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Daytona State enhances online programs with faculty liaison
Myra Vergani named interim chair of Faculty Online Studies
posted May 1, 2013 - 6:07:09pm
Further enhancing its nationally recognized online programs, Daytona State College has tapped an experienced professor to manage online effectiveness. Myra Vergani, a faculty member from the School of Health and Wellness who is well versed in online coursework, has been named interim chair of Faculty Online Studies.
In her new role, Vergani, who joined the college in 2007, serves as liaison between faculty and the Information Technology Department on all things associated with online learning at Daytona State. She will coordinate with the department as it rolls out in May the latest version of the college’s online learning management system (Desire2Learn), as well as oversee system training for faculty who teach online courses. Vergani also will be involved with evaluating online course design through the Quality Matters Program, a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer-review process designed to certify the quality of online courses.
“My primary goal is to be the voice for quality and to serve as the link between faculty and the technical side of the online environment,” she said, noting that over 720 instructional staff, including adjuncts, use the system. Through the Faculty Innovation Center, she has scheduled over a dozen training sessions prior to the new system coming online. “We encourage everyone to attend one of these sessions, as we want to make sure all faculty have the opportunity to become familiar with the new system.”
Innovative first step: In her first weeks on the job, Vergani has established an “E-mentors Committee” comprised of a team of 30 faculty members who represent a cross-section of disciplines. The group is training on the upgraded learning management system prior to its deployment in mid-May and will provide assistance to other faculty who are new to the system.
Vergani reports to Sr. Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Vitale. “Myra has many years of experience developing and teaching online courses, and has been instrumental in the review and evaluation of course design in Health and Wellness,” Vitale said. “She brings to the position a perspective that will enhance the online course experience for both Daytona State faculty and students.”
“The changes to the version 10 of Desire2Learn are significant,” said Robert Saum, executive director of instructional resources. “It features a more streamlined look and feel, lots of performance tweaks and improvements, and a much more stable platform.” He added that the upgrade also includes improvements in usability and accessibility for students with disabilities.
Vergani said a review of all online courses will begin this fall, based on the Quality Matters program rubric. “We will be making sure everyone meets or exceeds minimum standards in their course design,” she said. “If they need assistance, we will help bring them up to speed.”
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