in our global educational colleagues, we are building it in ourselves.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:

Participants will learn: 1) Educational leadership strategies which are culturally sensitive to international students; 2) Specific approaches which will provide an understanding of developing an effective inquiry model; and 3) Learn the importance of mentoring circles to a global educational model.

  • Anne Donato, Oakland University
    Bio: Dr. Anne Donato is currently the program director of the Galileo-Saudi Arabia Educational Leadership Immersion Program at Oakland University. As an author, administrator, and educator with 25 years of educational experience, she seeks to lead others in meeting educational needs of individuals based upon their personal paradigms and educational backgrounds.
  • Suzanne Klein, Oakland University
    Bio: Dr. Suzanne Klein is assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at Oakland University. Her other responsibilities include serving as Director of the Galileo Institute for Teacher Leadership,  and Co-Director for School Immersion in the Saudi Arabia Leadership Program. She leads in teaching and administration at all levels.

Leveraging Partnerships and Entrepreneurial Thinking to Maximize Program Success
Community and Economic Engagement

Tasked with creating a nonprofit management leadership training program for community members regardless of their educational preparation required us to develop entrepreneurial thinking. Project management of this initiative required active interactions with local nonprofit leaders, market research into what was already offered locally, and the creation of strong partnerships to gain community awareness and drive enrollment. After the initial R&D period, we concluded that Southeast Michigan has a strong need for a local center for nonprofit management training. To create a start-up program, we followed existing curricular guidelines published by Nonprofit Academic Centers Council and negotiated an agreement with our nonprofit research faculty member to create a plug and play curriculum of lecture notes and PPT presentations for each class period. During the year that the curriculum was being written, we worked existing partnerships to build excitement, find local nonprofit leaders instructors for the classes, engaged with the local Pontiac Nonprofit and Neighborhoods initiative, and created partnerships with professional organizations whose members might become students.  This is the heart of the session in which I will detail the importance of each of the start-up initiatives that all worked together to contribute to our success.  In Fall Semester 2016, we started our 6 class Nonprofit Management Certificate program and never had a single month in the red. Beginning with 7 students in November, we encouraged students to join at any new class. There are now 14 students in the program and we have just completed our first cohort.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:
Participants will learn: 1) How to work outside the university with community partners; and 2) Where to look for corporate sponsors/promoters.

  • Suzanne Rossi, Oakland University
    Bio: After 25 years in the private sector promoting educational materials and exotic travel, Suzanne Rossi came to Oakland University in 2008 to earn her MPA degree with the goal of becoming a nonprofit organization manager. After earning the MPA, she stayed on to become the MPA Program Coordinator.

SET and the Adjunct: Valuing Both Students and Instructors in Evaluations of Teaching
Online Administration

Despite wide-spread criticism, student evaluations of teaching (SETs) remain the primary tool for assessing college and university instructional quality. This is especially true for adjunct, or contingent, faculty teaching in online and distance programs. Adjunct faculty are often reviewed for continued employment based on limited performance data and subject to administrators’ quick assumptions from SET results. Academic administrators are also limited in their ability to review faculty comprehensively and efficiently. Our session will address one model of using this contentious aspect of university life as a meaningful point of engagement with all faculty around instructional support, student expectations, and continued personal growth. Through a transparent process of soliciting, documenting, and sharing faculty feedback on their SET results, we have made considerable strides in building relationships between faculty and their academic departments, for the benefit of students. In this interactive session, we’ll discuss ongoing research on the SET results of adjunct faculty teaching in both online and distance programs; provide an overview of our institution’s unique online survey system and processes; and address how we, as academic administrators and adjunct faculty advocates, use SET results to inform training, development, and performance evaluations. In addition, we’ll engage participants in identifying their own challenges with instructional quality assurance and provide simple action steps for implementation.

This session is designed to allow participants to meet the following learning outcomes:

Participants will learn: 1) Common SETs challenges/concerns; and 2) Walk-away with action steps for addressing these challenges. For this session attendees would be better equipped for critically considering how SETs are being used at their institution, and also understand one model in using SETs as a faculty support tool. The session will be particularly useful for those with a significant adjunct population.

  • Stephanie Bechtel, Central Michigan University
    : Stephanie Bechtel is the Director of Faculty Support and Assignment for CMU Academic Development. Her unit supports faculty who teach at satellite locations and online, with special attention to adjunct faculty. Their goal is to support and foster faculty engagement with the university, their academic departments and each other.
  • Dawn Welch, Central Michigan University
    Bio: Dawn Welch is the Coordinator of Faculty Assessment for CMU office of Faculty Support and Assignment. In this role, Dawn supports adjunct faculty with formative assessment efforts and giving them "voice" in instructional quality evaluations. Both an administrator and instructor, she approaches her work with empathy and experience.



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