An increasing number of “black swan” events such as natural disasters, weather and political unrest have necessitated colleges and universities to enhance their learning and business continuity plans. Unfortunately, recent concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) have compelled institutions to test their plans in real time. As the number of institutions forgoing in-person classes and transitioning to remote learning increases, perhaps for extended periods, the ability to move fluidly from brick-and-mortar classrooms to online learning platforms is vital for continued success in instructional continuity (and institutional survival). This shift has emphasized the importance of a sound online learning framework, including appropriate approval and monitoring mechanisms along with compliance with accessibility requirements. While developing new or transforming existing courses into an online environment may be complex and time consuming, as current events have demonstrated, it is critical for institutions to be prepared to respond quickly and maintain course quality, academic integrity and meet institutional standards.
Evolving curriculum and transitioning to online learning and virtual platforms requires both initial and ongoing investment of institutional time, effort and resources. With these investments comes the risk of financial and/or organizational setbacks. Familiarizing yourself with potential pitfalls can help to improve your institution’s likelihood for success. To manage the challenges and risks related to online learning, institutions should ask themselves whether they are doing the following, or should consider the following:
We can help you take a proactive approach to evaluating your institution’s online learning framework.
For more information on this topic or to learn how Baker Tilly specialists can help, contact our team.