SECTION EBA.1


INSTRUCTION
ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF INSTRUCTION
DISTANCE EDUCATION

Procedure


DEFINITIONS


For the purposes of this procedure, “distance education” means education that uses one or more of the technologies listed below to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously. The technologies may include:

  • the Internet;
  • one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;
  • audio conferencing or Interactive Video Conferencing (ITV); or
  • DVDs or CD–ROMs, if the DVDs or CD–ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed above.

STANDARDS AND CRITERIA


With respect to distance education, Navarro College shall:

  1. Comply with the standards and criteria of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
  2. Adhere to criteria outlined in Principles of Good Practice for Degree and Certificate Programs and Courses Offered through Distance Education.
  3. Provide students academic support services appropriate for distance education, such as advising, career counseling, library, and other learning resources.
  4. Report enrollments, courses, and graduates associated with distance education offerings as required by the commissioner.

If a non-Texas resident student enrolls in regular, on-campus courses for at least one-half of the normal full-time course load as determined by the institution, the institution may report that student’s fully distance education or hybrid/blended courses for formula-funding enrollments.


OUT OF STATE


Navarro College will not offer distance education classes to students whose primary residence is out of state unless those students are also attending face to face classes on one of the physical campuses of the College District.


DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSES


Each course shall be within the role and mission of Navarro College and shall be on its inventory of approved courses.

All courses shall meet the quality standards applicable to on-campus courses.

Navarro College shall report to the Coordinating Board, in accordance with Coordinating Board policy and procedures, all distance education courses and programs.

Students shall satisfy the same requirement for enrollment in an academic credit course as required of on-campus students. The instructor of record shall bear responsibility for the delivery of instruction and for evaluation of student progress.

Prior Coordinating Board approval may be required before Navarro College may offer programs in certain subject area disciplines or under other conditions specified by the Coordinating Board or the commissioner.


DISTANCE EDUCATION FACULTY


Faculty shall be selected and evaluated by equivalent standards, review, and approval procedures used by the institution to select and evaluate faculty responsible for on-campus courses.

Prior to approval for a faculty member to teach a distance education course, the faculty member shall attend Blackboard training and demonstrate competency to the Dean of Online Learning. That certification will be presented to the Academic Council for review and approval before the faculty member is allowed to teach a distance education course.

The Dean of Online Learning shall provide training and support to enhance the added skills required of the faculty teaching courses through electronic means.

The supervising, monitoring, and evaluating processes for faculty shall be equivalent to those for on-campus courses.


INSTITUTIONAL PLAN


Prior to offering any distance education courses or programs for the first time Navarro College, shall submit an Institutional Plan for Distance Education to the Coordinating Board for approval. The commissioner shall provide guidelines for development of the report and a schedule for any periodic submission of updated reports.


TECHNICAL SUPPORT


The College provides technical support to ensure that online classes are delivered to students with minimal disruption. Instructors should document technical problems that interfere with instruction and communicate that information to both the Information Technology (IT) Department and the Dean of Online Learning. Whenever possible, routine IT maintenance is completed within a time frame which prevents disruption of the class schedule. Navarro College provides a web server with server-side virus protection for direct faculty access in the office and/or at home.


EVALUATION 


In an effort to measure the quality of courses, students are asked to evaluate each on-line class at the conclusion of the semester using an evaluation instrument that addresses specific issues relevant to those courses. Results of these evaluations will be used to improve instruction and assure quality.


STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES 


Students enrolled in on-line courses have access to academic support services, including academic advising, counseling, library, and other learning resources, technological access, tutoring, and financial aid. Students enrolled via the VCT program access these services at their “host” campus. Navarro College provides these services to students enrolled through Navarro College in a VCT course or an online course provided by the College.


PUBLICITY AND PROMOTION OF ONLINE COURSES 


Online course orientation dates and instructor contact information are published in the printed schedule and posted on the College’s web page. Navarro College courses which are available through VCT are also posted onto the VCT web site by the Dean of Online Learning.


REQUESTS TO DEVELOP A NEW ONLINE COURSE 


All instructors are encouraged to develop courses and will be given equal consideration. An instructor desiring to create a new on-line course should complete the Online Course Application form located on the Navarro College Intranet and submit it to his/her Instructional Dean. Based on the needs of the institution and other relevant factors, the Instructional Dean may approve or disapprove the request to develop a new online course. If approved by the Instructional Dean, the application will be forwarded to the Academic Council for review. Instructors who wish to retain intellectual property rights to their course may do so provided they create the course outside of regular work hours and do not receive institutional funds to develop the course.


APPROVAL TO TEACH ONLINE COURSES AND STUDENT SUPPORT 


A. Technical Competency: Before an instructor is approved to teach an online course, he/she must demonstrate proficiency in technical skills and effective on-line teaching strategies.
B. Online course assignment: The teaching assignments and the number of online course sections needed in any given semester will be determined by the Instructional Dean in consultation with the Department Chair/Coordinator.
C. Approval to teach online courses: Instructional Deans will approve assignment to teach online courses based on course quality, faculty load, faculty skill set and other appropriate criteria. All online courses will be scheduled by the instructional area Dean.

  1. In some cases, courses may be duplicated if enrollment demand warrants it.
  2. All online courses should be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs before being offered.
  3. Unnecessary course duplication should be avoided due to the additional costs to the institution and the additional difficulty it creates associated with ensuring course quality.
  4. To address issues of course quality and instructional evaluation, all student issues and complaints must be referred first to the instructor teaching the course and then follow normal administrative appeal procedures if not resolved.
  5. Instructor technical training in the proficient use of online software will be provided on a regular and ongoing basis for all instructors. Enrollment in the course requires Department Chair and Instructional Dean approval. The training should be provided in a hybrid online format and should include beginner, intermediate, and advanced content. Some in-person content must be offered in the beginner section. Intermediate and advanced content may be offered all online. An empty course shell must be provided to every person involved in this training course in the Blackboard system or an alternate method of course delivery/content practice approved by the instructor of the course. Responsibility for providing this training should be assigned to a specific instructor who is experienced in teaching online credit courses at Navarro College and should be funded by the college. This course must be scheduled and available during every major semester of instruction and completion of this course will serve as a means of demonstrating technical proficiency to teach online at Navarro College.
  6. Student technical support will be provided by the Media Integration Services Center and the IT Department.

TESTING


The proctoring of exams, when required by the instructor, will be provided at the College Testing Centers and/or other approved locations at the instructor’s discretion.


REVIEW OF ONLINE GUIDELINES 


As needed, a committee of Executive Deans, instructional deans and faculty teaching on-line courses shall review the Online Guidelines and Procedures and recommend appropriate adjustments, amendments, and/or changes. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint the committee members and assure that the guidelines are reviewed at least every two (2) years.


FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES 


All faculty teaching online courses will be evaluated by the same standards, go through the same review process, and follow the same approval procedures that apply to all other instructors. Any instructor teaching a transfer online course must have the credentials established by the College. The instructor of record for an online course is responsible for the delivery of instruction and for evaluation of student performance in the course. Instructors who receive development funding for creating an online course will incur a two-semester obligation to teach the online course, provided it has sufficient enrollment, and are required to keep the course updated for the duration of the textbook edition for a minimum of two semesters. Right of first refusal to teach a course will be extended to the faculty member who developed the course. If the faculty member who developed the course declines to teach the course after his/her obligation expires, another faculty member may be assigned to teach the course. The Instructional Dean will adjudicate any conflict and make the final decision as to the instructor of record.Part-time faculty members are eligible to request approval to develop or teach an online course but must comply with the same development guidelines and processes herein


INSTRUCTOR LOAD 


Full time Instructors may be assigned to a maximum limit of eight (8) courses including online and lecture courses. A full-time teaching load for faculty equals fifteen (15) non-prorated credit hours per fall/spring semester. The 15 hours may be composed of 16-week, 12-week, or 8-week classes. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may make an exception. Part time faculty may be assigned a maximum limit of three (3) courses per full semester.

A. No individual full-time instructor should be scheduled for an exclusively online load during the fall and spring semesters unless a departmental need arises and the exception is approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
B. Full-time faculty will be scheduled to teach a minimum of a five (5) lecture course equivalent unless a departmental need arises and the exception is approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs or his/her designee.
C. At least three (3) of the five (5) lecture course equivalent will be taught face/face and the remaining two (2) lecture course equivalent may be online.
D. Online or hybrid courses taught as part of the five (5) lecture course equivalent load will not receive extra compensation according to the online compensation policy.


COMMUNICATION WITH ONLINE STUDENTS 


Instructors are expected to respond to student communication in a timely manner. In general, this means student communications should be responded to within 24 hours during weekdays.

Instructors should provide several means of communication including e- mail, “frequently asked questions” pages in the course site, and phone numbers for student use.

Instructors are not required to publish personal home telephone numbers or cell phone numbers. However, a Navarro College office telephone number with voice message system must be published for all courses. At minimum, adjunct instructors must publish the departmental telephone number for students to use in contacting them if necessary.


STUDENT ACCESS TO INSTRUCTORS 


Instructors should be available to students on all days when assignments are due or make clear provisions for a “grace period” for circumstances beyond student control.

Instructors should make provisions for calm, anxiety-free problem resolution when students who are genuinely acting in good faith are unable to complete the assignment on time due to the many things that can cause interference in this instructional delivery method.


HYBRID COURSES 


Hybrid courses are defined as courses in which a majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor(s) are not in the same place.

A course which may have mandatory face-to-face sessions totaling no more than 15 percent of the instructional time shall be classified as a fully distance education course and NOT a hybrid course. Examples of face-to-face sessions may include orientation, laboratory, exam review, or an in-person test.

Hybrid courses require the same instructional approval process as on-line courses. Instructional Deans in consultation with Department Chairs must approve both the hybrid course offering and the specific assignment of individual faculty to initially teach a hybrid course. Thereafter, an approved hybrid course taught by the approved faculty member may be scheduled as needed and at the discretion of instructional administrators on each campus.

Hybrid courses will be classified as traditional lecture courses for the purpose of faculty compensation and load.
Enrollment in hybrid courses will be limited by the ordinary enrollment limits for the traditional lecture courses in the respective disciplines.

Hybrid courses will have activity codes of “LEC” in the course schedule but section numbers must end with an ‘H” designation.


ACADEMIC INTEGRITY 


To ensure the academic integrity of student work, the instructor must take necessary steps to determine that the student is meeting all ethical expectations of college students and is abiding by guidelines regarding academic honesty established by Navarro College.


COURSE CONTENT 


All subject content, testing schedules, course rigor, and other content-related issues will be the responsibility of the instructor and will parallel in-class/on-campus course content, testing, and rigor. All College policies and procedures related to attendance and withdrawal will apply to on-line classes.


ENROLLMENT 


All subject content, testing schedules, course rigor, and other content-related issues will be the responsibility of the instructor and will parallel in-class/on-campus course content, testing, and rigor. All College policies and procedures related to attendance and withdrawal will apply to on-line classes.

Students desiring to enroll in an online course must satisfy the same requirements as all students for admission to the institution, to the program of which the course is a part, and to the class/section itself. Before enrolling in an online class, students must make formal application to Navarro College and satisfy all admission requirements. Currently enrolled high school students may have additional admission requirements from their ISD, but in no manner may the enrollment requirement be less than those required by Navarro College. All admission requirements are the same, regardless of the method of course delivery.
Admission to Navarro College does not automatically admit the student to specific programs or courses. Individual course prerequisites must be met, and all Texas Success Initiative requirements must be satisfied before a student is admitted to a class that might require established proficiency in related skills.


STUDENT GRIEVANCES 


Students enrolled in online courses have access to the same student grievance procedures as on-campus students. All online student complaints will be addressed in accordance with formal procedures published online in the Navarro College Student Handbook and/or College Catalog.


TESTING 


Student tests may be proctored at the Corsicana, Waxahachie, Midlothian and Mexia campuses or at other locations in accordance with VCT testing standards. Students who are unable to access a campus site for testing because of distance or other extreme circumstances must procure and compensate a proctor who is approved by the instructor.


EQUIPMENT 


Computers for online courses are available in open labs on the Corsicana, Waxahachie, Midlothian and Mexia campuses and may be used by online students when available. However, online students must obtain access to computers and appropriate software from non-College sources when open labs are not available.


COMPENSATION 


Compensation for online courses will include the part-time/adjunct faculty rate for the first 30 students. An overload payment will be provided for each student over 30. The amount of overload payment will be based upon compensation rates determined by the Human Resources Department subject to the approval by the Navarro College Board of Trustees. Dashboards run by the Dean of Online Instruction will be used to determine enrollment in online courses. Students who have made no contact with the instructor or who have failed to complete a minimum of one (1) assignment in the course by the official census date will be dropped, and enrollment-based compensation will not be paid for these students.

Online instruction classes will typically not exceed 40 students, though some departments may cap enrollment at a number less than 40. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may make an exception for online course capacity, on a course by course basis.


FORMULA FINDING


Navarro College shall report distance education courses submitted for formula funding in accordance with the Coordinating Board’s uniform reporting system and the provision of 19 Administrative Code Chapter 4, Subchapter P.


FEES 


For courses not submitted for formula funding, Navarro College shall charge fees that are equal or greater than Texas resident tuition and applicable fees and that are sufficient to cover the total cost of instruction and overhead, including administrative costs, benefits, computers and equipment, and other related costs.


Date Issued: January 22, 2015

Updated: July 25, 2017