The number of students enrolled in postsecondary distance education courses has been steadily increasing across all types of institutions. Recently the US Department of Education has expanded the distance education (DE) programs in which Title IV or federal financial aid funds qualify. The students attending these programs are also looking for clear communication and structure, creating a need to examine online course design standards. In addition to identifying various instructional design standard practices used in postsecondary online education programs, this study examines the importance of the support of faculty and institutions to implement successful change. In this paper, the researcher analyzes the practices in Instructional Design of Online Higher Education courses using the methods suggested by Quality Matters (QM), the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA), and the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC), which provide oversight for the organization National Standards for Quality Online Learning. Additionally, the study examines factors such as professional development, self-efficacy, effective online course design practices, and the course peer review process. In conclusion, through examining the Title IX revisions, the factor of increased enrollment in online postsecondary programs, identifying existing online course design standards, and examining external factors of successful implementation of institutional change, this study concludes a proposal is needed to develop a plan to create nationwide standards for online postsecondary programs that receive student federal financial aid funds.
Student, Doctor of Education, Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, United States
Online Education, Higher Education, Distance Learning, Instructional Standards, Quality Matters