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Northwest College

  • Website: www.nwc.cc.wy.us  
  • Enrollment: Supplemental 10-12 
  • Medium: WEN Video, Online

Method(s) of course procurement

Over 70 general education and career and technical classes are available via distance education each semester from Northwest College. A support class to instruct students in how to be successful in online courses is offered on a continuing basis every 8 weeks. All courses at NWC are created by faculty in the content area with transfer to a four institution or the workplace in mind. The Distance Education staff -- consisting of the Dean of Extended Campus and Workforce, the Instructional Technology Coordinator, and the Instructional Technology Specialist -- support both faculty and students. Workshops run continually for faculty to ensure the course is developed according to best practices. This training ensures that faculty understand best practices for development of online courses, both technically and pedagogically. Northwest College has quality checks in place (as written in the NWC Distance Education Guidelines) and will offer no class that does not meet that standard. Additionally, NWC is a member of Quality Matters, an external evaluator for online classes. 

Course evaluation and improvement

Courses must pass the Online Course Readiness Review by the Instructional Technology Coordinator and the content area Division Chair before it can run online for the first time. After passing this quality test, students will evaluate the course after 70 percent of the course has expired. The Instructor receives the results of the student evaluations after grades are in for that semester. Student comments are reviewed by the Instructor and the Instructor's Division Chair in order to determine what improvements need to be made. Online courses are then evaluated by students every third time the course is taught. Faculty are also encouraged to submit their course to Quality Matters for an outside evaluation. If they meet the Quality Matters standard, they are then paid an additional development stipend.