Learning Dialogue: Limits on Online Teaching Load?
There is growing interest and discussion regarding whether there should be limits on the number of online classes being taught by full time faculty members. I understand the Statewide Academic Senate is exploring this matter. Our Distance Learning Committee is beginning to look at this, as well. I will also be bringing the matter to the UFO CEER group for discussion soon. It's a topic that needs dialogue.
Here are some thoughts to prime the dialogue pump
There are a number of different ways to look at this. The District is responsible for making assignments when it comes to courses to be taught. However, a course taught in a online format should be the same course content as that offered in the traditional setting. One could argue that teaching online is a method or means of instruction, which would fall within the context of academic freedom. In other words, would be ever limit the number of courses taught using the group work method versus the lecture method? On the other hand, the accreditation commission does require substantive change proposals when more than 50% a program is going to be delivered online. Also Title V has special requirements for online classes.
To add to the mix, "What about hybrid classes?" And what is a hybrid class anyway?? Technology is requiring us to move into some unfamiliar territory (what else is new!?).
There is definitely dialogue needed here. Since it is related to workload, the UFO needs to be involved. But it is also an academic matter. The Faculty Senate, the Deans, the Curriculum Committee, the Distance Learning Committee, the academic community in general should have an active and open discussion. In fact, I encourage as much dialogue about this as possible.
Please use the “Comment” function of this posting to weigh in on the topic.