University Planning

Special Emphasis 1 - Distance Learning

Goal: Adapt and Establish National Best Practices in Distance Learning

Priority 1: (Baseline): Provide a baseline description of the distance learning programs and services offered at Western Illinois University.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Clarify the relationships between the School of Extended Studies, Non-Traditional Programs, Non-Credit Programs, Distance Learning, Extension, the Board of Trustees/Bachelors of Arts program, and Degrees at a Distance for the Fire Science program.
  2. Provide a common description of the distance learning programs and services offered to Western Illinois University distance education students in print and electronic materials.

Priority 2: (Benchmark): Survey best practices in distance education in the literature and at peer and national best practice institutions.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Study the Higher Learning Association-North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Best Practices in Distance Learning and document other sources reviewed in the literature that also identify best practices in distance education.
  2. Identify peer and national best practice institutions for distance learning and those traits that qualify as best practice.

Priority 3: (Plan and Implement): Develop and implement a plan for distance education at Western Illinois University that advances the academic mission and our core values of academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, and social responsibility.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Use the results of priorities 1 and 2 (above) to develop and begin implementation of a distance learning plan for Western Illinois University that specifically addresses academic plans for distance learning, assessment of student learning outcomes, faculty development and support, technological support, and other goals and priorities for distance learning as stated in Higher Values in Higher Education 2008-2018 and the Institutional Strategic Plan for Technology at Western Illinois University.
  2. Identify the institutional enrollment reporting structure for distance education. This includes identifying how other institutions with two or more campuses count distance learning enrollment— i.e., as an off campus entry for each campus or as a separate entity for the entire University. Western Illinois University currently does the latter by coding students as Macomb, Quad Cities, or Extension. A recommendation should be made to the President and the President's Cabinet.

Priority 4: (Evaluate and Adjust): Use implementation results and consultation from the Commission's site review team to further advance distance learning at Western Illinois University.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Document the next steps in the advancement of distance learning at Western Illinois University as a result of priority #4 and the Commission's site team recommendations.


  • Roger L. Runquist, Director, Center for the Innovation of Teaching and Research
  • Phyllis Self, Dean, Libraries, Co-Chair
  • Rick Carter, Director of Non-Traditional Programs
  • Richard Chamberlain, Executive Director, University Technology and Director, Center for the Application of Information Technologies
  • Brian Clark, Associate Professor, Libraries
  • Mike Dickson, Director of Special Projects
  • Bradley Dilger, Associate Professor, English
  • Sharon Evans, Chair, Broadcasting, College of Fine Arts and Communications Representative
  • Meredith Hancks, Director Prospect Research and Management, Foundation and Development
  • Leaunda Hemphill, Assistant Professor, Instructional Design and Technology
  • Lloyd Kilmer, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
  • Sarah Lawson, Admissions/Records Officer, Registrar Office
  • Chuck Malone, Associate Professor, University Libraries
  • *Robert Marshall, Professor, Educational Leadership
  • Jeremy T Merritt, Webmaster, Electronic Student Services
  • Paul Schlag, Assistant Professor, Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration
  • Jim Schmidt, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Xiang Yi, Assistant Professor, Management, College of Business and Technology Representative

Meeting Schedule

  • 2008
    • November 18 - 2:00 pm - QC Rm114 CODEC to Mary Lou Kent RM Library
  • 2009
    • January 20 - 2:00 pm - Mary Lou Kent CODEC QC Rm114
    • February 17 - 2:00 pm - Mary Lou Kent CODEC QC Rm114
    • March 24 - 2:00 pm - Mary Lou Kent CODEC QC Rm114
    • April 21 - 2:00 pm - Mary Lou Kent CODEC QC Rm114