Distance Learning College Action Project

UPDATE: This CAP has been closed and the work has been transitioned to departments and key stakeholders.  A new CAP has been formed under the Student Success End.

The Distance Learning and Instruction Technologies Department is leading the work of the College's Distance Learning College Action Project (DL CAP) #2.2.1.  The DL CAP is also an AQIP project.  This DL CAP is also a DLIT Department Action Project (DAP).  There are a total of 22 GRCC College Action Projects in progress as part of GRCC's strategic planning process.

Project Title:  2.2.1 - Expand the Distance Learning Program (Course Offerings, Quality, Accreditation, and Faculty Certification)

Access End Measure:  Percent of GRCC classes offered online/hybrid.

Project Champion:  Eric Kunnen, Director of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies

Team Members:  The team involved in this project include representation from the majority of the stakeholders involved.  The team members are: David Anderson (Information Technology); Mark Nordblom (IT); Amanda Chatel (IT Support), Eric Kunnen (Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies - DLIT); Eric Mullen (Student Life); Julie Hess (Math Professor), Anthony Dykema-VanderArk (English Professor), Garret Brand (DLIT and Professor); Heath Chelesvig (Institutional Research); James Schafer (Media Technologies); Pat Ingersoll (Library); Meegan Willi (DLIT); and Jose Mora (DLIT).


To ensure that all members of the community have an opportunity to participate in college programs, GRCC will increase the college's distance learning program so that 25% of course offerings exist in an online or hybrid modality. This growth should take place over the next 3-5 years and include a comprehensive assessment of current resources, teaching practices, capacity, training needs, and other infrastructural components necessary to fully support accomplishment of the Project.


  1. To write a distance learning business plan to assess current resources and capacity while laying out recommendations to expand online learning.
  2. To increase online course offerings.
  3. To improve online course quality.
  4. To streamline online course development.
  5. To increase instructor certifications.
  6. To enhance online instructor professional development.
  7. To collaborate with student facing departments and systems for improving student readiness, orientation, and retention.
  8. To receive HLC accreditation for fully online programs.

Measureable Criteria for CAP:

  • A business plan will be written.
  • The percent of GRCC classes (25% is the goal) offered in the online or hybrid format. 
  • A course quality system will be established.
  • Online instructor certifications will increase.
  • New courses will be placed online.
  • HLC accreditation for online programs will be received.

Related College Action Projects:

The most directly related projects include:

  • 2.1.1 – Implement a College Success Program for developmental students. 

o   A connection exists to leverage the Blackboard Development Education solution which provides online courses to this segment of the student population. 

  • 4.1.1 – Implement a student portfolio system throughout the campus to track co-curricular and service learning activities.

o   A potential connection exists to leverage the Blackboard Content System Portfolio tools as well as the Blackboard Outcomes System to best leverage and connect online digital artifacts and student work.

  • 5.1.1 – Mandate the student success course (CLS100) for all first time, degree seeking students, PY097 for developmental students.

o   A connection to this strategy exists in also requiring a CLS100 course for online students.

  • 5.1.2 – Integrate the Starfish Early Alert program into all GRCC programs and courses.

o   A connection exists to best leverage the Early Alert program for online courses to include gradebook scores as well as automatic flags for last login/attendance.

  • 5.1.3 – Expand the Integrated Tutorial Support program.

o   Growing online learning will also require online student services such as tutoring.  Providing online tutorial services will be needed to establish the correct set of wrap around student services for success.

  • 5.2.3 – Strengthen faculty professional development programs and processes.

o   Quality online instruction begins with effective course design and continues through the effective facilitation of the course by an instructor which connects to faulty professional development.