Policy Title: Hybrid and Online Course Policy

Type or Category of Policy: This is a COLLEGE Policy

Approval Authority: This policy and any major changes will be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs

Responsible Executive: The Vice President for Academic Affairs is Responsible Executive for this policy

Responsible Office: Academic Technology within Information Technology Services

Owner Contact: Mary Parlett-Sweeney, Deputy Chief Information Officer, mparlett-sweeney@siena.edu, (518) 782-6988

Reviewed By: Academic Affairs

Reviewed Date: 01/25/2016

Last Revised and Effective Date of Revision: 07/27/2017


 

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE POLICY

This policy establishes policies and guidelines for the development and offering of online and/or hybrid courses at Siena College.

REASON FOR POLICY

The purpose of this policy is to establish definitions and standards for academic online and hybrid courses being developed and offered at Siena College. 

SCOPE OF THE POLICY: ENTITIES OR INDIVIDUALS AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

This policy applies to all faculty at Siena College. Additionally, it applies to all administrators or staff members who teach courses at Siena College.  


THE OFFICIAL POLICY

DEFINITIONS OF ONLINE, HYBRID, AND WEB-ENHANCED COURSES

Courses are considered online if 80-100% of course delivery (excepting examinations) is online. Hybrid courses have 30-80% of course delivery online.  Up to 30% online would be considered web-enhanced. These definitions are based upon information from the Online Learning Consortium (formerly the Sloan-C Consortium). For more information, see “Appendix A – Hybrid and Online Course Policies”. 

INCENTIVE FOR ONLINE COURSE DEVELOPMENT

Faculty members get permission from their chair and dean to develop the course; approval signifies that the course will be developed as outlined in the MOU and offered at least twice with a minimum enrollment of seven for the first offering.  Courses will be reviewed to assure that they meet requirements for effective online course design through a development process that involves faculty members along with instructional technologists. 

Faculty may apply to receive a stipend to develop a course.  The number of stipends granted will depend upon available funding and the workload capacity of instructional support staff.  A stipend will be paid in two installments, 1.) after Academic Technology has verified that the course has been developed and meets institutional quality standards, and 2.) at the conclusion of the first term that the course is taught. 

ENROLLMENT CAPS

Online courses will normally be offered with a maximum enrollment of 25, unless a case is made for lower enrollments necessary to accomplish student-learning outcomes.  A minimum of 7 students will be required for the first offering of the online course in order to assure that the online learning environment is well tested as the instructor refines the pedagogy.  If a waitlist generates more than five additional enrollments in a class with a cap of 25, the dean may consider authorizing a second section of the course. 

TEACHING LOAD

Online courses may count towards faculty members’ teaching loads or be compensated as overloads in the same manner as traditional courses, e.g., a course that is 3 workload credits face-to-face will be 3 workload credits for online delivery, as well.  Full-time faculty members may not teach all of their courses online except in extraordinary circumstances with the permission of their dean.   

ON-CAMPUS PRESENCE: OFFICE HOURS AND OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES

Full-time faculty members teaching online courses are expected to hold on-campus office hours in all cases, concurrently or in addition to online office hours appropriate for online classes.  Full-time faculty who are teaching online are also expected to participate in department meetings, events, and other governance and community service obligations on campus.  

FACULTY OWNERSHIP OF ONLINE COURSES

Faculty developers own their original intellectual property that is incorporated into online or hybrid courses, regardless of whether they use technology owned by the College to create, store, or deliver such courses.  As such, a faculty member could teach the course at another institution in accordance with college policies regarding teaching at other institutions.  Courses developed under an explicit written work-for-hire contractual agreement are exceptions to this policy and are owned by the College, just as other work-for-hire products would be. Also, external funding agencies or organization may have their own specific intellectual property policies that apply to courses developed under their sponsorship. 

COURSE OFFERINGS: FACE-TO-FACE VERSUS HYBRID/ONLINE

After development and initial online offering, scheduling decisions regarding face-to-face or hybrid/online sections of courses, will be made by the department chair and dean as appropriate. It will be possible to offer both formats concurrently. 

FACULTY DEVELOPMENT

The College will offer individual training and structured workshops to assist faculty members in the development of courses that meet standards for high quality online instruction.  In addition to addressing instructional design issues to assure that course materials are consistent with regulations related to Fair Use and copyright, ADA compliance, and other ethical and legal requirements, these sessions will help faculty develop instructional techniques that promote student engagement with the instructor and other students, effective feedback on assignments, achieving course learning objectives, and permitting assessment of student learning outcomes. 

ASSISTANCE WITH CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

Instructional support staff will provide training and guidance to faculty in the development of hybrid and online courses (see above). Academic Technology staff will provide a detailed planning guide for course development. The expectation is that a faculty member will spend between 60 and 120 hours developing a new online course (hybrid course development time will be less).  There will be agreement between instructional support staff and the faculty member as to each person’s responsibilities within the course development process. 

Instructional support staff will teach faculty how to use the appropriate tools within and outside the LMS to reduce cognitive load on students and create effective course content. This will occur primarily during consultation with Academic Technology and throughout the detailed design phase. Instructional support staff will not be responsible for detailed development during the LMS Development phase. 

EXCEPTIONS

Exceptions to the policy must have the Vice-President of Academic Affairs approval.


Adopted: 01/25/2016

Reviewed:  07/27/2017

Revised: 12/08/2016 & 07/27/2017

All policies are subject to amendment.  Please refer to the Siena College Policy website for the official, most recent version.