National recognition for online education

UWL’s program gets top nod for quality

UWL has been recognized for the quality of its online education program.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), a professional organization that advances online education quality worldwide, has given UWL the OLC Quality Scorecard Exemplary Endorsement. The endorsement recognizes outstanding university online learning programs.

“This honor really reinforces that the efforts we have been dedicating toward online education over the past eight-to-10 years have been significant,” says Brian Udermann, director of online education. “Those efforts have resulted in high quality online courses and programs at UWL.”

The OLC Quality Scorecard uses research-based benchmarks and standards to help institutions evaluate online learning programs. Institutions can use the scorecard to determine strengths and weaknesses, along with initiating planning efforts to improve. “We will continue to build upon our strengths and work hard to improve the areas that were identified as potential weaknesses,” he says.

 “This honor really reinforces that the efforts we have been dedicating toward online education over the past eight-to-10 years have been significant,” says Brian Udermann, director of UWL's online education program.

“This honor really reinforces that the efforts we have been dedicating toward online education over the past eight-to-10 years have been significant,” says Brian Udermann, director of UWL’s online education program.

Udermann, who began as director of online education in 2007, says the exemplary status will benefit UWL’s recruitment. Students are searching for high quality, online degree programs, he notes. The status signals that “our courses and programs are of high quality,” says Udermann.

A focus on faculty development regarding online education, along with support given to students to help them better use technology has been key for increasing the university’s online quality.

“We review online courses faculty design and develop and provide recommendations on ways those courses can be improved,” explains Udermann. “I believe these efforts have resulted in online courses that are well designed and courses that are engaging for our online learners.”

Successful online education champions faculty-student interaction. “In high quality online courses, there is a lot of interaction between students and faculty and students feel like they are engaged with course content, other students and the instructor,” Udermann notes.

Institutions scoring 180 or higher are granted OLC’s Seal of Endorsement, which is valid for two years. Institutions, like UWL that score 202 or higher, are granted an additional seal, acknowledging and verifying their “exemplary” programs. Exemplary programs are endorsed for three years.

Get more information about the OLC Quality Scorecard at http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/consult/quality-scorecard.

About Online Learning Consortium

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide. The member-sustained organization offers an extensive set of resources for professional development and institutional advancement of online learning, including original research, leading-edge instruction, best-practice publications, community-driven conferences and expert guidance. OLC members include educators, administrators, trainers and other online learning professionals, as well as educational institutions, professional societies and corporate enterprises. See more at  http://onlinelearningconsortium.org.