Posted: August 18, 2008

E-Learning Strategies Team Report and Interim Finance Committee Report

Greetings. A word of appreciation and gratitude to each and every one of you for the considerable time and effort you have contributed to the discussion of e-learning initiatives within the college over the past few months. The dean's group has considered the recommendations received in early April and mid-June and is ready to approve the following for implementation:

  1. An e-learning advisory council will be appointed. This group will be constituted to represent educational programs across undergraduate, graduate, and extension education. The group will be charged to 1) identify and encourage appropriate program areas for development as online offerings, and 2) design and implement the process for program selection for new program development. Capability for dual use will be one of the criteria by which priority projects are determined.
  2. A prorated schedule will be implemented to enable the college to fully recover the cost to design and maintain credit courses. The college will invoice units at the end of the semester in which the course is offered according to a prorated schedule that spreads the full cost across the first three course offerings. Ongoing maintenance of courses will be invoiced to units at the end of each semester in which the course is offered.
  3. The college will continue to staff the e-learning initiative with two full time instructional designers. At this time we will not be creating a formal office with a director's position.
  4. In keeping with the spirit that gave rise to and funded this college-wide initiative, Extension faculty and educators should be included in program/course planning to contribute to content and to identify if parts of content/videos/clips or flash content designed for online courses would be useable in other venues (non-credit courses, youth education, training modules, etc.).
  5. Compensation for developing or teaching online courses will be on-load (regular salary compensation) as part of a regular teaching load; additional resources can be committed to a faculty member for an online course developed or taught above regular course load (e.g., salary savings). Options for buy-out of time of Extension faculty or educators should be considered, or support can be provided off-load via supplemental salary toward the 12 week potential for tenure line faculty on 36 week appointments but in no cases will compensation exceed 48 weeks. These arrangements are negotiated by the faculty and program's academic home. Costs for fixed-term or part-time faculty/instructors would be covered by the academic unit, most likely from program revenues.
  6. An electronic library of materials will be developed for courses or extension programs that might be useable by other faculty or extension educators (examples: figure of nutrient cycle, short video clips, lecture segments, photographs, flash visuals). In keeping with university policy the copyright will be held by Penn State.
  7. A contact person with programmatic responsibility for eXtension at Penn State will be identified.
  8. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education has been named as the college representative to the PSU E-Learning Cooperative and will serve as the E-Learning advocate for CAS.

Thank you again for devoting your time to this important endeavor over the past few months. We look forward to working together to implement the above recommendations.