Minutes November 18, 2013

Present: Brent Hirata, Carina Chernisky, Christian Ganne, Greg Walker, Heather Takamatsu, Helmut Kae, Karim Khan, Michelle Igarashi, Rachael Inake, Susan Waldman, Warren Kawano

  1. Called to order 3:05 pm
  2. Introduction of new members. Helmut opened the meeting by introducing new members Karim (A&H) and Christian (PA &T), who were invited to join so that all academic divisions would have representation on the committee.  Helmut was waiting to hear back from SS for a representative.
  3. Minutes from the previous meeting (10/21/13) were reviewed and approved with no corrections.  Greg will post and share those minutes with the committee.
  4. DE Student Survey
    • Discussion of the student survey continued.  In brief: after classes end each semester, Greg sends out a survey to all DE students. It is meant to determine whether classes are aligned with DE guidelines. The survey was designed for a single class and the committee has been working to revise it to include multiple classes and to have more student-accessible language.  The survey was under committee review for much of the previous academic year.  At the previous meeting, the committee decided to change the responses to a likert scale that denoted frequency, rather than agreement, (always, often, sometimes, rarely, never).
    • Carina suggested a change in ordering of the questions to more closely align similar questions.  It was agreed that the survey would be closely reviewed by all members via email in hopes of gaining final committee approval for the end of this semester.  (A link was subsequently sent to the committee and a vigorous review took place that resulted in multiple edits.)
  5. Peer Evaluation Process for DE Courses
    • The next agenda item was the proposed communication with faculty who are teaching DE courses by their respective division chairs to encourage regular peer review of distance courses.  Helmut approached the various division chairs and other committee members approached those he had not been able to make contact with. (see email to chairs from 10/21).  Helmut had asked the division chairs to communicate with the faculty during service week of Spring 14.  DE members can also help to communicate to faculty about the option of having a DE committee member perform the review, if needed.  The point is to maintain high quality distance education and make sure that de courses are reviewed as regularly as f2f courses.  The DE peer evaluation form is available on the DE website  (http://blogs.leeward.hawaii.edu/iteach/) (Leeward intranet: Distance Education: iTeach)
  6. Faculty Senate
    • Helmut then moved to the committee’s standing with the Faculty Senate.  DE Committee is currently an ad hoc Faculty Senate committee and it has been suggested that this change to a standing committee.  In order to do so, the Faculty Senate by-laws need to be changed (functions and membership- see Agenda for 11/18).  The committee became an ad hoc Faculty Senate committee for accreditation. Discussion ensued on comparing the original charge for the DE committee (http://blogs.leeward.hawaii.edu/decommittee/about/) to the Senate rules for committees. Helmut will paste the charters side by side to compare and compress.  Membership makeup was discussed: should include faculty with DE teaching experience, at least one non-faculty member, perhaps include the DE coordinator.  The question was asked about the presence of a Faculty Senate member on the DE committee, since membership in Faculty Senate changes.  If the current FS representative leaves the FS, the Senate will appoint a FS member to chair the DE committee.
  7. Committee Registration
    • In addition, the question was raised as to whether or not the committee was registered. Karim agreed to check this out. (Subsequent email stated that registration is only needed for system-wide committees. However, Karim also found that monies can be obtained from Leeward’s student government if committee activities are geared toward students. In order to do that, the committee would need to register with student government.)
  8. Professional Development
    • Finally, there was discussion of additions to the iTeach page in the distance education area of the intranet to include professional development plans for contract renewals and tenure documents.  For faculty who are new to distance education, the best option is to send them to Greg.
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