SECTION 300 - ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
333 DISTANCE LEARNING
As indicated in our
mission statement, Georgia Perimeter College provides “relevant
learner-centered higher education that facilitates the achievement of academic,
professional and personal goals.” Technological innovations
in teaching and learning make it possible to achieve that mission in more
Distance Learning (DL) is any educational environment that involves technology-enabled teaching outside the face-to-face format. Online courses and hybrid courses are two forms of distance learning:
Online Department Chairs
key aspect of
Online department chairs will have the same qualifications and responsibilities as other academic department chairs across the college. Online department chairs will perform the same duties as their campus-based counterparts and will be supervised by their academic division deans.
The online department chairs will collaborate with the academic division deans and Executive Director of Distance Learning to fulfill specific online responsibilities, such as scheduling online courses. They should collaborate with their counterparts on the campuses as well.
Additional Department Chair Responsibilities:
· Supervise all teaching in the online department.
· Interview and hire part-time online faculty and term-to-term online faculty.
· Assess the performance of “split-schedule” faculty (as defined below) in their online classes and provide information about their performance to those faculty members’ campus-based department chairs for inclusion in the faculty evaluation.
Provide common course outlines, required
textbooks, and other key discipline information for
· Communicate with online faculty.
The academic division deans will organize search committees for department chair positions and will review the qualifications and responsibilities of the position with the search committee members.
Part-time faculty members hired to teach online will utilize an online course template, which has been approved by the appropriate academic division. Full-time faculty will also have the option of using an approved template. Online course templates must be approved by the appropriate academic division. Each academic division will develop its own procedures for review and approval of online course templates. Online department chairs, academic division deans, and course curriculum committees may review online course templates to confirm that learning outcomes for each course are met and that approved textbooks are used. If course curriculum committees are involved in the review of templates, they will have online faculty as members when reviewing the templates.
Full-load/ Full-time Online Faculty members are faculty who teach exclusively online.
Outside hiring procedures:
Transfer of full-time faculty
division deans, department chairpersons, online department chairs, and the
Executive Director for Distance Learning may offer recommendations regarding
faculty transfers to
Course availability and demand will determine
online faculty selection in many instances. The Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Director of Human
Resources will make the final decision regarding faculty transfers to
Faculty members who teach both face-to-face and online courses but who teach the majority of their classes face-to-face within an academic year are considered Split-Schedule Faculty. Full-time GPC faculty with no prior online teaching experience who wish to teach a split-schedule (both face-to-face and online classes) must prepare in one of the following ways. 1) They may complete required online course design training and demonstrate a level of proficiency with iCollege as determined by the GPC Online Executive Director and the appropriate department chair. At this point, they may be allowed to design and develop their own online course. 2) They may begin teaching with an approved course template and complete the same training program required of part-time faculty members.
· Academic division deans, department chairpersons, and involved faculty members will determine how the faculty members’ load will be shared between online and face-to-face classes.
· Full-time faculty who are approved to teach a split schedule will complete the “Online Teaching Request Form” no later than one month before the publication of the fall semester schedule to request courses for the following fall and spring. The split schedule faculty member’s department chair and the appropriate online department chair will review and approve the online teaching request for the following academic year. Annual online load will be determined each spring for the following fall and spring semesters.
· Split-schedule faculty will continue to have service and professional development responsibilities on their campuses, with their disciplines, and college-wide as do faculty who teach exclusively face-to-face.
· Faculty new to online teaching will be monitored and mentored for two semesters either by faculty members who have taught successfully in the online program or by the online department chair.
Part-Time Faculty members are faculty who teach part-time either exclusively online or both on campus and online. Part-time online faculty will be supervised in their online teaching by the online department chairs.
faculty members hired to teach online will utilize an online course template
and will complete the training program required by
· If a part-time faculty member teaches both online and face-to-face, that part-time instructor will be evaluated separately by both the online department chair and the on-campus department chair.
Faculty responsibilities must be identified to ensure that
all faculty follow the same standards. Full load/full time online tenure-track faculty
will have the same general responsibilities as all full-time
Faculty who do not fulfill these requirements will meet with their online department chair to discuss performance improvement.
In addition to the items mandated by college policy for inclusion into a syllabus, instructors of online courses should include the following in their syllabi:
· A clear statement of virtual office hours, lead-time, and preference for responding to students’ queries via e-mail, phone, the Web, or by other means.
· A clear statement of hardware, software, and information technology skills expected of students to participate in the course. Just as for any other course
the instructor must be explicit about expectations for students in the course description and in the syllabus. These include not only what type of equipment students will need or what type of Internet connection but also the instructor’s expectations regarding student expertise in software applications. Along with other course requirements, students need to know if they will have to use the Internet or certain software applications as part of course assignments.
link to the “
· An additional statement about plagiarism that includes materials obtained through the Internet and the consequences.
· A reference to the Student Conduct Code/Policy.
· Recommendations that students make at least electronic copies of everything submitted.
· A clear explanation of what will be considered "nonattendance" and thus possible
grounds for removal from class
or reduction of grade. Any such policy
must conform to the
following statement regarding students with disabilities: “It is
the policy and practice of
As is true for faculty in general, outside activity by full-time faculty members who teach exclusively online is governed by GPC Policy 802.1610.
Evaluating Online Faculty
Developing protocol for online evaluation ensures that online and face-to-face faculty are held to equivalent standards and that the online program maintains academic excellence.
· Teaching evaluations of online courses taught by split-schedule faculty will be completed by the online department chair and forwarded to the respective campus department chairperson for inclusion in the faculty member’s annual report and evaluation.
Online Office Hour Requirements
Policy for online office hours acknowledges the need for flexibility within the online classroom and the unique requirements of online students.
Split-schedule faculty teaching online classes may designate two office hours as virtual or online office hours for each online class taught. Thus a faculty member with two online classes may hold four of the required ten weekly office hours online.
Faculty members teaching exclusively online have the
option to have all of their
Online office hours should meet the following criteria:
· Online office hours should accommodate student schedules.
· Online office hours are a distinct time in addition to teaching time and shall be specified in each faculty member’s syllabus.
· Online faculty will post their online office hours within their syllabus.
Online department chairs will verify that faculty members are fulfilling online office hour requirements and teaching time commitments.
Assignment of Online Classes
It is essential that the assignment of online classes each semester run smoothly. Online courses will be assigned in this order:
1. Full-load, full-time tenured/tenure-track and term-to-term online faculty will have their online load met before the assignment of classes to split-schedule faculty.
2. In the assignment of online classes, full-time tenured/tenure-track split-schedule faculty who have been successfully teaching online with good evaluations have seniority over term-to-term split-schedule or part-time faculty.
3. Full-time term-to-term split-schedule faculty who have been successfully teaching online with good evaluations have seniority over part-time faculty and will be assigned online classes after the assignment of full-time tenured/tenure-track split schedule faculty.
4. “Overloads” for all online faculty members will be handled on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the appropriate Academic Division Dean and the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
Maximum class size will be the same for online and face-to-face classes.
Online Testing Protocol
Adherence to the online testing
protocol is necessary to ensure that
Online faculty members will
Online students in remote locations who are required to take proctored exams may arrange to take these exams at an acceptable testing site and will need to contact their online instructor via professional email to approve and complete the arrangements.
Support services at Georgia Perimeter College are an essential component to online student and faculty success.
Links will be
established on the college’s GPC Online webpage for services provided by
Online department chairs are responsible for overseeing the ordering of textbooks for online classes and for
working with the
The Executive Director and
Annual Evaluation Credit for Course Development
DL faculty shall receive appropriate credit for the development and updating of an online or hybrid class as determined by the Faculty Evaluation Committee.
Attendance policies relating to distance classes are at the discretion of the instructor in accordance with college policy. Instructors should make every effort to ensure that their policies are clear and uniformly enforced. Online faculty must take attendance during the established “no-show attendance period. For the purposes of complying with the no-show attendance policy, logging into an online class during the no-show attendance period is the equivalent of attending a face-to-face class.
Student Evaluations of Faculty
All online faculty are required to evaluate their courses through the use of the college recognized electronic evaluations approved by the Faculty Evaluation Committee (FEC). The evaluations will be conducted in the term specified by the Faculty Evaluation Committee for all classes. Faculty requiring evaluations in other semesters may contact GPC Online.
Electronic communication between online faculty and students should be through iCollege or GPC e-mail addresses only.
Electronic communication has made it easier to communicate with students and also to transmit information to and about them. E-mail cannot be counted upon to occur in a secure environment. It is important to exercise caution about the contents of e-mail and access to files and machines in which confidential information about students might reside.
Caution is especially important when considering posting directory information, class lists, grades, or any personal identifying information (including photographs) about students to school, department, lab, or class web pages to which there could be public access. Individual communication with students as well as work done by the student is considered student information. Student information should appear only in an environment (such as iCollege) to which only authorized parties have access.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is the policy of
Georgia Perimeter College to make all
Assistance in meeting these standards for web materials can be obtained from the Office of Information Technology and the Center for Disability Services.
Information regarding ADA compliant web pages may also be found at http://www.gpc.edu/StyleGuide/ .
Deadlines & Guidelines for Adapting Courses to a Distance Format
Creating a course in an online format involves
a significant investment of time and energy on the part of the instructor. Faculty should start the planning process for
course development at least six months prior to the course being offered for
the first time. Given the increasing demands for assistance in creating
web-enhanced or web-based courses, support units may set deadlines and guidelines
for providing assistance to faculty in this process. Faculty are advised to
contact such support units including
Revised and approved by Academic Affairs Advisory Council 5/19/09
Approved by President’s Advisory Board 6/23/09