I. Purpose

In order to ensure quality delivery of online courses and programs, this procedure establishes guidelines for class size, course fees, training requirements, minimum standards for quality, course evaluation, and student support.

II. Definitions

  1. Online instruction: for the purposes of this procedure, online instruction refers to any course where all course work can be completed at a distance.
  2. Platform: for the purpose of this procedure, WebCT is the current institutionally supported course management platform.
  3. Stacked classes: refer to Procedure 6520: Instructional Faculty Workload/Compensation.
  4. Face-to-face classes: those classes that are offered in a typical classroom arrangement.

III. Class Size

Class size is the number of students who can be enrolled in an online class without adversely affecting the quality of instruction and learning.

  1. The recommended enrollment for an online class is 25 students. The instructor in consultation with the division dean can allow more students.
  2. The minimum limit of students should be similar to that allowed for a face-to-face class. The minimum number of students is determined each semester by the IAC or the division dean.
  3. The division dean and the instructor are allowed to negotiate an equitable credit load depending on the number of students enrolled in a course.
  4. If the maximum enrollment for a class is reached early, the dean of that division can split the class into multiple sections.
  5. If two sections of the same course are offered, one online and one face-to-face, and neither has adequate enrollment to run, if both the dean and the instructor agree, the class can be offered as a ďstack.Ē The face-to-face class will meet as scheduled and the online offered as designed.
  6. This procedure will be reviewed periodically to meet new and emerging needs and adapt to changes in technology.

IV. Online Course Fees

Online course fees are those fees charged in addition to tuition and other fees for online courses.

  1. The VPs of Instruction, Student Services, and Information Technology will annually review and recommend to Presidentís Staff an online course fee.
  2. The collected online fee may be used for one or more of the following:
    1. To provide professional development opportunities to online faculty. (Faculty can attend workshops, seminars and national conferences, as resources allow, that deal with online education.)
    2. To purchase laptops, hardware, software, materials, services, etc. for online faculty that are deemed necessary to teach effective online courses.
    3. To support partial funding for online student services.
    4. To support the course management system through the ITS Division.
  3. The division dean and the instructor are allowed to negotiate an equitable credit load depending on the number of students enrolled in a course.
  4. The fees for online courses will be distributed to the appropriate division, and the disbursement of the funds will be the responsibility of the division dean or appropriate VP.
  5. The VPs of Instruction, Student Services, and Information Technology will recommend to Presidentís Staff the allocations of funding.

V. Training Requirements for Online Instruction

Faculty will be provided training opportunities to enable effective delivery of online courses.

  1. All new online faculty must attend the required training program before teaching online. The training program includes completion of the LCCC online training session.
  2. Experienced online faculty will demonstrate their expertise to the division dean and instructional designer(s) before teaching for LCCC for the first time. This can be done by providing the dean and instructional designer(s) access to a course the instructor has already taught.
  3. Faculty using platforms other than the institutionally supported course management platform will meet with their dean and the instructional designer(s) to arrange for training on that platform.
  4. All online faculty using the institutionally supported course management platform will attend sessions on upgrades.
  5. All online faculty are expected to attend the meetings of online faculty that are regularly scheduled throughout the academic year.

VI. Minimum Standards for Online Classes

  1. All sections of the same course, regardless of delivery format, will have the same learning outcomes and follow the same course assessment processes.
  2. All online courses will have a detailed syllabus that includes all the items that are included on the standard institutional syllabus. These items include the following:
    1. Semester, dates, course description, outcomes, policies on grading, audit, Americans with Disabilities Act, incompletes, students rights and responsibilities, and contact information.
    2. Semester, dates, course description, outcomes, policies on grading, audit, Americans with Disabilities Act, incompletes, students rights and responsibilities, and contact information.
  3. All online courses will have a course content module that will include these items as applicable:
    1. Chapter notes
    2. List of outside readings
    3. PowerPoint presentations, if available
    4. Links to related material
    5. References to CDs and other digital materials
    6. Links to the LCCC library
    7. Online tutoring
    8. Student support services
  4. Communication is a critical component of every online course; therefore,
    1. All online courses will have email. Email will be answered within 24-48 hours, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Answering emails during weekends or holidays is optional, unless stated in the syllabus.
    2. Threaded discussion, chat rooms, and other communications tools that encourage frequent instructor/student and student/student communication are highly recommended as applicable to the course.
  5. Evaluation of student learning is a critical component of all online courses; therefore,
    1. Specific guidelines for testing will be included on the syllabus.
    2. The assignments and projects required for the course will be explained clearly and submission due dates posted.
    3. Students will be provided a means to check on their progress in the course.
  6. All online courses should follow rules of formal standard English.

VII. Online Course Quality

To provide a method of observing online courses to ensure that the minimum standards as outlined in Section VI., Minimum Standards for Online Classes are met.

  1. Prior to the offering of a new course, it will be evaluated by the division dean to assure it meets the Minimum Standards for Online Courses.
  2. Experienced online faculty will demonstrate their expertise to the division dean and instructional designer(s) before teaching for LCCC for the first time. This can be done by providing the dean and instructional designer(s) access to a course the instructor has already taught.
  3. Online course delivery will be reviewed periodically utilizing the Minimum Standards for Online Instruction Checklist by the division dean.
  4. Failure to meet the Minimum Standards will be reflected in the full-time employee=s annual evaluation and may result in removal of the instructor from online instruction assignments or other disciplinary actions if the instructor fails to correct deficiencies.
  5. Records of Minimum Standards checklist will be maintained by the division dean.

VIII. Online Course Evaluation and Online Course Technical Evaluations

Online Course Evaluations and Online Course Technical Evaluations provide a means of evaluating the quality of online courses. Online Course Evaluations are intended to gather feedback from students about the course organization, instructor interaction with the students, and the overall quality of the course. Online Technical Evaluations are intended to gather feedback from students about the technical aspects of online courses.

  1. Division administrative assistants request the instructional designer(s) load the division survey shells with the online courses and related rosters to be evaluated.
  2. All new online course offerings or online course offerings with a new instructor will be reviewed during the first semester in which they are offered. Courses will be evaluated as determined by the division dean thereafter unless a new instructor is assigned to teach the course.
  3. Online student evaluation survey results are compiled and distributed to the dean as surveys are completed.
  4. The instructional designer(s) submits total division online student evaluation survey results to division deans at close of online surveys.
  5. Division deans process online student evaluation survey results along with classroom-based student evaluations.
  6. Division administrative assistants distribute printed summaries of online evaluations to the deans, who will share them with the faculty member.
  7. The instructional designer(s) administers and processes Online Technical Evaluation results and distributes printed summaries to division deans and faculty.
  8. Deans will be responsible for discussing online evaluations with faculty and insuring that all online courses are meeting the quality standards expected by LCCC.
  9. Faculty of online courses can request to have the technical evaluation conducted.

IX. Student Support Services Online

  1. Admission Information: The LCCC Admissions Office will provide accurate, timely educational information to prospective students regarding application methods, program and course content, deadlines, and any other pertinent information that would assist students in selecting LCCC as their college of choice. This information will be provided via the LCCC Website, mailings, and phone.
  2. Orientation to LCCC: LCCC will offer an online student orientation program to inform online students about the campus, its functions, and activities.
  3. Placement Testing: Academic skills assessment is essential to assist students in making choices that will enable them to obtain their educational goals. LCCC online students will need to meet college outlined prerequisites for all courses. This may entail completing placement exams. To ensure test security, online students needing placement exams will need to complete testing at a college approved, proctored test site. Online students can contact the LCCC Testing Center to discuss options.
  4. Academic Advising: Online students can receive online academic advising through their college appointed academic advisor. Students may contact the LCCC Student Records Office for advisor assignment. Students may call an advisor through the collegeís toll-free telephone number or e-mail.
  5. Personal Counseling: Counseling services are available to online students within current statutory and licensing guidelines. Online students may call or email the counseling center or any of the LCCC counselors if they have questions regarding counseling services.
  6. Registration: Online students can register for courses via the currently available LCCC online registration program.
  7. Tuition Payments: Online students can pay tuition using a credit card via telephone service through the Business Office or Student Records or the online registration system. Students may also pay tuition through personal check and invoice via regular postal service.
  8. Financial Aid: Online students can obtain financial aid information through the LCCC Website. The LCCC Financial Aid Institutional Form, General Scholarship Form, and information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are available.
  9. Bookstore: Online students can contact and place textbook orders through the LCCC Bookstore via phone or Internet. Contact information can be found on the LCCC Website.
  10. Student Life: Online students will be provided information regarding access to campus activities and events through the LCCC website or student information system.
  11. Career and Employment Services: Online students have access to a full complement of career exploration and career search services through the LCCC Career Center. These services can be found on the LCCC Website.
  12. Library Services: LCCC provides online students with services and access to information resources in traditional and electronic format via the Internet. These services can be accessed through the LCCC Website.
  13. Tutoring: LCCC will offer limited tutoring to online students accessible through the LCCC Website.
  14. Disability Services: Online students with documented disabilities needing accommodations should contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) each semester. No accommodations will be provided by the instructor without approval from the DRC.