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eISU is a comprehensive, multifaceted initiative intended to accomplish important institutional goals of increased enrollment, improved retention, timely degree completion, and quality assurance of online offerings. eISU provides a framework for expanding online educational opportunities and enhancing benefits for students and faculty, while subsidizing university operations, technology infrastructure and staff that support online education at ISU.

What does it offer?

Through eISU, programs and departments can increase online course offerings to better meet the curricular needs of ISU’s diverse student body and eliminate obstacles that hinder achievement of educational goals. By accessing more online courses and programs, students can benefit from greater convenience and flexibility in completing course work; experience fewer scheduling conflicts that delay access to required courses; and better manage the competing demands on their time. There is a growing student population who want online education, and ISU is better able to meet that need with the eISU initiative.

The eISU initiative will also benefit faculty by providing development opportunities in online instructional design and pedagogy. Because the long-term success and integrity of the eISU initiative depends on quality programming, ISU’s online curriculum must be pedagogically sound and academically rigorous. eISU courses must match the quality of our traditional course offerings and reflect key tenets of higher education, such as critical thinking, inquiry, and academic freedom. The eISU initiative provides essential infrastructure support for the continual improvement of coursework as technology and pedagogy develop.

Funding and Structure

The eISU initiative is overseen by the Office of Academic Affairs and is supported by a $35 per credit hour fee on online courses. Revenue from the fee is distributed as follows:

Within the colleges, eISU revenue may fund expenses such as Graduate Teaching Assistant positions to support online instruction, software purchases, curriculum development, and supplemental materials that support, directly and indirectly, the continued growth and development of eISU courses and curriculum. In administration, eISU revenue provides support in such areas as compliance with federal and state regulations governing online education, financial and IT support, assurance of academic integrity, and accreditation-related costs.

eISU Courses

A course comes within eISU if it meets the following criteria:

The following table provides definitional parameters for the types of courses offered at ISU. 

Proportion of content delivered online

Type of Course

Description

0%

Traditional

Course where no online technology is used; content is delivered in writing or orally.

1 to 33%

Web Facilitated

Course that uses web-based technology to facilitate what is essentially a face to face course.  May use an LMS or web pages to post the syllabus, assignments, or use the grade-book.  No real seat time reduction.

33 to 90%

Blended/Hybrid

Course that blends online and face-to-face delivery.  Substantial proportion of the content is delivered online, typically uses online discussions, and typically has a reduced seat time - at least 1/3 reduction of seat time.

90+%

Online

A course where most or all of the content is delivered online.  Typically has no or few face-to-face meetings

[Based on “Going the Distance:  Online Education in the United States, 2011 Survey – Formally the Sloan Online Survey.”]

eISU Quality Assurances

ISU recognizes the critical nature of quality education in all of its instructional modalities. Curriculum offered through the eISU initiative must be pedagogically sound and academically rigorous to meet the standards set and adhered to by faculty in the traditional curriculum. There are many factors that contribute to a quality online course, for example, course design, course delivery, course content, institutional infrastructure, learning management systems, as well as faculty and student readiness. ISU is committed to systematically developing and evaluating eISU courses based on rigorous, research-based standards and best practices in these areas. ISU offers a diagnostic and collaborative process based on principles of continuous improvement, collegiality, and support. Faculty and technical staff work together within their areas of expertise to strive for quality assurance of eISU courses.

Workshops for professional development in course design and pedagogy and technical support in course delivery are available. All faculty teaching eISU courses are strongly encouraged to participate in the workshops offered through the Instructional Technology Resource Center (ITRC). For more information: http://www.isu.edu/itrc/qm.shtml

eISU Assessment

Under State Board of Education policies and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accreditation standards, ISU must engage in ongoing assessment and improvement of programs and services. eISU is part of this process. Units and departments must regularly assess eISU programs and course offerings, along with their traditional academic programming.


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