JHBC Online Education Leaders
While online education existed prior to the pandemic, the gap in equity and quality virtual learning experiences drives constant research and improvement efforts at CSUSB.
More than 40 faculty across campus as well as two from outside universities are members of the Online Learning Research Team spearheaded by JHBC in 2018. Last year’s shift to online courses fueled increased analysis and recommendations based on student perceptions. To date, the team has initiated 18 projects. Seven studies have been published in peer reviewed journals and best practices have been proposed for university and college uses.
“Providing quality is important,” says Anna Ni, Jack H. Brown College associate dean and primary investigator of the Online Learning Research project. “We’re at a revolutionary juncture, where we have to capture this moment, be more innovative and inclusive of external stakeholders or risk becoming outdated.”
Prior to the pandemic, JHBC led university efforts to ensure that online, hybrid, and technology-enhanced face-to-face courses, which were taken by at least 20 percent of students, were well designed to support student success. More than four business and public administration courses were redesigned and Quality Matters certified for meeting high national standards and several more are in the process. Ni says this, along with support for training and tools, helped JHBC adapt to the virtual transition. Best practices based on the team’s recent research will help continue to boost quality, especially among part-time faculty.
CSUSB research shows online factors like competent use of basic online class tools, engagement, social comfort and use of interactive aspects determine quality education (Van Wart, Ni, Medina, Canelon, Kordrostami, Zhang, and Liu, 2020). Best practices are largely based on enhancing these principles. They include office hours, course presence, clear learning goals, constructive lecture time, participation activities and others to improve course consistency, student perceptions, and learning outcomes. Further research on the impact of student demographic backgrounds, technological access and skill, social influence, institutional support is being conducted.
Meanwhile JHBC continues to try to meet student needs. In the fall 2021, the college is launching the following online programs:
- Bachelor of Administration with concentrations in entrepreneurship, management and supply chain management
- Graduate degree programs in accounting; cybersecurity and analytics; and logistics and e-commerce
- Certificates in cybersecurity, analytics and digital marketing