Framework for Online Courses

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

"Framework for Online Courses" is comprised of four institutional pillars: Leadership, Academic, Student Services & Engagement and Technology (LAST) and built on sixteen blocks.  It was designed to reduce silos and convert the design of online courses as an endeavor of cross institutional teams towards strategic change.  


Enrique Castellanos, Attorney. Private practice: Intellectual Property (1993-present). Representative clients: U. of Puerto Rico at Carolina, Interamerican U. of Puerto Rico, AT&T Wireless, Puerto Rico, Latin Media House Publishers and Caribbean Business. Adjunct Professor, IP in Cyberspace, Pontifical Catholic U. of Puerto Rico. (2012-present). Invited Speaker, Legal Aspects of IP in Cyberspace. Columbia U., U. of Georgia, Syracuse U., Emory U. and Boston College.

Additional Authors

Raquel Marti holds an Executive Master Degree from the School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. During the past thirty years I have directed numerous projects at their stage of planning towards development and sustainable development. Many of the projects grow into best practices and have scaled up. Most recently from 2015-2018, I directed a project on Online Courses at the University of Puerto Rico at Carolina. Under this project I designed the "Framework for Online Courses". This Framework was acknowledged as best practice by the US Department of Education, Division of Higher Education. The Framework for Online Courses is a comprehensive model which is sustained by the three pillars: Institutional, Academic and Technology and built upon sixteen blocks that interconnect as institutional stakeholders. I have a strong area of expertise in grantsmanship and institutional development in higher education. I have published the International Development: Standards for NGOs, Winning Federal Proposals, Volunteers,Fund Raising Campaigns.

Extended Abstract

The "Framework for Online Courses" was designed by the author, Raquel Marti and piloted at University of Puerto Rico at Carolina.  For years this institution had  a need to reduce silos and bring to the drawing table all stakeholders cross institutional teams who have a responsibility in the design of online courses at educational environments.  Prior to the implementation of the "Framework", the institution made intends for over ten years with the only result of two online courses. versus one hundred wight (108) within eighteen months. 

The main institutional teams are represeented  under four pillars:  Leadership, Academic, Student, and Technology (LAST).  There are sixteen building blocks that sustain this comprehensive innovative model of institutional strategic change for successful compliance of design for online courses. 

The innovation of this "Framework for Online Courses" is its'  foundation as the legal support in compliance with the TEACH ACT.  The foundation under the Leadership pillar the institution is protected by Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act.  The foundation under the Academic pillar the courses comply with the TEACH/ACT Intellectual Property Assessment. The foundation under the Technology pillar the institution is protected by Liability Limitations. 

Under the Leadership  pillar are the following blocks:  Institutional Strategic Plan,  Accrediting agency Online course compliance,  Governance (Distance Education Policy) , Planning and Institutional Studies.

Under the Academic pillar are the following blocks: Distance Education Definition, Distance Education Commitee, Faculty and Staff Development, Quality Matters Standards, and Instructional Design.

Under the Student pillar  are the following blocks: Admission, Financial Aid, Course regristration, Academic counseling, Electronic resources and Technological services.

Under the Technology pillar are the following blocks: LMS, Help Desk,  and Electronic  Resources

This comprehensive leadership model has made the quantatitive impact within eighteen months:

  • Institutional Copyright Infringement Protection,
  • Eighty-four (84) faculty members Certified for Online Courses with 40 hours of cpacity building on the following topics:  Use of distance learning platform; Teaching methods for online courses; Online teaching tools; Quality Matters Standrads; TEACH ACT and other applicable statutes, Emerging Technologies and Student Assessment.
  • One-hundred eight (108) new courses have been designed under this Framework,
  • Three thousand seven hundred forty (3,740) students enrolled online courses,
  • Ninety-one percent (91%) course retention,
  • Increase institutional fiscal income.

At this educational session participants will be provided with building block and a rubric  to build their institutional "Framework for Online Courses"to score the level of readiness for designing online courses.

The "Framework for Online Courses has proven efffectiveness and identified as a comprehensive best practice by the U.S. Department of Education;  Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions Educators; Quality Matters; and the Online Learning Consortium.