IU is developing new online academic programs to serve the students in Indiana and beyond. These high quality programs protect and advance the integrity of the IU degree while, at the same time, providing flexibility and convenience for students and opportunities for innovation for faculty.
Developing new online programs
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>> I'm really glad that I did the collaborative course. It really helped thinking about the way things can be designed differently. Everybody has their own signature style that they want to keep. There're some things that you get so tied to and you do them out of habit in your courses, but you may need to break those habits.
The collaboration forced me to reflect on that. We started by agreeing on a strong foundation of core concepts based on state requirements. We covered same topics across all campuses, but instructors have a lot of flexibility with regard to assessment. We have a buffet of assignments and instructor can choose based on his or her teaching style.
I prefer a lot of homework, whereas some others prefer more discussions or writing. In health care inter-professional education is so important. I'm a practicing clinician, and I collaborated with a health administrator from another campus. We have totally different approaches, and our students get the best of both in our classes.
I take from her administrative side, and she takes from my clinical side, and our graduates are better prepared because of it.
New online academic programs are designed to attract new students to IU—students we may not be able to serve otherwise.
Collaboration is a key feature of IU’s model for developing new online degrees. Faculty members from participating campuses work together to create a shared curriculum, leveraging IU’s considerable scale, resources, and faculty expertise. In this way, IU avoids internal competition and unnecessary duplication of online degrees, and provides clear choices to potential students. Students in a collaborative degree always have a home campus of enrollment, but they are able to take courses offered by any participating campus.
Academic Programs in Development
IU is developing new online academic programs to serve the students in Indiana and beyond. Explore the new programs currently in development.
View programs in development (Must be logged into IU CAS to view)
Frequently Asked Questions
To see how collaborative degrees are initiated, visit the University Academic Policy web page.
The collaborative approach adopted by Indiana University, the strategic objectives and the operating principles for IU Online can be found at IU Online: A Collaborative Model for Online Education at Indiana University.
This report also outlines the key roles of Office of Online Education (OOE) and select features of IU Online Class Connect (IUOCC) related to collaborative online programs.
MOA is an acronym for Memorandum of Agreement. The online degree creation process is divided into four steps. When OCAP receives an initial request form for an online degree proposal, OCAP contacts the EVCAA’s of various campuses seeking interest in participating in the degree. EVCAA’s consult the Dean(s) of the school(s) that will house the proposed program and determine if the school/college has the capacity to participate in the proposed program. EVCAAs then sign the Memorandum of Agreement 1 (MOA 1) which documents the interests and responsibilities of the participating campuses.
After the EVCAA’s have signed the MOA 1, OCAP contacts the Deans of the School that will house the program and request names of faculty members who will be representing their campus in the degree creation process. Faculty then collectively create the curriculum for the proposed degree. This forms the body of the MOA 2.
In MOA 3, the EVCAA’s and Deans collectively decide the schedule and other administrative aspects of the program. By signing the MOA 3, EVCAAs and Deans commit to participating in the online program for the duration of the program.
For more information, view the academic program approval process for developing collaborative academic programs.
In MOA 3, EVCAAs (or their designees) and school deans agree on the governance process for each program. Smaller programs may have just one steering committee. Larger programs may have separate committees which have different responsibilities (a faculty curriculum committee and an administrative committee, for instance). Very large programs may have a program coordinator whose compensation is determined by the academic leadership of the participating campuses. In every case, each campus has equal representation and has an equal say in how the degree is managed. OCAP provides extensive support and guidance to those managing each program.
Faculty governance over the curriculum is built into the development process via MOA 2. In MOA 2, faculty collaboratively agree on learning outcomes and the courses that meet those outcomes, as well as other aspects typically under faculty purview (admission standards, minimum GPA, assessment of student learning, etc.). Once the degree is launched, faculty continue to have control over the curriculum. The faculty representatives from each campus collaborate to approve any changes in the curriculum (e.g., addition of new courses) and ensure that the governance processes of their own campuses are followed when such changes are made. Faculty are responsible for assessing student learning in the program, including reporting results and using the results to improve the curriculum.
In MOA 3, the academic administrators develop a set of expectations for which campuses will offer which courses. Some courses may be taught by every campus; some may be taught by only one campus. This is decided in MOA 3. In every case, however, IU campuses must follow IU policies for hiring qualified faculty members to teach in the program. In programs with specific requirements related to licensure or accreditation, MOA 3 may specify the kinds of credentials that are needed to meet those requirements. Otherwise, the expectation is that course instructors will meet Higher Learning Commission standards for qualified faculty.
After the MOA 2 committee has agreed on learning outcomes and curriculum, faculty who will be teaching in the program will work with eLearning Design and Services to design the online courses. eDS instructional designers and developers provide assistance and expertise that let faculty create high-quality, highly-interactive courses to meet the learning goals that faculty have for students. For more information, visit Teaching Online at IU.
IU uses the collaborative process for new online degrees to ensure that all campuses have the opportunity to participate. No campus is required to participate, and no campus can keep another campus from participating in the collaboration. The academic affairs leadership of the campuses have agreed that the process should not unnecessarily delay campuses who are ready to move forward. Any faculty members with questions about the timeline should speak to their campus’s academic leadership. Remember, though, that any one campus cannot change the timeline unilaterally—campus EVCAAs (or designees) must together agree on extensions to the timeline.
In determining whether to participate in an online degree, each campus’s academic leadership (academic affairs, school deans, department chairs) are encouraged to take into consideration whether there is sufficient market demand to attract new students. Every collaborative program seeks to grow enrollment by serving students who seek the flexibility provided by a fully-online degree. Some may be students who are brand new to the campus; a few may be current students who might not otherwise be able to finish their degree in a timely way. Though growth is not guaranteed, the Office of Online Education will include this program in its extensive marketing campaigns to attract new students to the program. We are not serving our regions or the state of Indiana very well if all we are doing is moving current on-campus students to online programs.
The responsibility for offering online courses for a degree is shared by all participating campuses. Each campus will be offering just a fraction of the courses required for the degree at any one time. Each campus will need to balance the responsibility for offering online courses for the collaboration with its responsibility to offer courses for its on-campus students. The decision to require on-campus students take online classes is campus specific and must be made by the Dean of the School in consultation with the EVCAA.
Indiana University, following national standards, does not differentiate courses by mode of instruction. If an online course has the same course number as an on-campus course, the courses are equivalent and must be treated as such.
The Office of Online Education (OOE) is leading a collaborative effort with campuses to provide 21st-century services for online students. A variety of student services are available, including: Admissions and recruitement, career services, financial services, math and writing support, orientation and onboarding, and success coaching. Learn more about support for IU Online students.
There is also information on student services in MOA 1 and MOA 3 in developing collaborative academic programs. If you have specific questions about how online students who are enrolled at your campus will be served, please discuss this with the office at your campus that usually provides the service.
HLC and ICHE Approvals
All degrees must go through a multi-step approval process. It starts with the faculty committee and ends at the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In between, a degree will go through the degree's home department, school or college, campus curriculum committee, faculty senate, Academic Leadership Committee, Board of Trustees, Indiana Commission of Higher Education, and finally the HLC. Below are documents you can reference in seeking academic program approvals from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE). Feel free to copy and paste useful text.
Higher Learning Commission
The Higher Learning Commission must be notified about, and may need to approve, new academic programs. In instances where HLC approval is required, the university must submit an application for approval. The university can advise prospective students that the new program is under HLC review; but it may not recruit or enroll students in the program until the commission officially communicates its approval.
Need help completing an HLC application for approval? View an example.
Indiana Commission for Higher Education
As part of the academic approval process, all degrees must be reviewed by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE). The commission reviews multiple data points in deciding whether the degree is viable and should be endorsed: degree-related resources, qualifications of the faculty, industry demand, and marketability. See a sample of the in-depth analysis needed for ICHE approval.