Yesterday the Institute hosted a panel discussion dealing with “How can the teaching of online courses be evaluated for P & T? A Panel Discussion with Keith Bailey, David DiBiase, Diane Parente and Angela Linse”.
Many PSU folks joined us, both face-to-face in 315 Rider Building as well as people over polycom from Brandywine, Fayette and Erie. Dave and the folks from the eDutton Institute created a nice peer review guide for online courses that the college of EMS utilizes. One thing Dave mentioned is that, using this guide, non-online teachers would still be capable of providing a quality review of an online course. This sparked some interesting debate among both panelists and attendees. Keith Bailey and Diane Parente offered their methods of online course peer review as well. Both Dave and Diane encourage faculty members to be ‘in’ the online environment the teacher is leveraging for the course for at least a month, sometimes for the entire semester. Keith indicated this could be a tough sell for faculty, when they already have a great deal of commitments vying for their time. Another interesting point was raised from Brandywine, where they mentioned the guideline they established that keeps most tenure-track instructors away from online instruction. Some of this is due to SRTE ratings typically being 6/10s of a point lower for online instructors vs. resident instructors.
All in all, a great discussion and you could tell the panelists and some of the participants were passionate about the dialog. Hopefully we can build off this enthusiasm and continue working towards a consistent, quality-driven method for evaluating the growing number of online courses offered around PSU.