In Support of Changes to the Online Education Policy (F12-254) to Address Large Online Classes (Don Danner Memorial Resolution)

Resolution Number: RS17-362
May, 2017
Whereas: 
Don Danner was a founding member of the Online Education Committee and served until passing away this year; and
Whereas: 
Mr. Danner taught very large online courses and was an advocate for changes to ensure that students received a high-quality education experience; and
Whereas: 
in contrast to traditional face-to-face courses, online classes have no physical constraints that limit maximum student enrollment; and
Whereas: 
SF State, in contrast to online education policies at most other CSU campuses, does not constrain maximum enrollment in online courses to match that of courses taught using a traditional face-to-face format; and
Whereas: 
large online courses are important because they are part of the educational experience of so many students (e.g., in AY2016 only 13% of all fully online and hybrid courses had 100 students or more, but 61% of all FTES associated with these courses were in courses with 100 students or more); and
Whereas: 
results from three years of empirical research conducted by the Online Education Committee have consistently identified that faculty of large online courses have a higher workload associated with those courses, lower teaching satisfaction, and lower perceived teaching effectiveness; and
Whereas: 
very few online educators are awarded any additional WTUs or resources to reflect the added teaching responsibility; be it therefore
Resolved: 
that changes to the current Online Education policy (#F12-254) must be made to provide a definition of large online courses; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Online Education policy should be amended to require a level of support (e.g., additional WTUs, teaching assistance for grading and other teaching tasks) proportionate to the number of students in the course; and be it further
Resolved: 
that all large online courses shall be highly encouraged to maintain high levels of quality through QOLT (Quality Online Learning and Teaching) certification and other measures.