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Student Achievement Outreach

Quality of Online Learning

The highest priority of CWU’s human, physical, and financial resources is the success of its educational programs. It is imperative that the university ensure institutional, accreditation, and state licensing standards of quality and best practice.  Currently, online program quality is assessed using a variety of metrics, including the following:

  • Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEOI) Analysis: Online courses are compared to face-to-face courses to measure differences in perceived teaching skill, outcome obtainment, and course effectiveness. In the most recent annual comparison, online courses in general have higher average responses on SEOIs than face-to-face courses (although the differences are small).
  • DFW Rates: Online courses are compared to face-to-face courses to measure student success as based on the percentage of students receiving either a grade of D, F, or withdrawal (W). For comparable courses (courses with both face-to-face and online sections), DFW rates track very closely, and most recently online sections of these courses have had slightly lower DFW rates than the face-to-face sections.
  • Priorities Survey of Online Learners (PSOL): This national standardized survey is administered to all online learning students to measure satisfaction with the institution, support services provided, and the academic learning environment. In the most recent PSOL survey, students in online programs reported high satisfaction with the availability of technical assistance, financial aid, career guidance from program advisors, and institutional reputation.
  • Retention Rates: Students in online degree programs are tracked for retention and graduation status. Retention rates for undergraduate students in online majors range from 89% to 95% on a quarter-to-quarter basis, which tracks closely with university retention rates for all undergraduate students.

For more detailed information, you can read the full Online Learning Quality Assurance Report.