Wednesday, September 30, 2009

International Organization Gives Award for Online Ed Excellence

The Sloan Consortium has selected the American Public University System to receive the 2009 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education. APUS is an accredited online university operating through American Military University and American Public University and educates 53,000 adults students worldwide. The Sloan Consortium, an international nonprofit organization of universities, colleges and institutions, states that its mission is a commitment to advancing effective practices in online education and expanding the quality of online higher education.

The award, to be presented at Sloan’s 15th annual national meeting October 28-30 in Orlando, Florida, honors an institution that “best demonstrates its commitment to assessing and improving the quality of its online education programs” through the application of what Sloan has identified as best practices. These are access, learning effectiveness, scale, student satisfaction and faculty satisfaction.

“The consortium recognized American Public University System primarily for its excellence in collecting analytics across the enterprise – from managing enrollment and retention to assessing outcomes in student learning and faculty satisfaction,” said Burks Oakley III of Sloan.

According Frank McCluskey, provost at APUS. “The heart of our university’s approach to academic quality is data-driven decision-making to measure learning,” he said. “Each day we utilize our data warehouse, graphical dashboards, standard statistical measures, semantic analysis engines and other tools to help us analyze, manage and improve student learning.”

For example, APUS uses a survey at the end of courses to measure student engagement and learning. It also benchmarks progress with the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress, known as MAPP, and assesses a student’s knowledge in a particular field.

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