SJSU SLIS Receives Sloan-C Award Honoring Innovation in Online Learning


The School of Library and Information Science at San José State University (SJSU) is the recipient of a 2013 Sloan Consortium Effective Practice Award, honoring innovation in online education. 

The award recognizes the school’s effective use of the Sloan-C Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Education Programs, which the school uses to measure the quality of its fully online graduate programs. The award also acknowledges the school’s efforts to share results transparently with all stakeholders by posting scorecard results on the school’s website.

The SJSU information school conducts annual assessments using the scorecard’s research-based standards and indicators. During the most recent assessment, the scorecard total was 196, a number that is categorized in the “exemplary” range by the Sloan Consortium.

According to Debbie Faires, assistant director for distance learning for the SJSU information school, use of the scorecard to conduct a self-assessment helps school leaders identify ways to improve the program and update school resources.  For example, after reviewing scorecard results, the school expanded the technology support it provides for its online students. The school also launched new professional development activities for its faculty, aimed at helping them boost their expertise as online educators.

“We are thrilled to receive the Sloan-C award,” said Faires. “It recognizes the hard work of our faculty and staff, who focus every day on how to make our fully online programs more effective.”

“Our school is committed to offering high quality online programs,” said Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director of the SJSU information school. “I’m pleased that our efforts to stay up to date with the latest trends in online education were recognized by the Sloan-C award committee.”

The SJSU information school is also committed to sharing its effective practices with other institutions. During July 2013, Faires met with faculty from a university in Pakistan to discuss how to build a quality online program. Scholars from the Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad, Pakistan, are currently planning to use the Sloan-C scorecard at their institution as they start offering online courses.

The SJSU information school’s programs are offered exclusively online, allowing the school’s faculty and staff to focus on meeting the needs of online students.  The school offers two graduate degree programs, a Master of Library and Information Science and a Master of Archives and Records Administration, as well as a Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science.

All of the school’s resources are dedicated to supporting online students, including career counseling, academic advising, and a technology support team. In addition, the SJSU information school is an early adopter of emerging technologies that advance its online learning environment.

The Sloan Consortium announced the 2013 award winners on November 4, and will honor award recipients during the Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning, on November 21, 2013, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.