Eastern Wyoming College
- Website: www.ewc.wy.edu
- Enrollment: Supplemental 11-12
- Medium: WEN Video, Online, Web conference
Eastern Wyoming College employs competent faculty members qualified to accomplish the mission and goals of the institution. In determining acceptable qualifications of its faculty, EWC uses the guidelines established within the Higher Learning Commission which states that a “qualified faculty” consists of “people who by formal education and tested experience know what students must learn.” It goes on to say that such faculties “create the curricular pathways through which students gain the competencies and skills they need.” (Core Component 3b) This set of guidelines can be referenced at http://www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org/download/FacultyQual.pdf. To ensure the highest quality faculty, the college’s standard for all credit classes is that full‐time and adjunct faculty should possess a master’s degree. There are exceptions in some disciplines, but all exceptions must be approved by the Learning office. All degrees and coursework must be earned from a regionally accredited college or university. EWC also considers competence, effectiveness, related work experiences in the field, professional licensure and certifications, honors and awards, documented excellence in teaching, or other demonstrated competencies and achievements that contribute to effective teaching and student learning.
EWC faculty receive one-on-one assistance with the Instructional Technologist in developing distance education classes. Additional professional development through webinars, conferences, technology workshops and mentoring are also available. EWC has adopted Quality Matters to assess the quality course design standards of the distance education classes.
The EWC distance faculty pre-service professional development components include full-time faculty release time to develop a new course and scheduled time with the Instructional Technologist for one-on-one instruction with the LMS. Improvements are made prior to going live with the distance course. On-going professional development components include faculty workshops during in-service, the WyDEC annual conference, and training on the web conferencing software (Elluminate), compressed video and the latest technologies, as well as additional faculty-selected professional development.
EWC distance education faculty members are expected to provide to the students an approved course syllabus outlining the course requirements, learning activities designed to engage students and in the use of the LMS tools. Another expectation is that graduates will be able to demonstrate communication, analytical and quantitative reasoning, technology, social awareness and information literacy skills necessary to meet the challenges of the workforce or continuation of a post-secondary education. The Distance Education Handbook articulates further these expectations. Quality Matters includes standards regarding communication skills, providing timely and meaningful feedback, creating learning activities that engage students, and ensuring students interact with each other.
Method(s) of evaluation
The EWC distance education instructors are expected to uphold the Quality Matters standards. Quality Matters is a faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. The student evaluation of courses are assessments designed to improve the course. These student evaluations are used to assess both full-time and part-time instructors. The division evaluation of instruction is conducted by trained administrators to assess the full-time and part-time instructors. These evaluations are reviewed by the Division Chairs, Associate Dean for Outreach and/or the Vice President for Learning. These results are used in part to improve the course. The Instructional Technologist works with the faculty to correct deficiencies which affect the quality of the course.