On August 3rd and 4th, GLCA registrars met at Denison University, hosted by Yadi Collins, for their annual meeting.
Gabriele Dillmann, GLCA Consortial Languages Director, gave a presentation on the GLCA Crossroads Shared Languages (SLP) program. Several colleagues who were present had already been engaged with the SLP and some had been introduced to the SLP but not been actively involved.
Gabriele spoke about the idea and inception behind the SLP, its objectives and goals, its current state and future plans. The topics focused on were:
Technology – different formats and technologies used during class meetings; i.e. Zoom, Google+ Hangouts, Google Drive, WordPress, Quizlet, and various other apps. Differnt languages with different writing systems may face specific challenges. Depending on the size and language level of the class, faculty may choose different technologies and/or formats. The difference from a traditional online course is that it is better described as a virtually interactive classroom as students participate live with their professor and classmates. Students also meet outside of class to connect virtually for homework and class projects. Some courses also include globally connected partners from GLAA institutions, such as for example the connection between Denison German students and German students from AUBG.
Logistics – SLP courses should be listed in the semester course offerings at both the home and host institution, students initiate registration through their home registrar; students are bound by the deadlines and policies of the host institution, grades are sent by the host registrar to the home registrar; both institutions keep records of enrollment, but it is recommended that the host institution implement a process to either zero the credits and code students accordingly to prevent false reporting, or to place some sort of hold on their records to prevent double counting of credits.
Accreditation for Distance Education – will institutions who currently do not offer distance/online course formats have to declare their participation in distance education offerings with their respective accreditation agencies, i.e. HLC and MSCHE? What does such an approval process entail if the program does not lead to a degree, completion of major/minor, or some sort of academic credential?
Consortium opportunities – perhaps participating institutions should be thinking about establishing some sort of consortial agreement to define policies and guidelines for the program, which may also help the financial aid offices in terms of where to count the hours.
Curricular approvals for shared languages courses from other schools – are there curricular approval processes at participating schools that these shared language courses will have to be vetted through? Will faculty have to vote on the program, the courses taught through the program, the distance education format, etc. ?
Registration, grading, transcribing logistical differences – how do we handle differences in grading and calendar/credit systems? Schools that are operating on different systems will have to clearly explain to their students how the credits and the grade will convert and be recorded on their home transcript if they take the course under a different system.
Course grid variations – and associated challenges for students enrolling in shared language program courses. There could be challenges for students who participate in this program that involve two schools with very different course grids and may run into scheduling conflicts.
Special (Religious) Holidays – we need to think about how different colleges have different student bodies and those students’ needs for practicing their religious holidays as they differ from institution to institution and their respective cultures.
Thank you, Yadi and Sandy, for organizing this meeting so thoughtfully, for inviting me, and for sharing some of your notes with me!