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Online/Hybrid Course Redesign

Thursday, October 9, 2014

During the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years, the University has offered intensive training sessions in online and hybrid curriculum design through the CADE (Competency Assessment in Distributed Education) program designed by JesuitNet, a branch of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). A total of 40 Santa Clara faculty have completed the program since 2012, and an additional 20 faculty will participate in 2014-15. Each faculty participant creates a new online or hybrid course.  Trained faculty have offered online summer session courses for undergraduates as well as online courses for graduate students in the Jesuit School of Theology, the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, the Leavey School of Business, and the School of Engineering. In a pilot project this year a small team of faculty trained in the program will offer hybrid courses that meet once a week face-to-face, and once a week online.

While online/hybrid training requires an initial investment of time and resources, the program provides enhanced flexibility for faculty, expanded offerings in summer session, and improved access for students -- especially graduate students who live and work at a distance from the university. In addition, it allows for more efficient use of classroom space.

The online/hybrid graduate program in Pastoral Ministries, with a new emphasis in Hispanic Lay Ministry, has attracted 20 new students in its first year.  Although these are not full-time students, the program has the potential to grow significantly through increased outreach to additional dioceses throughout the western region.

A decade ago, the University typically offered fewer than ten online summer session courses each year.  After initiating recent online training opportunities through the CADE program this number increased to 35 in 2013 and to 56 in 2014.  Summer courses in the online format have been primarily lower division, and primarily in the humanities and social sciences.  Expansion to other disciplines and academic levels is under consideration.  We continually track quality and satisfaction:  in student evaluations of lower division courses, ratings of online summer courses generally do not differ from ratings of courses in traditional classroom settings. Assessment of student learning is in process.

An invitation to faculty to participate in online/hybrid CADE training opportunities in winter and spring 2015 is forthcoming.