Rigor and breadth. The college assures that the rigor, breadth, and learning results of its courses and programs are the same regardless of instructional delivery mode and that these academic standards are communicated to students.
Competencies and performance standards. The college assures that the competencies and performance standards of its courses and programs are the same regardless of instructional delivery mode.
Course design standards. The college incorporates the following course design standards:
Performance-based learning. WTCS courses are designed using the Worldwide Instructional Design System (WIDS) which links what is taught and the skills learners will apply. The model includes core abilities, competencies, performance standards, learning objectives, learning activities, and performance assessment statements.
Active learning. Courses and programs reflect collaborative and active learning theories, respect diverse learning preferences, and provide for timely and appropriate interaction among students and between students and faculty.
Supplemental information. Students receive a clearly and carefully written course syllabus providing information such as course expectations, schedule, assessment tasks, grading criteria and policies, minimum academic prerequisites, faculty expectations for successful student learning and faculty contact information.
Assessment. Course and program assessment includes formative and summative strategies, indicates how summative assessments relate to learning outcomes, and match the competency and performance standards within the course.
Student success. Minimum academic prerequisites are communicated and the design of courses and programs provide students with a fair and reasonable chance of successful completion.
3) Teaching and Learning
Recent and emerging research in adult learning theories places the student at the center of the learning process and emphasizes collaborative relationships among students and with the instructor. “In short, [this] model calls for the college teacher to become a facilitator of learning rather than a director of learning.” (Greive, 2000). The following are important components of successful distance teaching and learning:
Performance based instruction. The college’s distance learning courses and programs incorporate performance-based instruction. “Learning plans” clearly state what primary skills the student will learn, how they may learn them and when and how they will demonstrate mastery of these skills. (Mashburn & Neill, 2002)
Learning Community. The college’s distance learning courses and programs integrate principles of Learning Communities. Distance courses include ways for students to actively participate with faculty and encourage students to build a support network among themselves and to connect with the college (Kellogg, 1999). Curriculum is structured “to connect students and faculty in common courses … so students have opportunities for deeper understanding and integration of the material they are learning, and more interaction with one another and their teachers as fellow
WTCS Distance Learning Guidelines