Online Assessment of Teaching Effectiveness

In light of the special nature of online instruction and the role of technology in the mission of NYIT, the OLC Institutional Review Committee has developed the following policy that responds to an ongoing and acute need of assessment of quality in online delivery of NYIT courses.

  1. The quality of teaching in an online environment is directly correlated to the ratio of faculty to student "hits" and number of days logged in by faculty. The ratio is the minimum criterion of quality.
  2. The minimum acceptable standard of faculty log-on is three times per week for the standard semester and four times per week for the shorter cycles. There may be good reason for this to vary, but such variance needs to be documented and explained by the instructor to the academic chair. Preliminary analysis of a number lower than the minimum above, however, should automatically trigger a call for consultation by the chair.
  3. Interactive density is an indicator that will be factored in determining teaching quality in an online environment at NYIT. This number should also be applied carefully. Faculty hits to faculty log-ins is a prime indicator, but should be analyzed within the context of the interactive density ratio, since different ratios could legitimately reflect different effective styles of responding to classes. However, when the ratio exceeds 80-1, this also should trigger consultation between the academic chair and the instructor.
  4. The above indicators should be addresses on a weekly basis, with the flow of inquiry moving form the director of OLC (via the weekly report), to the academic chair, to the dean of the school, and to the vice president of academic affairs. Consultations at all levels should be documented and kept on file.
  5. A reportable absence in an online environment that is equivalent to a reportable absence in a ground based class will be defined as an incidence of no faculty log-ins within any 7 day period. The academic chair should fill out regular absence reports based on weekly reports of zero hits by any faculty teaching in an online environment.
  6. Absences should also incorporate reports in semester summaries showing repeated gaps of more than four days without faculty interaction.
  7. Repeated absences and low interaction should have consequences that are equal to consequences for absences in ground based courses.
  8. Viable consequences include the following, in ascending order of severity:
    • A note from the OLC director saying that numbers are bad for the week, to be put in the instructor's personal file
    • Referral to the academic chair for disciplinary action when the low performance is repeated
    • Referral to the dean of the faculty member's school, when there is a third incidence
    • The dean, vice provost, and the vice president of academic affairs will determine appropriate sanctions at this point. These could include removal of certification to teach on online course, requirements set for retraining to allow continuation or reinstatement of authorization to teach online courses, and possible impact on promotion and tenure.
  9. Online artifacts should be included in the faulty teaching portfolio:
    • Syllabus
      1. Course description
      2. Intellectual property statement
      3. Grading policy
      4. Attendance (Participation Policy, including this document)
      5. Examination environment
      6. Synchronous Activities
      7. Textbook and special software requirements
      8. Others as specified in Faculty Handbook
    • Activity designed to deliver instruction (i.e. E-lecture, PowerPoint) and associated outcomes.
    • Description of assessment used to determine if the outcomes were met
    • Samples of student work
    • Grade distribution for the assessment
    • Student assessments
    • Narrative description of how the course is conducted
    • Chair's report and peer visitation, including the OLC numbers
    • Class enrollment
  10. Hybrid courses will have exams offered according to the regular exam schedule for the term.