EPIC stands for e-Learning Preparedness Initiative across the College.
EPIC is the Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, for Wake Tech. The QEP is an institution’s plan for ongoing improvement, and it is a requirement for our accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). EPIC was chosen as Wake Tech’s QEP from among many other potential projects.
EPIC is aimed at increasing student success in online courses by helping both students and faculty become better prepared for the unique experience of online learning. The initiative will provide students and faculty with specific training and tools that can improve student performance and success in online courses. .
The Importance of EPIC
Wake Tech offers the largest number of online courses in the state.
EPIC will increase success in online courses by an aggregated 5% over a five-year period.
EPIC’s Two-Pronged Approach
Students will be given the skills, tools, and awareness they need to be successful in an online course through an interactive e-Learning Intro Student Orientation Module. The e-Learning Intro focuses on the three skills necessary for a successful online student: Basic Computer Literacy, Expectation Management, and Blackboard Boot Camp. Students will have the opportunity to self-assess and remediate within the e-Learning Intro.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Students will be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and remediate their weaknesses based on review of the characteristics and skills of successful online learners.
- Students will be able to navigate the Blackboard learning management system to successfully submit assignments, take assessments, and post discussions.
- Students will be able to communicate effectively with instructors in an online environment.
- Students will be able to collaborate effectively with peers in an online environment to enhance the learning experience.
Faculty will develop the skills they need through a two-year Online Instructor Certification Program, which provides instruction in pedagogy, instructional design, accessibility, and advanced training for teaching online. The program also offers a mentorship in which seasoned online faculty can lead the way for newcomers.
After completing the program, faculty will design online courses based on national standards of best practices and research of instructional design techniques. Courses will be designed to promote student learning to achieve identified outcomes.
Through EPIC’s faculty mentoring program, online, hybrid, and web-assisted courses will go through continuous quality improvement and will be peer reviewed. Faculty will align learning activities, resources, assessments, and projects with identified student learning outcomes. Mentors will review the developed courses from a student’s point of view to identify and remediate areas of weakness.
EPIC Will Improve Student Learning
EPIC leaders will collect and analyze data (about student retention and success) each semester – and compare it with previously-collected data. It will serve as a global measurement of progression toward achieving the overall objective of the EPIC QEP: increasing student success rates in online courses.
EPIC Selected Through SAIL
EPIC was selected as Wake Tech’s QEP through a process called SAIL (Helping Students SUCCEED, ACHIEVE, IMPROVE, and LEARN). In Phase I of SAIL, college faculty, staff, and administration were invited to submit short proposals for possible QEP topics. The proposals were reviewed and narrowed down. In Phase II, multi-disciplinary/cross-college teams were assembled to fully develop a Quality Enhancement Plan for each of three topics: Information Literacy, E-Learning Preparedness, and College Readiness. In Phase III, the EPIC proposal was selected as the QEP, for implementation in fall 2014.
Learn More about EPIC
For more information about EPIC please contact Carrie Bartek at 919-866-5586 or [email protected]