Center for Educational Innovation

Academic Affairs and Provost

University of Minnesota 2016 Online Programs Task Group Reports

Online education is an essential part of the University of Minnesota. While the University has had much success in this area, in order to be more planful about the future, there was a general consensus that the University needed a more strategic approach. Last year, Vice Provost Rebecca Ropers-Huilman charged two task groups to develop reports on the University’s approach to online academic programs. The recommendations of the two reports are in very close alignment with the findings of the U of M System-Wide Strategic Plan.

Christine Mueller (School of Nursing) and Bob Stine (College of Continuing Education) co-chaired a task group addressing institutional support issues while Janice Conway-Klaassen (Center for Allied Health) and Scott Marshall (Disability Resource Center) led the group examining faculty support issues. The focus of their efforts was guided by a benchmarking study that was undertaken in the previous year.

The highest priority recommendations from the two task groups ask the University to:

  • Create a strategic positioning statement about the role and value of online learning at the University of Minnesota
  • Consider how to provide operational support for the strategic growth of online programs
  • Leverage and support Teaching Support @ UMN to define and build a collaborative approach for providing resources, faculty development, and best practices for online instruction
  • Ensure that colleges, academic units, and campuses will have guidelines for online teaching and course development
  • Develop a process to evaluate the efficacy and value of current and emerging system-wide technologies supporting online teaching and learning and recommend those that enhance online learning
  • Charge the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs with the responsibility to provide guidance and direction in implementing the recommendations

The Center for Educational Innovation along with the University of Minnesota Online Steering Committee and other academic and administrative units will be working with the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs to address these recommendations over the next year. For more information on the reports, contact Bob Rubinyi at


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