Penn State Digital Learning Academic Council

The Penn State Digital Learning Academic Council (PSDLAC) was established to address the broad academic administrative issues that arise in digital learning. It is intended to align with the charge of the Penn State Digital Learning Steering Committee (PSDLSC) and to advance the topics that are directly related to academic matters.

The purpose of the Penn State Digital Learning Academic Council is to address the academic issues Penn State faces in the realm of digital learning as they relate to strategic growth and advancement, technology enhancements, academic matters involving policy, procedure and practice, and student success. More specifically, the Penn State Digital Learning Academic Council will:

    • Review, discuss, and recommend practices and approaches for academic support
    • Identify barriers to growth in digital offering and opportunities for investment
    • Review effectiveness of centralized and de-centralized support for key functions related to World Campus offerings, such as advising, learning design; and provide feedback to the World Campus on its growth strategy
    • Identify functions that would benefit from technical resources and tools, such as data analytic tools
    • Promote the creation and use of digital learning tools and access to collaborative learning spaces
    • Review and recommend emerging academic support functions (prior learning assessment portfolios, micro-credentialing/badges, personalized learning) that support institutional goals and which may require supporting technology and policies
    • Identify policies and procedures that address elements of faculty support and curriculum design and delivery that reinforce the university’s commitment to quality while addressing aspects unique to digital learning
    • Recommend modifications to curricular procedures for programs with online international students to accommodate federal compliance
    • Incorporate processes into the appropriate academic policies and procedures for emerging pedagogies as warranted by broad adoption and integration across the university
    • Review expected and actual timelines for undergraduate and graduate curricular processes for college/department and intercollege online programs
    • Review non-credit programs or courses (MOOCs and MOOCs) to identify college best practices and opportunities for support, conducting periodic reviews of indicators of impact on program delivery (ratio of online/residential offerings, faculty types)
    • Review retention and graduation reports and approaches and discuss goals for improvement in rates
    • Recommend engagement strategies and approaches to increase participation by distance students in research community-based projects and international opportunities
    • Monitor support for adult learners and increase awareness for adult learner needs in online environments

This council is not a policy body nor does it have oversight of the traditional academic issues that are addressed by ACUE and ACGE for undergraduate and graduate education, respectively. The council will work closely with those two groups as well as other key University administrative and academic bodies, such as Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, and Instructional Facilities Committee.

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