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Join us for the 8th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, April 22-24, 2015 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, Dallas, TX
CFP will open October 1, 2014

Check out the Conference Wrap-up pages from the 2014 conference. 

Missed the conference? You can still view more than 70 of the sessions by purchasing the recordings in this Virtual Package

Watch the Keynote Address
Reclaim Learning: A Domain of One's Own
Keynoter Jim Groom, University of Mary Washington, shares innovations that support the ethos of open environments for online teaching and learning. 

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Jim Groom, University of Mary Washington, to deliver Keynote Address

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Save the Dates

22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Twelve Strategies to Promote Online Growth While Ensuring Quality

Brian Udermann (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, USA)
Session Information
April 11, 2014 - 9:25am
Learning Environments
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Effective Practice
Institutional Level: 
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Lone Star C4
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 8
Virtual Session
Best in Track

Growth in online offerings often results in a number of institutional challenges. This informative and engaging session will offer twelve strategies to overcome those challenges.

Extended Abstract

There has been significant and steady growth in the number of online courses and degree programs being offered across all institutional types in Higher Education. It appears that the rate of growth in online offerings has declined slightly but most faculty and administrators anticipate the overall growth in online education will persist. As colleges and universities continue to explore and expand online programming, it is important that quality and student learning remain the focus. This informative and interactive presentation will cover twelve strategies successfully used by the author at his present institution to promote growth in online offerings while maintaining quality. The author was a faculty member and then became the Director of Online Education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse after having taught online for two years. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is a mid-sized (10,000 students) university that was very much focused on serving the traditional 18-22 year-old student. So, the author experienced significant skepticism and resistance from faculty and staff to online education during his first year or two serving as the director of online education (he has been in that position for the past 7 years). A number of the strategies that would be covered during the session include creating an online advisory board, developing an online policy and procedures manual, utilizing the expertise of Instructional Designers and having an online course review procedure in place, offering a high quality online instructor training course, creating faculty buy-in, and providing exceptional student support services for online learners.

The approach I would take in developing and delivering this presentation is to look back over my seven years of serving as the director of online education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and share information and strategies we have used to grow online courses and degree programs on campus while ensuring the quality of those offerings. I have made many mistakes in the past and many of our policies are the direct result of those mistakes. I frequently interact with online administrators from other institutions and am often surprised to hear them describe the status of their online offerings as being "in a state of chaos." I've learned that communication between faculty and administrators related to online initiatives is important. I've also learned ways to create faculty enthusiasm and buy-in related to online education. One idea I would stress during this presentation is that institutions cannot expect to achieve all 12 strategies at once. For institutions that have done little in the area of online education, this can be intimidating. I would also share my opinion about which strategies should be implemented, based upon where an institution is in regards to the amount of online programming they offer.

Learning objectives:

After participating in this session participants will be able to:

  • Identify 12 strategies their institution could consider developing that would contribute to the growth of online education while ensuring quality.
  • Describe how implementing some or all of the 12 strategies could benefit their institution.
  • Develop a plan for sharing these 12 strategies with faculty, staff and administrators on their campuses.

Engagement strategies:

I have been teaching university students for over 20 years and realize the importance of creating and delivering content in a way that is informative, meaningful and engaging to students. I've also learned this holds true for professional audiences at workshops, seminars and conferences. Generally, I try to limit the amount of "direct speaking at audiences" I do and use engagement strategies such as sharing content through videos, work related stories, having participants interact with each other and then share major points to the entire group, etc. This would be a highly interactive session.