Distance Learning, Health and Biological Sciences: The Wild Frontier.

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The Wild Frontier of Distance
Learning in Health and
Biological Sciences
Janell Lang, EdS, Owens Community College, Toledo, Ohio
President, National Network of Health Career Programs in Two-Year Colleges
Anne Loochtan, PhD, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College,
Cincinnati, Ohio
President-Elect, National Network of Health Career Programs in Two-Year
Colleges
AACC Annual Meeting, April, 2008

How long has distance learning
(DL) been around?
At least since the early 1800s,
with the advent of the Penny
Post...DL was also known as
“correspondence courses”
Daily Alta California of July 14,
1855, shown below, from Google
Images
For many years,
correspondence schools were
not well-respected in the US,
but were the only available
form of education for people
in geographically isolated
areas, especially in the late
19th and early 20th centuries.
Distance Learning Faculty
In the early to middle of
the 20th century, Canadian
and Alaskan outback
residents used either
correspondence and/or
radio or sent their children
out to boarding schools.
We will not be suggesting that all instruction should
be delivered in a DL format. However in order to
increase access (especially for rural populations), to
meet the needs of over-committed students,
employers and consumers of health care, this issue
cannot be ignored.
Definition 1:
“After the birth of the USDLA in 1989, the Los Alamos National
Laboratory organized and sponsored the First Annual conference on
Distance Learning…[where they defined distance learning as]
structured learning that takes place without the physical presence of
the instructor.”
Geographical
separation
Definition 2:
“As defined by The Quarterly Review of Distance Education journal,
distance education is institutionally-based formal education where
the learning group is separated and where interactive
communications systems are used to connect instructors, learners,
and resources.
Geographical
separation
Definition 3:
“What is distance education?
Distance education comes in many different shapes and sizes. Distance
education uses a variety of technologies to connect teachers and students
outside of traditional settings. Students "attend" courses while at home, at
work, a nearby campus, or even the library, while the instructor is located
elsewhere in regards to space and time. Credit and non-credit courses,
workshops, seminars, and continuing education are all offered at a distance.
Sometimes distance learning courses are referred to as E-learning courses.
This definition includes courses offered 100% at a distance as well as
courses that might require some campus attendance. Another definition used
is Web based course. This refers to courses delivered over the Internet.
Usually, these courses do not require campus attendance.”
Geographical
separation
Courses vs. programs
 A word about support courses

DL Models
Types of Distance Learning in
Health Care and Science Programs
• single courses in support disciplines (i.e. core courses,
biology, chemistry, general education courses, etc.)
• courses in disciplines
• hybrid courses (partial distance learning, partial oncampus)
• certificate programs with 50% or more courses as DL
• associate degree programs with 50% or more courses as
DL
• bachelor's completion programs (the most common form of
DL for health care programs)
• Health career programs specifically require the development of physical skills.
Most of these skills must be performed and evaluated in order to determine
competency.
• However this can still be considered distance learning if the program/course
is physically separated from the student.
•Ex. A student is enrolled in a DL program in Veterinary Technology. The
theory-based courses occur via web, and the physical skills are learned at a
local veterinary clinic or office, with specific competencies that must be
completed and documented by trained preceptors.
Model 1:
College
Distance
Students
Lec
Lab
•Entire program offered at a distance-separated from the
college by geographical distance.
•All lectures, labs and clinicals offered close to the student.
•May still be hands-on labs, but separated by geographical
distance
Clin
Examples
Sinclair
Community College
Radiology program delivered
at Hocking Technical College
Columbus
State Community
College-Nursing Program
Owens
Community CollegeCIM Program
Model 2
College
Lab
Clin
Distance
Students
Lec
•Part of the program offered at a distance-generally lecture
portion offered online or combination of media, separated
from the college by geographical distance.
•Labs and clinics offered on the college campus or within the
college’s geographical service area
Example
Columbus
State Community College-Nursing
Program (local students)
Owens Community College-Nursing Program
(local students)
Model 3
College
Lab
Distance
Students
Lec
Lab
Clin
•All lecture offered at a distance, separated from the college
by geographical distance
•Some labs offered on the college campus, some prepped at a
distance
•Clinicals (for health programs) offered where the student
lives
Example
Biological
science courses at CSTCC
HIM CSTCC
Computed Tomography CT) Certificate
at OCC
Can a lab course be done in
a distance learning format?
Yes….
…and no
Lab Resources
Prep via books, texts, articles
 Lab on campus
 Home-labs for lower-level science
courses

http://www.athomescience.com
But there are great resources available
http://www.esciencelabs.com/
Examples of ID Technology:
Ipods
Video Streaming
Podcasts
Social Networking
Lab Packs
Accreditation Issues
The Myths and the Realities of
Accreditation of DL Courses and
Programs
National League for Nursing
Accreditation Committee (NLNAC)

Standard I: Mission and Administrative
Capacity.

For nursing education units engaged in
distance education, the additional criterion
is applicable:

Distance education, as defined by the nursing
education unit, is congruent with the mission of
the governing organization and the
mission/philosophy of the nursing education
unit.
Commission on Dental
Accreditation (CODA)

Accreditation Standards for Dental Hygiene
Education Programs

There are no DH standards that specifically
address distance learning since it is a delivery
method for the curriculum. Programs have the
freedom to select how best to deliver the
curriculum as long as it does not adversely impact
meeting those standards.
Joint Review Committee on Education in
Radiologic Technology (JRC/ERT)
Radiography, Radiation or MRI

Identifies the following as substantive
change(s):

Addition of an alternative learning
option(s) that includes:
Weekend, evening or part-time tracks
 Distance delivery of four (4) or more
radiological science didactic courses (excludes
the general education component of the
curriculum)

JRC/ERT Cont.

A currently accredited program that is adding
another “track” would be required to:


Submit a “Substantive Change” and include with it
an explanation of the change, how the curriculum
will be modified due to the change, and how the
program will continue to meet the Standards.
Explain how the clinical component would be
arranged and supervised for a student in the
distance location.
American Health Information
Management Association (AHIMA)

There are no additional standards for
HIM Programs or Courses offered in a
distance learning format.
The Council on Accreditation for the
Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA)


There are no additional standards to be met
for Cancer Information Associate Degree or
Certificate Programs which are delivered via
distance learning.
NCRA has mandated, effective 2010, a
minimum of an associate degree to be eligible
to take the certified tumor registrar exam.
Commission on Accreditation in
Dietetics Education (CADE)

Distance Education Didactic Instruction:


Instruction provided when a teacher and student
are separated by physical distance and when
technology (such as voice, video, data and print)
is used to bridge the instructional gap.
When more than 30% of the professional level
didactic courses are offered via distance
education, it must be recognized by CADE within
the program’s scope of accreditation.
CADE Cont.

Distance Education Supervised Practice:


Planned learning experiences in which knowledge,
understanding and theory are applied to real-life
situations with preceptors in settings
geographically distant from the sponsoring
institution.
When 90 or more of the 450 supervised practice
hours are provided to at least one student within
his/her geographic area distanced from the
program’s base, it must be recognized by CADE
within the program’s scope of accreditation.
Commission on Accreditation of
Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)




CAPTE does not accredit any programs that
are offered exclusively in a distance learning
format.
According to CAPTE rules programs must
seek approval from CAPTE in the delivery of
courses to online or videoconferencing
methods for 25% or more of the
professional curriculum.
Further changes in delivery format of each
10% or more of the professional curriculum
must also be submitted for approval.
Programs must submit an Application for
Approval of Substantive Change (AASE)
prior to implementation of these changes.
Respiratory Care (CoARC)
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health
Education Programs (CAAHEP)



Multiple Program or Curriculum Designs
When more than one design is used to develop the same
practitioner competencies, the program must use program
resource and outcome assessment to demonstrate that all such
program variations result in equivalent graduate outcomes.
The program should demonstrate that the teaching methods are
valid for all students, that the evaluation systems are
equivalent, and that the graduates of all program designs are
equally competent. An example of multiple program design is
the addition of distance learning to traditional instructional
methods.
Winter 2007-Stats
Organization
# health courses
& biology
Estimated
health/science
students in DL
Total DL
Students
Total Students in
College
Cincinnati State
42
756
unknown
8,900
Columbus State
73
1,825
11,550
22,000
Owens
58 health only
758
8,000
19,347
Ohio State
None found
None found
1,776
50,000
BIO-4009-40
BIO-4015-40
BIO-4016-40
BIO-4018-40
BIO-4020-40
BIO-4071-40
BIO-4073-40
BIO-4074-40
FST-4747-40
FST-4748-40
HFT-4161-40
HFT-4163-01
HFT-4183-40
HFT-4818-40
HIM-4411-40
HIM-4411-41
HIM-4420-40
HIM-4420-41
HIM-4431-40
HIM-4432-40
HIM-4453-40
MCH-4001-42
MCH-4002-40
MCH-4806-43
MCH-4807-01
MCH-4807-41
MCH-4816-40
MCH-4840-40
MCH-4841-40
MCH-4882-40
MCH-4886-40
SSM-1000-40
GENERAL MICROBIOLOGY
ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY 2
ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY 3
PHARMACOLOGY
FUND OF PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
CONCEPTS OF BIOLOGY 1
CONCEPTS OF BIOLOGY 3
HUMAN DISEASE
FIRE BEHAVIOR & COMBUSTION
PRINCIPLES OF EMERGENCY SVC
Health and Fitness Practicu
Found of Health and Fitness
Health and Fitness Internsh
SURVEY ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Clinical Abstracting
Clinical Abstracting
Basic Icd-9-Cm Coding
Basic Icd-9-Cm Coding
HEALTH INFO DEPT MGT
ALT HEALTH RECORD SYSTEMS
Quality Assessment in Him
INTRO TO HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Informatics in Health Care
Medical Terminology 1
Medical Terminology 2
Medical Terminology 2
Health and Wellness Promoti
ORIENT TO THE HEALTH RECORD
UNIT COORDINATOR PROCEDURES
LAW AND ETHICS FOR HEALTH C
QUALITY ISSUES IN HEALTHCAR
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS FOR H
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
HPB 112
HPB 110
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
HPB 208
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
ATLC 320
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
OC OC
Cincinnati State WI08
Course Offerings
(duplicates removed)
Advantages
Greater numbers of students served
Expansion of locus of service
Reduction of duplication of efforts
Provision of educational opportunities to
underserved areas which cannot afford cutting-edge
laboratories and faculty
Retention of graduates in underserved areas
Avoidance of small local market saturation, e.g.,
CIM Program can reach several Midwestern states,
not just Ohio
Challenges







Faculty
Patience
Costs
Time = Money
Labs
Equivalent Perception/Supervision for Clinical
Education Experiences
Unions
Challenges Cont.
Gen Eds, Sciences and Dev Ed
 Student Readiness
 Student Support
 Student Services
 High Stakes Testing

Conclusions

Investment, both human and financial,
in distance learning initiatives will result
in significant returns for community
colleges and the students and
communities they serve
Contact Information

Janell Lang, Assistant Director, Faculty
Development, Owens Community College,
[email protected]

Anne Loochtan, Assistant Dean, Health and
Public Safety, Cincinnati State Technical and
Community College, Cincinnati, Ohio,
[email protected]

http://www.nn2.org
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