Working Group on Online Education
To evaluate the costs and benefits related to developing a
strong online instructional presence at Rice; to issue recommendations
on its implementation; and to address general policy issues related to
1. Coursera makes it possible for professors
to produce and "publish" classes as online courses open to a mass
public. What should the faculty's role be in administering Rice’s
relationship with Coursera? Issues include: IT and other support for
instructors; faculty training; potential revenue sharing; and
identifying criteria for course approval.
2. Coursera courses
currently count for no credit at Rice and provide no certificate showing
successful completion. Should they? If they should, then how should
Rice ensure that such courses conform to the standards set by SACS and
the standards of our own university?
3. Currently the university
as a whole has no clear policy on granting credit for online courses in
general. Should online courses count for transfer credit? Is it possible
that such courses could count at the University level, but that a
department could refuse to count them for credit? By what criteria
should such courses be approved for transfer credit?
4. Should online courses count for placement purposes? How should such placement assessment take place?
What other challenges does online teaching pose for Rice University?
E.g., how does one verify course participation and prevent cheating?
Chair: David Alexander
Working group approved by the Executive Committee on September 19, 2012.
To view the final report from the working group, dated May 2, 2013, please see the Senate wiki space: ONLINE EDUCATION.