CASE STUDY (source: http://cpedinitiative.org/casestudies)
Problem: You have just assumed the role of vice president of instruction of a community college with your president having the
expectation that the institution will become a leader in providing distance learning. Create an action plan for curriculum revision,
development and evaluation for the next 5 year period. What internal and external stakeholders will you have to consider in
implementing your plan? Prepare your plan as if it were to be submitted to the Faculty Senate and the Board for adoption. Draw
upon the literature and model programs in developing your course of action for your institution.
With the rapid evolution of distance education technologies, instructional designers and curriculum developers are charged with
keeping pace with and utilizing the latest emergent technologies – often without consideration of the underlying issues of learner
characteristics and needs, the influence of various technology modalities on the instructional process, equal opportunity access to
interactive delivery systems, and the new roles of teacher and student in the distance learning process.
The Indiana Higher Education Telecommunication System (2006) established guiding principles for faculty utilizing distance
learning technologies in the curriculum. The report outlined three major issues that should serve as the basis for consideration for
educators engaging in curricula built on distance learning platforms: (1) distance learning should be designed to meet the needs
of students in unique learning contexts; (2) faculty should pursue ongoing professional development relative to emerging distance
learning technologies and methods and should be rewarded for their progress and initiative in developing delivery systems for
distance education; and (3) distance learning strategies should be driven by assessment plans to measure course content and
delivery effectiveness, in that methods for evaluation should be builtin
to the distance learning culture.
Curricular intervention articulating clear goals for student outcomes is an essential vehicle for the development of the self-directed
learner. The community college should strive toward several essential values that comprise the curriculum-focused ,
institution: students are the first priority; belief in lifelong learning; equal access to learning opportunities; development of
an adaptable learning base; and instruction that meets the varying learning styles of a
diverse student body. These beliefs and a commitment to student success through the provision of exceptional services and
resources that include academic skills instruction, learning labs, and student assessments can ensure that students feel engaged
as part of a learning community that impacts them on various levels and monitors their progress relative to assessing potential for
improvement. This form of formative assessment is essential to students’ feeling connected to their learning experience via a distance based deliver model.
Wattenbarger Community College opened its doors in 1965 and is a multi-campus
urban institution, with its main campus situated
in Medford, MA and four satellite branches located in and around downtown Boston. Wattenbarger CC enrolls more than 4000
students in day and evening classes with distance learning options becoming steadily more available. The college offers more
than 45 associate degree and certificate programs that prepare students for successful employment and transfer to four years.
universities. Wattenbarger CC is a growing leader in using distance technologies, not only for curriculum delivery, but also to help
students manage their academic progress. One of the largest colleges in the state’s community college system, Wattenbarger CC
and international perspectives in its courses, programs and institutional climate, as students hail from
more than 90 countries with students of color comprising more than half of the student’s population. The average age of students is
are women and the majority of all students work while attending college, thus necessitating
improved access to instructional and co-curricular
resources via an increasingly robust distance learning system. A broad array of
student support programs attempt to address the varied needs of the college community; however the President has voiced
concerns related to student feedback surveys and learning assessments indicating a negative trend in student perceptions toward
support services and faculty accessibility.