Is NCA accreditation needed for LTU Online courses or online degree programs?
NCA accreditation is not needed for individual online courses, but is needed for the University to offer fully online degrees or certificates. LTU Online hosted a focus visit from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in September 2006. They awarded us accreditation to deliver certificate and online degree programs in March 2007
What is the rationale behind choosing the "first wave" programs (MBA PROGRAM, MEM PROGRAM, and BSIT)?"
These programs were chosen for several reasons. It was felt these three programs had the greatest chance of attracting new students quickly, as online students are attracted to professional online degree programs. Many of the courses in these programs are already delivered in a hybrid or online mode, making it easier to convert them to fully online delivery. The MBA program and the MEM program also share some common coursework.
"Why are we focused on asynchronous rather than synchronous online courses?"
Our target audience is the working professional living outside commuting distance from LTU, but not outside LTU's reputation. These people are often faced with hectic schedules and frequent travel. Asynchronous delivery will enable these students to attend class when and where they are able, eliminating both commuting time and the need to participate at regularly scheduled times. Furthermore, many synchronous classes require faculty or students to use high-tech classrooms to originate courses, and we do not want our schedule to be constrained by the number of these facilities available.
"What will be the rate of compensation for developing and teaching online courses?"
Faculty will be compensated for developing an online course at a rate of $3,000 per course. Half of this payment will be made at the beginning of the course design process, and the other half of the payment will be made after the first teaching of the course and a subsequent review and content "refresh" process. All of this work will be done in collaboration with LTU Online staff. Full-time and adjunct faculty will be compensated for teaching an LTU Online course at the University's current overload/adjunct rates.
"Are online classes taught within load or as an overload for full-time faculty?"
At this time all courses offered through LTU Online will be scheduled as an overload. Full-time faculty may teach one online class through LTU Online in each major semester, and another online class in the Summer semester
"What about recording faculty lectures?"
This can be done with LTU Online staff if the lectures are the most appropriate way to deliver the course content. Lectures may be subdivided for optimum integration into the course, and all lectures will undergo a production process. Please refer to our intellectual property and copyright policies below.
"What about ownership of intellectual property?"
All faculty-owned materials directly incorporated into LTU Online courses remain the property of faculty, with LTU requesting the right to re-use the material in future semesters. We encourage faculty to make their teaching materials available to all LTU colleagues. All materials developed under stipend with LTU Online will remain the property of both LTU and the faculty member, and are available to all LTU faculty for use and revision in on-ground, hybrid, and online courses.
"What about special training and support for faculty?"
All online faculty need to demonstrate prior success in at least a hybrid learning environment, receive formal training in the use of online teaching tools (documented by VITRC or other university/external program), and receive training in LTU Online teaching expectations. In addition, LTU Online will sponsor faculty who are chosen to develop or teach an online course to attend the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan's six week online course, "How to Teach Online." We will also supplement this training and support throughout the development and teaching processes.
"What about evaluating online instructors?"
Student academic performance, faculty participation in active learning, and student evaluation of faculty and course effectiveness will be used as input to faculty evaluation and to determine future teaching eligibility with LTU Online.
"In what types of programs do online students generally enroll?"
Quality programs in every discipline enroll students. Online students are particularly attracted to professional programs and to programs which enable them to advance in their career.
"How many students enroll in LTU Online courses?"
With our three approved degree programs and numerous certificates, we enrolled over 750 students in Spring 2010. LTU Online enrolls a minimum of seven and a maximum of twenty students per class with an average of approximately 12 students per course.
"Will courses be open to international students?"
Yes. LTU Online courses will be open to international students, subject to LTU's existing admissions criteria. If appropriate, international students may be actively recruited if such recruitment is aligned with academic program objectives.
"How will student credit hours be counted by the University?"
All LTU Online courses count toward degree requirements in the same way as traditional or hybrid classes. Enrollment in online courses will be credited to the college within which traditional and hybrid courses are credited.
"How are online students assessed?"
Students will be tracked and assessed using tools available within Blackboard, and in similar ways as they are assessed in hybrid classes today.
"How will incompletes be handled?"
Incompletes will be handled the same way they are handled now, subject to individual department rules.
"What about student services and help desk support?"
All student services and help desk support will be available to LTU Online students. LTU Online is working closely with student service providers to insure that online students receive the same service levels as on-campus students.
"What about tuition rates?"
Tuition rates for online classes are slightly lower than for the Southfield campus, reflecting the cost of classroom space on the Southfield campus. See this chart for complete tuition and fee information.
"What about employer-supported tuition?"
Employer-supported tuition should be handled in the same way as for on-campus or education center programs. We expect that many students will take a combination of online and on-ground classes during their program.
"Has the design of LTU Online been informed by exemplary programs and best practices?"
Absolutely! We started our design process by consulting the Best Practices document published by the regional accrediting agencies, including the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. We have also consulted a number of professional organizations and publications, such as EDUCAUSE, the Sloan-C Foundation, the Michigan Community College Association Virtual Learning Collaborative, and the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration.
"How do you plan to handle remote proctored testing?"
Proctoring can be accomplished in a number of ways, depending on the circumstances. Blackboard has tools which can help with proctored testing. We can administer proctored examinations at our education centers and at community colleges throughout the state. For international students, Fulbright offices or U.S. State Department Educational Advising/Information Centers may be used for proctored testing.
"How will we recruit and evaluate online adjunct faculty?"
All online faculty, whether existing LTU faculty or newly hired adjunct faculty, will need to demonstrate prior success in at least a hybrid learning environment, have received formal training in the use of online teaching tools, and have received training in LTU Online teaching expectations. In addition, LTU Online will sponsor faculty who are chosen to develop or teach an online course to attend the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan's six week online course, "How to Teach Online." We will also supplement this training and support as need