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Distance Education Guide for Online Instructors

Audrey Biggs
Instructional Designer/Online Administrator 
abiggs@bluefieldstate.edu
(304) 327 - 4545
Office: PE 407B (Bluefield Campus)

Distance education courses at Bluefield State are designed for traditional students and those students who are unable to attend regularly scheduled traditional classes on campus or at the other distance sites established by the college. Distance education courses are an alternative to courses taught on campus and still provide the same quality and content as those traditional classes. The following are guidelines to assist faculty in developing and teaching web-based distance education courses at Bluefield State.

  1. Web-based courses will be carefully planned to meet the needs of Bluefield State students.
  2. Distance learning courses will be periodically reviewed and evaluated using the SREB's Principles of Good Practice to ensure quality, curriculum consistency, currency, and advancement of student learning outcomes. Faculty should update course content as needed.
  3. A clear assessment plan shall be developed in order to achieve effectiveness and clarity in all web-based courses.
  4. Learning activities shall be organized around measurable objectives. There should be frequent learner assessments – either graded or ungraded – that can help students evaluate their own learning.
  5. Content shall comply with all copyright and fair use laws. The process for determining copyright compliance is as follows:
  6. Attention will be paid to the rights and privileges regarding transmission of materials as defined in Section 110(2) of the U.S. Copyright Law.
  7. If Section 110(2) does not apply, "fair use" as defined in Section 107 may apply. The nature and amount of the work used, and the purpose and effect of the use will be weighed to determine if fair use applies.
  8. If the planned use of a copyrighted work cannot be addressed by Section 110(2) or Section 107, permission of the content owner may be required.
  9. New online-based instructors shall undergo an in-service for developing their online course. The in-service can be in person or through an online forum. Topics will include pedagogy, copyright issues, and other areas of interest. Documents used in these in-services will also be made available on the BS Distance Education website.
  10. Online instructors shall communicate with the students in a timely manner. All questions should be answered within 36 hours, unless it is a weekend when a maximum of 72 hours is sufficient.
  11. Each Online course will be evaluated by the students using Bluefield State's "Student's Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ)" instrument conducted by the Institutional Research & Effectiveness .
  12. Faculty and instructors need to provide an orientation for the students in their course so that students are not intimidated by this new modality of learning. This can be done by the individual instructors or by the Instructional Designer in a general student orientation, which may be delivered online, before the semester begins.
  13. It is recommended that a complete listing of all commercially-produced media materials intended for use in the web-based course be submitted to the Dean of the Virtual College to ensure all licensing issues are resolved before the course begins.
  14. Each school and each Dean is responsible for his/her own courses and programs. Schools and Deans may choose to work with the Virtual College and Dean and thus, shall comply with Virtual College guidelines regarding distance learning including assessment, copyright issues, and curriculum.

Resources

The following resources were used in creation of this guide:

 weblink"Distance Learning Faculty Load Policy," Wytheville Community College

 weblink"Distance Learning Policy – Course Preparation," Ohio University

 weblink"Guiding Principles for Faculty in Distance Learning," Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education