Procedure 5-20: Distance Learning Procedures
(formerly Distance Learning/Hybrid Guidelines)
- Distance learning classes at San Jacinto College are considered a mode of delivery for instruction and are under the supervision of the respective campus instructional department, division, dean, and provost.
- For the purposes of reporting contact hours to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), the College has adopted procedures to define the different modes of distance learning delivery.
- Online (OL): All content is delivered through computers and multimedia using the San Jacinto College’s web-based system, Blackboard, and may include CDs and audio/video streaming or publisher content; both synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods may be used as appropriate. No on-campus testing or activities are required; however, off-campus proctored exams may be required. (See calculations table for synchronous contact hour details.)
- Online Partial (OLP): Most of the content is delivered through computers and multimedia. These courses use Blackboard, the San Jacinto College’s web-based system, and may include CDs and audio/video streaming or publisher content; both synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods may be used as appropriate. On-campus testing, orientation, and/or other activities may be required. (See calculations table for synchronous contact hour details.)
- Online/Classroom (OLC): Content delivered through a combination of web-based and classroom activities. These courses use components of computer instruction using the San Jacinto College’s web-based system, Blackboard, in addition to multimedia activities and classroom time. On-campus classroom time is required. (See calculations table for synchronous contact hour details.)
- Online (OL) and Online Partial (OLP) section enrollments will be set at a maximum head count of thirty (30) students unless noted otherwise in the table below. Online/Classroom (OLC) maximum head counts will be consistent with face-to-face offerings of the same course.
|Subject||Course||Maximum OL/OLP Enrollment|
- Once a course section has filled, an additional section of a course may be opened by the campus at the set maximum enrollment. If a section does not reach an enrollment of 13 to make a section full, the faculty member will be paid in the following manner per student.
|13||Full section pay|
- Faculty pay for distance learning classes will be calculated consistent with the way in which face-to-face instruction is calculated.
- Online (OL) sections will be designated in the class schedule with a section number beginning with “7” as defined by College schedule development protocol and a Session Code of “O.”
- Online Partial (OLP) sections will be designated in the class schedule with a section number beginning with “7” as defined by College schedule development protocol and a Session Code of “P.”
- Online/Classroom (OLC) sections will be designated in the class schedule with a section number beginning with “8” as defined by College schedule development protocol and a Session Code of “Q.”
- Section numbers for Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom sections will be assigned based on the “Section Assignments for Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom Courses” document found on the College’s intranet.
- The Part of Term for each Online (O) or Online Partial (OLP) class will be set on the first class day of that term.
- Each campus shall regularly monitor enrollment and adjust enrollment limits as needed.
- Each campus shall ensure Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom offerings meet the same quality standards and achieve the same student learning outcomes as the equivalent face-to-face course(s).
- Campuses will follow the agreed-upon rotation schedule for course offerings negotiated by the department chairs. Disagreements will be reviewed by the Vice President of Educational Technology in coordination with the provost. Agreed upon rotations will be maintained at the College’s intranet.
- In cases where distance learning and online/classroom sections do not have the required enrollment, departments will communicate with other campuses and combine distance learning sections based on previously agreed-to instructional rotations.
- In the absence of an agreed-upon rotation, the campus with the largest enrollment will generally teach the class, but the provost may approve a different arrangement.
- Faculty should be assigned to distance learning classes no later than the published payment deadline for the semester in which they are teaching.
- Departments must notify the Vice President for Educational Technology prior to assigning a faculty member who resides out of state to teach the course in order to ensure compliance with state agreements for online instruction.
- The Vice President for Educational Technology is responsible for providing appropriate training and support for faculty to develop or teach distance learning and hybrid courses.
- To teach Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom sections, faculty must have successfully completed the college-approved certification program conducted by the Educational Technology Department and maintain their certification by completing related professional development each year as a component of faculty professional development for faculty performance review.
a) Part-time faculty members who meet the same requirements as full-time faculty members may be assigned to develop or teach Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom courses as appropriate.
b) Faculty may receive a one-time, one-semester exemption of this requirement with approval of their respective deans.
- A full-time faculty member qualified to teach distance learning and hybrid classes may replace a part-time faculty member scheduled to teach an Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom class in order to make a contract load at the discretion of College administration.
- Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom courses shall be scheduled for appropriate lengths of time as prescribed by the provost.
- All Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom course syllabi and first day handouts shall be posted in the learning management system (Blackboard) course site no later than the first day of class.
- In addition to meeting the college’s minimum presence, all faculty assigned to teach a Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom are required to use Blackboard for the distribution of instructional content. This includes access to approved external content (ex: publisher textbook companion sites). Distance learning faculty are required to use Blackboard to make regular use of the integrated communication tools and for faculty and students to demonstrate active engagement in the course.
- All faculty are responsible for meeting the required direct instructional minutes associated with their assigned classes in accordance with the SJC statement on direct instruction.
- Faculty teaching distance learning classes will develop courses to meet the Distance Learning Course Assessment Rubric to ensure quality design and student/faculty engagement.
a) Courses rating 85% or greater and meeting all SJC required standards to be designated as “meet standards.”
b) Faculty receiving a rating of 85% or greater and meeting all SJC required standards may be considered as subject matter experts for future course developments and may be assigned to work with faculty as mentors.
c) Courses rating 85% or greater but does not meet all SJC required standards may continue teaching their classes but must incorporate required changes prior to the next semester the course is offered.
d) Faculty receiving a rating of 75-84.99% will be paired with a mentor faculty or instructional designer to update their course prior to the next semester the course is offered or they will be given access to a ready-to-teach course for their classes if available.
e) Faculty receiving a rating less than 75% will work with an instructional designer or a mentor faculty, at the direction of their department chair, to make necessary improvements to their course(s) prior to the next semester the course(s) is offered or they will be given access to a ready-to-teach course for their classes if available.
- All Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom courses sites in Blackboard shall be made available to students no later than the first day of classes.
- Distance learning faculty members shall be encouraged and assisted in developing online learning and exam options. Assistance is available from the Educational Technology Department.
- Administration of exams is the responsibility of the faculty member. If a proctored setting at San Jacinto College is required, the faculty member should arrange times and locations for testing working through their department and/or division. If a student presents a hardship that necessitates the need for a student to test in a San Jacinto College Testing Center, these requests will be forwarded by the faculty member to the department chair who will work with the appropriate Testing Center personnel for specific arrangements.
- Course orientation is the responsibility of the faculty. Using their best professional judgment, faculty may conduct orientation in face-to-face class meetings or using appropriate technology.
- Grading should be completed in a timely fashion and feedback should be provided by online grade book.
- Grades will be maintained in the Blackboard Grade Center and made available for students to view; even if using a third party application to grade assignments (i.e. MyMathLab, or something similar).
- Faculty members should establish contact with students at the beginning of the term and maintain regular engagement throughout the term.
- Faculty members should include information in their syllabus to define how communications will be managed during the course.
- Faculty members should maintain a record of student attendance in Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom courses. For online portions of the course, logging into the Blackboard site does not suffice. Students must be actively participating in the learning process through activities such as discussion boards, Collaborate sessions, assignment submissions, assessments, etc. to count for attendance. Faculty members should monitor each student’s progress and follow the same withdrawal processes that are used for the course when offered in an on-campus delivery format.
- Faculty teaching Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom courses are expected to develop and post a schedule of office hours in accordance with the Faculty Work Schedule Procedures housed on the College’s intranet. Technical support for Online, Online Partial, and Online/Classroom courses and related support services is provided through the existing college structures.
- A full-time faculty member may teach up to 60% of a semester’s regular load in distance learning courses. The remaining 40% of the workload will typically be taught on campus in face-to-face sections. For exceptions, department chairs and deans may petition the campus provost for approval for a faculty member to teach additional sections of distance learning courses as part of the regular load above the 60% with appropriate justification (i.e., faculty specialization, course demand, ADA accommodation, etc.). A full-time faculty member may teach additional distance learning sections as overloads.
- Expectations for office hours and college service for distance learning faculty are included in the Faculty Handbook. The delivery mode and faculty location for distance learning classes should be determined in agreement with their department chair.
DEAN/DEPARTMENT CHAIR PARAMETERS
- The Vice President for Educational Technology is responsible for providing appropriate training and support for deans/department chairs to evaluate distance learning and hybrid courses.
- Department Chairs are required to conduct observations of online classes consistent with procedures for all instructional offerings.
- Department Chairs will use the Distance Learning Course Assessment Rubric to ensure quality design and student/faculty engagement. Results will be kept on file in the SJC Distance Learning Office.
- Department Chairs should review course and student performance data (i.e., end of course evaluations, student completion, etc.) to assist in determining if professional development opportunities should be recommended to faculty.
- Deans and department chairs should assist faculty in identifying opportunities and developing a professional development strategy to support distance learning instructional delivery as needed.
- Department Chairs will monitor faculty schedules and college service as detailed in the Faculty Handbook.
Distance Learning Procedures
October 2012; August 2013; May 2014; January 2015