Online Undergraduate Learning Community

[U]Tech’s Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) invites faculty to submit a proposal to join the second cohort of the Online Undergraduate Learning Community (OLC). The purpose of the OLC is for faculty to receive the support needed to develop elective online courses as part of a three-year pilot beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.  This three-year pilot was recommended by the Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education (FSCUE) and endorsed by the Faculty Senate.

Faculty (full-time professors and instructors) in this cohort will focus on developing fully online, undergraduate elective courses with the support of TLT’s Instructional Design team. 

Participants will focus on identifying course learning objectives and goals that can be realized in online learning; strategies for utilizing Canvas, Zoom, and other instructional technologies; tactics to balance synchronous and asynchronous time; and ways to develop multiple avenues for meaningful learning and interactions between students and faculty throughout a course. Read on to learn more about this learning community.

The purpose of the pilot is to assess the impact of offering a limited number of online courses to upper-division CWRU students to measure faculty and student engagement, satisfaction, and the achievement of student learning outcomes. Faculty chosen to participate in the pilot will agree to be part of a collaborative, research-oriented community focused on the assessment of teaching practices in an online learning format, the impact of course design and the use of technology in teaching, and the engagement and satisfaction of faculty and students gathered through survey data, interviews, and open-ended questions for reflection.

  • Empower faculty to create and deliver high-quality online courses that are designed to help a diverse student population achieve their learning objectives

  • Provide faculty with experience as an online student via activities and materials in a Canvas site

  • Share best practices for teaching and learning online, including how to transform a face-to-face course into an online course, how to develop a brand new course for online delivery, and how to make your course digitally accessible

  • Develop faculty expertise in creating online course assets

  • Share The I Can Design for Online as a structure for creating a high-quality online course 

  • Help shape CWRU’s strategy around online learning by gathering participant feedback on processes, procedures, and faculty resources

  • Research the impact of online undergraduate courses on faculty and student satisfaction, engagement, and the assessment of student learning outcomes

This online learning committee is a part of a pilot online learning program, with courses to be offered starting in the Fall 2025 semester.  Eligible courses for the OLC include:

  • Undergraduate elective courses for upper-level students (300-level or sections of 100 or 200-level multi-section courses with enrolling students having at least Junior standing)
  • Elective courses
  • Experience with Canvas to deliver course content is recommended, but not required

Additionally, a brief statement of endorsement from the Department Chair or Program director supporting the applicant’s involvement and an explanation of how the proposed course aligns with departmental/program objectives should be included with the application.

Participants will be expected to:

  1. Spend approximately 10 hours a week on this initiative from September 2024 - May 2025 reviewing learning materials, preparing for workshops, participating in synchronous workshops, and completing asynchronous Canvas activities. 

  2. Attend all the group workshops (1-2 per month, September 2024 - May 2025). If a participant cannot attend a workshop, make-up work will be required. 

  3. Design and develop a course to be taught online in the Fall of 2025 or Spring of 2026 following a Quality Review.

  4. Meet between workshops with a TLT Instructional Designer (ID) to discuss and develop course goals and student learning objectives, timelines, and milestones, with the ultimate goal of creating an online course by the end of the OLC.

  5. Present an overview of the development of your course and outcomes to your academic department or school.

  6. Participate in meetings hosted by TLT and the Faculty Senate to share the impact of the pilot program.

  7. Help to shape CWRU’s strategy around online learning by providing your feedback on processes, procedures, and faculty resources.

  8. Help to shape CWRU’s strategy around online learning by participating in an IRB-approved research study.

Participants who successfully complete the requirements of the learning community will receive $5,000 in funding to be used for educational expenses such as technology related to teaching or conference attendance, to be paid at the completion of OLC, upon meeting participation expectations. In addition, participants will receive funding to make content accessible.

Workshops will be 1.5 hours (Fridays 12:45-2:00), will be mostly via Zoom, and will be 1-2 times per month, as follows:

  • September 2024 = 2 workshops
  • October 2024 = 2 workshops
  • November 2024 = 1 workshop
  • December  2024 = 1 workshop
  • January 2025 = 1 workshop
  • February 2025 = 1 workshop
  • March 2025 = 1 workshop
  • April 2025 = 1 workshop