Whereas, Online learning is a mode of instruction that has become commonplace in our community colleges and some colleges now offer degrees exclusively online;
Whereas, Students may not have the time management skills needed to succeed in an online class or section, may have unrealistic expectations about online education, and may lack the basic technological skills required to succeed in a college online class or section;
Whereas, Student success in an online course depends not only on mastering the course content but also on a student’s ability to navigate within the online environment and manage the unique aspects of an online class or section including specific technological skills and higher reading aptitudes; and
Whereas, Section 55200 of Title 5 describes specific characteristics of distance education and online instruction but does not permit colleges to implement a condition of enrollment to ensure students are prepared to succeed in the online environment;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support allowing implementation of appropriate additional preparation in order to enhance student success in online classes or sections; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges investigate what would be required to permit colleges to implement appropriate conditions of enrollment for distance learning courses, including changes to Title 5 if necessary, and research the efficacy of a required orientation designed for students taking an online class or section and report the results of the study to the body by the Spring 2014 Plenary Session.
The Distance Education Task Force submitted a survey to the field in fall 2013 to determine what the colleges are doing to prepare students for the online education environment. The survey results were reviewed and reported to the body as part of the “Hot Topics in Distance Education” breakout session at the Spring 2014 Plenary Session. Best practices in student preparation for distance education courses as identified in the literature were also reviewed by the task force and reported to the body as part of the same breakout. A Rostrum article is planned. Potential regulatory changes regarding required orientations would need to be reviewed by the CCCCO. 2017 - 18: The committee will write a Rostrum article and consider if Title 5 regulation changes are needed.