Proposal to reword online education bylaws sparks debate

Proposed amendments to the language used in the bylaws which govern online education programs created a stir Monday among members of the Academic Senate.

Concerns were raised that programs such as Moodle, Canvas, and MyMathLab, used by distance education courses, would not be authenticated in the future.

“The controversy was we were worried that somebody would interpret in the future that you just have to use Moodle,” said Mathematics Chair Bob Martinez. “You have to be careful about language because you don’t know who will interpret it in the future.”

Martinez uses MyMathLab, and said “it’s the most solid platform for online delivery of math.”

Computer Applications and Office Technologies Instructor Joseph Perret agreed that misinterpretations in the online realm can impede the education process.

“The misunderstanding of online environment leads to people writing very restrictive regulations that hampers teachers from doing their job,” Perret said.

Perret said Pierce is behind other district schools in regard to online courses.

“I want more online classes. Two percent of all our classes are taught online. The district-wide average is six percent, the statewide average is 15 percent,” Perret said. “What that says to me is Pierce is far under-serving their students because there is a demand that we are not meeting.”


Also discussed at Monday’s meeting were the HIV Awareness Week, Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez’s upcoming visit, April’s Farm Walk event and the ongoing accreditation process.

Faculty Accreditation Coordinator Margarita Pillado briefly addressed the senate about the current status of accreditation.

“The annual report is something we are mandated to submit at the end of March to the Accreditation Steering Committee, [and] among many items must include institutional performance in the institution-set standards,” Pillado said.

The Academic Senate will meet again on April 13 at 2:15 p.m. in the Great Hall. The agenda for the meeting will be posted on the Pierce College website about three days prior to the meeting.

Additional reporting by Salvador Fariaz