CAA to hear concerns about online courses for students

Luis Martinez, News Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs will be hearing concerns raised by one of its members on the approved revisions to family and consumer sciences classes during it’s meeting Thursday.

Debra Reid, a history professor and member of the CAA, stated in her memo to the council that she had some concerns regarding when all of the council members unanimously approved three FCS Courses, which were all revised to be offered exclusively online, during their Dec. 3 meeting last fall.

In her memo, Reid said her concerns related to all three courses, not just the revisions stated.

“I do not believe that courses should be only offered electronically if the course is not offered for an approved online cohort of students,” Reid said. “The option of offering a course face-to-face should be retained for courses that are electives for students at EIU.”

Reid said she wanted to know more about the protocol for online only courses that are required for any courses of study not approved for online delivery.

“I believe that a formal approval needs to be stated in the course justification to confirm that chairs of programs affected by an only online offering understand that the course will be offered only online,” Reid said.

Marita Gronnvoll, chair of the CAA, said the discussion of Reid’s concerns would be the focus point for the upcoming meeting.

“Her concern was, is that something that we can even do at EIU? We had already approved it and the question didn’t come up at the time, but it came up later,” Gronnvoll said. “(Vice President for Academic Affairs Blair Lord) is doing a little bit of research on that and he’ll give us some information tomorrow and then we will talk about the wisdom of being able to have a course that is required for students but is only available online.”

Gronnvoll said she was uncertain about where the conversation will end up going.

“Even though the issue came up as a result of Family and Consumer Sciences, we aren’t talking about them in particular. It’s more about can we do this on a campus this large?” Gronnvoll said. “Can we have different departments have certain courses that are required for all students but are only offered online? Is that something that we can do as FCS is doing, or is it something that we should talk about?”

Gronnvoll said the issue was brought up by FCS, but the members of the CAA are interested in whether or not this is a policy for the campus in general.

Other items of the agenda include a review of the Faculty Laureate Award Nomination Process and Procedures, and the addition of nine different items to the agenda that will be discussed during next week’s CAA meeting.

The CAA will be meeting at 2 p.m. in Room 4440 in Booth Library.


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]