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Northern Wyoming Community College District

  • Website: www.sheridan.edu
  • Enrollment: Supplemental 9-12 
  • Medium: WEN Video, IVC, Online

Method(s) of course procurement

Northern Wyoming Community College District courses being offered online go through a thorough procurement process from a call for proposals to implementation and oversight. Instructors desiring to offer a course online must first gain approval from their Dean with input from division members. Once approved by the Dean, the faculty member submits their application to the Director of Distance and Distributive Education for presentation to the Distance Education Committee. The instructor then begins constructing the online course with assistance from the Director of Distance and Distributive Education as needed to ensure the course is not only meeting but exceeding the Quality Matters™ rubric standards. While still in the development phase, the course is placed on a subsequent semester schedule for prospective enrollment.

Online or Hybrid Course Development Certification is required for all faculty members who develop and/or teach an online or hybrid course for NWCCD. The purpose of the certification process is to provide a structure for developing the course in a uniform approach and to provide the necessary technical and pedagogical training and support to the faculty. Instructors new to online teaching must complete the 1 credit-hour Designing & Developing an Online Class (EDCI*2526) course taught by the Director of Distance and Distributive Learning with guest presenters such as experienced online faculty, Assessment Team leaders, and an instructional design specialist. Faculty members who have taught online for another institution who would like to teach online or hybrid courses would be required to complete an 4-6 hour training workshop on teaching online at NWCCD. Both training options can be taken completely online or in hybrid format with some face-to-face sessions. A lineup of the current distance education training opportunities can be found in the Professional Development section of the Instructor Accountability Narrative.

Once the instructor has completed the training and the course has been constructed and ready for online delivery, the course is reviewed by a team of 2-3 Quality Matters™ peer reviewers. Solutions to any deficiencies must be addressed and submitted to the Director of Distance Learning for final approval. The course is offered as needed on an ongoing basis with esteem and opportunities for improvement coming from student evaluations and the Director of Distance Learning. While this process may seem lengthy, ensuring the instructor is trained and the course is reviewed and ready for implementation is crucial to the initial success of the online course.

Course evaluation and improvement

Every semester, each online course at NWCCD goes through a “beginning of semester” checklist process that includes twenty-two (22) requirements that meet Quality Matters™ standards. These standards assist instructors with ensuring students receive a consistent online course experience. Each online course also provides students an opportunity to complete a course evaluation. Course evaluations are sent to the instructor, program/area coordinator, and Dean for review.

Course improvement efforts are driven by a variety of internal and external factors. Internal factors that drive curriculum and/or instructional change include institutional core ability updates that require a global perspective of education; instructional technologies that provide enhanced learning opportunities; delivery methods that require progressive assessment strategies; as well as a change in departmental or individual instructor approach. External change factors that affect curriculum are numerous and can include regional and national industry trends, industry certification requirements, state and national standards, breakthroughs in medical fields, advancements in technology, and even transferability issues.