Wake Tech's Fall graduation ceremonies are set for 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Saturday on Scott Northern Wake Campus. Family and friends unable to attend in person can watch the ceremonies live online.
Wake Tech created EPIC (eLearning Preparedness Initiative across the College) to provide greater focus to the quality of student learning in the online environment. The effort's strategies are aimed at developing online learning skills and supporting e-learning success.
Online students are a significant portion of Wake Tech's student population, and the college offers more online classes than any other community college in North Carolina. Student performance in those classes, however, lags behind that in traditional classes by about 5%, on average. The disparity is particularly evident in high-demand "gateway" courses, and student survey responses confirm that many lack the skills they need to do well in an online environment.
EPIC was created as Wake Tech's Quality Enhancement Plan, a requirement for accreditation by the Southern Association of College and Schools, and it aligns with the college's mission of improving and enriching lives through education.
The initiative aims to increase student success in online courses by helping both students and faculty become better prepared for the unique experience of online learning, providing them with specific training and tools needed to improve performance and success in online courses.
EPIC's interactive eLearning Intro helps students build the skills they need to be successful. The orientation focuses on expectation management, basic computer literacy and understanding the learning management system (Blackboard) – three areas critical to success online.
EPIC's Online Teaching Certification program helps faculty develop the skills they need to teach effectively online. The program focuses on course design, instructional techniques, accessibility and understanding the learning management system (Blackboard), as well as mentoring for new online faculty.
EPIC aims to increase success in online courses by 5% over five years through the two-pronged approach of student and faculty preparedness.
Student learning outcomes:
Faculty develop the skills they need through an 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 to the college or to online education.
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.
The following publications were created to help faculty implement the EPIC eLearning Quality Standards: