Assessing Proposals For Developing Online Academic Resources Procedure

Assessing Proposals For Developing Online Academic Resources Procedure


Office of Academic Affairs


Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs





Effective Date:


Implementation History:

09/03/1998 (original implementation), 05/30/2000


online academic resources

Background Information:


Proposals for developing online academic resources will be reviewed and prioritized as noted in the process described below. Online academic resources include online courses, academic resources that are accessible on the university's website; and mentor resources, posted on individual mentor webpages, for which design or programming support is requested or required.


Definitions are embedded within the procedure statement.


To guide those developing proposals and to inform the review process, a statement outlining expectations and the context for requests is attached (see attachment No. 1). Proposals should be submitted directly to the Office of Academic Affairs. Proposals will then be reviewed by an Online Resources Committee and the relevant area of study group* when appropriate. The AOS group will be asked to comment on the first three items listed in the "Information for Preparing Proposals" (scope, need and fit) and to prioritize the proposal.

The Online Resources Committee, made up of the vice president for educational technology, the assistant/associate VP for academic affairs, the director of CDL, and the director of CLT will review the proposals for online academic resource support. Proposals involving technology will be reviewed in terms of appropriate use of technology, specifically in terms of the project being achievable and supportable. Proposals should focus on the resource and not on the technology tools; the Online Resources Committee will make suggestions about how best to accomplish those projects that are feasible within the university's resources. The attached statement on supported technology platforms at ESC should help frame that discussion (attachment No. 2).

The criteria and plans for evaluation, or a statement of the anticipated outcome of a project, will be considered in setting priorities and making decisions. If scope, need and fit are addressed in the proposals coming forward and if those proposals are realized within ESC's software/platform environment, then evaluation can focus on what defines success and whether or not the resource will be integrated into the university-wide "set." The Online Resources Committee will consider related issues, such as the increasing public nature of our academic "offerings" as they become more accessible on the university's website; the question of duplication of resources; and academic review. These issues will be referred to appropriate academic offices and groups as necessary.

The Office of Academic Affairs will consult with directors when a mentor from their location is being considered for funding, regardless of source.

Professional reassignment requests from individual mentors or AOS groups will be reviewed, following the process outlined above, when the projects involve the development of online academic resources. As in other professional reassignment requests, the vice president for academic affairs makes final decisions about funding.

* If proposals come from an interdisciplinary group (i.e. one that crosses two or more AOSs), an appropriate task group will be formed to review the proposals.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Attachment 1

Online Learning Resource Development
Information for Preparing Proposals

As the college continues its development of networked learning delivered through the World Wide Web and other online mechanisms, numerous proposals and requests are coming forward. We have expanding, but nonetheless limited, resources available. This background information provides a set of guidelines to members of the ESC community interested in pursuing online projects.

All proposals will be reviewed by the Online Resources Committee, and the relevant area of study group, when appropriate. In submitting a request for support, the following items should be addressed:

  • scope: indicate the potential audience for the proposed resource, including reference to how it might expand our ability to offer distance learning, particularly in support of concentrations
  • need: indicate the potential audience for the project both within and beyond the current student group working with the proposer(s)
  • fit: demonstrate that the proposed project is not redundant with other distance learning and/or Web-based learning resources, and that it appropriately supports an area of study
  • feasibility: show that the planned use of technology is appropriate, achievable, and supportable, and that the proposer has, or will have, the requisite skills to use the technology effectively (refer to the statement on supported technology platforms at ESC);
  • support: indicate the source of support for this project (either from the local center, CLT, CDL, or professional reassignment, etc.)
  • access to appropriate computer equipment and to the WWW
  • outcomes: indicate the manner in which the project will be assessed.

The feasibility of proposed projects will be reviewed in light of the Statement on Supported Technology Platforms at ESC.

All proposals should include an evaluation or assessment statement. Requests for venture funds will be expected to include measurable outcomes that can be evaluated. The continued support and maintenance of online resources will be based on outcomes.

Attachment 2

Statement on Supported Technology Platforms

General Use Software

For general use software and email, the college licenses and supports Lotus Notes groupware. Supported office suite products are Microsoft Office and Lotus Smartsuite. The operating environment of the college is Windows NT. To maintain consistency across the college, workstations should be loaded with the currently supported versions of these products:

  • Lotus Notes v. 4.6 (or 4.5)
  • Windows NT v. 4.0
  • Microsoft Office '97
  • Lotus Smartsuite '97
Web Development

The official college website is developed and maintained using Lotus Domino and Web templates. Staff and faculty maintaining official college pages receive training and support in using these products. Faculty and staff developing personal webpages are encouraged to use whatever software they are familiar with.

Course Management Systems

The college seeks to maintain a single interface for students in online courses. All online course developers use Lotus Note 4.6. For courses on the SUNY Learning Network, developers use the Lotus Notes course management template maintained by SLN (SUNY Learning Network). For other ESC online study groups, developers use an ESC adapted version of the same template.

Individual Development Projects

The college supports individual development projects by faculty through release time, funds and technical support. Request for college support can be made in accordance with the Procedure Statement on Assessing Proposals for On-line Academic Resource Development. Faculty and staff who receive college support for developing Web- or computer-based materials will work with the Center for Learning and Technology staff who will select the software or development environment best suited to the project. Considerations in selecting college supported software include cost, ease of use and long-term maintainability.