Online Course Program

FCC Audit Report

The Two Versions of the report.
This audit report comes in two editions, an online edition presented on this website and a printed text version that is available in the Center for Distributed Learning. The online edition presents the full text of the report as well as the Audit Standards and the Appendices.  The print version includes the audit standards, the full text of the report, and the proposed Action Items.

A Practical Way to Read the Report.
As all Appendices are referenced and hyperlinked in the text, the most convenient way to read the report is to have both the print version and this website open and follow the references by clicking on the respective number in the list of Appendices on this website.

The Audit Standards.
The report addresses a set of 95 program quality standards compiled in the Program Audit Standards for Online Courses and Degree Programs at Frederick Community College
. The set covers all of the QM “Standards for Quality Online Programs” from November 2011. In addition, the FCC audit covers some performance indicators from the 2011 “Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education (Online Learning)” that do not seem specifically addressed in the QM line-up. Some of the language was adapted from SLOAN’s “Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Education Program"

The Scope of the Report

(1)   The scope of the Report is defined by its purpose to demonstrate compliance with the QM Standards of Quality Online Programs. In addition to the QM standards, however, the Report will address quality standards contained in the February 2011Guidelines for the Evaluation of Online Learning by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  

(2)   As much as needed, the Report will present a historical perspective on ten years of growth and guided program development from the first set of handcrafted websites to an assembly of some ninety more professional and pedagogically sophisticated courses. The Report will review select trend data from 2003/04 to 2010/11.The Report reflects both historical and current inconsistencies in the use of terms such as Distance Education, Distance Learning, Online Learning, and Distributed Learning.

(3)   As an “Audit Report” the Report narrative will directly respond to the externally articulated standards, at the same time, it will identify strength and weaknesses of the program, capture structural stress points and present recommendations for the future.

The Organization of the Report
The Report is organized to follow the sequence of the Program Audit Standards for Online Courses and Degree Programs at Frederick Community College.

The ninety five performance indicators are organized in categories of five core standards as shown in the Table of Contents of this report. Within each of the categories the performance indicators are identified by number and the texts is reprinted for better readability.
As particular issues are often addressed in more than one performance indicator, the Report duplicates information to give the response to each audit standard some degree of narrative coherence and to avoid too many cross references in the text.

In addition to the Action Items identified throughout the text, the Report bookmarks ‘noteworthy’items for internal use and future reference.