Draft Strategic Plan 2013-2018
Introduction to the Center for eLearning (CeL)
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is a public university within the Florida State University System. Established in 1964, the university is categorized as a high research activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation. FAU serves approximately 36,000 students and employs approximately 1,500 faculty members. In June of 2010, FAU’s sixth President, Dr. Mary Jane Saunders took office.
One of Dr. Saunders’ first acts as President was to appoint an eLearning task force, which thoroughly studied FAU’s existing eLearning initiatives within the broader higher education context. The task force submitted its report (link) with detailed recommendations in September of 2010. A key recommendation and result of the task force’s work was the establishment in April 2011 of a new centralized Center for eLearning (CeL) led by a new Assistant Provost for eLearning.
The 2010-2011 Academic Year
During the 2010-2011 academic year in which the eLearning task force made its report, FAU offered approximately 8% of its total semester credit hours via eLearning modalities: fully online, mostly online (minimum of 80% of instruction online), videoconference, and video streaming.
The overwhelming majority of these credit hours were produced in fully online sections. Approximately 400 distinct courses (950 sections) were taught via these modalities with over 17,000 duplicated enrollment. There were 7872 unduplicated enrollments in fully online sections, which means that approximately 22% of our student population took at least one online course.
Before the Center for eLearning
Prior to the creation of the CeL, eLearning productivity was achieved by pioneering faculty with varying degrees of college and departmental support. Centralized technical support was, and continues to be, provided by the university’s information technology unit, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) that supports the university’s instructional and administrative technology systems—including the learning management system (LMS).
However, eLearning faculty, OIT, and colleges/departments had been experiencing frustration with the lack of centralized pedagogical and strategic support for eLearning course development and delivery.
Remedying this situation then, was also a key recommendation from the eLearning Task Force and a priority for the new Center for eLearning.