an Information Technology Services Policy
Web-based courses have frequently had additional or different requirements than courses meeting on-campus. Provides guidance to instructors and departments on specific requirements for web-based courses.
An Internet/web-based course is any course in which students may complete more than 50% of the requirements through Internet access to the course web site.
All Internet/web-based courses must be created in Banner with an online section number and WEB as the method of instruction. No other courses should be assigned this section number or this method of instruction.
All Internet/web-based courses are Distance Education courses.
The Statement on Credit Hours is consistent with the policy and procedures approved by the East Tennessee State University Academic Council and published in the Faculty Handbook, Chairs Handbook, and Curriculum Process System. According to the ETSU Policy and Procedures for Awarding Credit, a semester credit is a unit of educational accomplishment represented by learning outcomes.
In accordance with federal regulation (34 CFR 600.2 and subsequent guidance), one semester credit reasonably approximates the learning outcomes expected from one hour of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student academic engagement each week for 15 weeks. Courses offered in alternative calendars and course types require an equivalent amount of faculty and student engagement and learning outcomes.
Therefore, the definition of contact hours in asynchronous learning environments at ETSU is consistent with the ETSU Policy and Procedures for Awarding Credit. In accordance with that policy the following institutionally established criteria reflect professional standards and include some or all of the following:
Courses taught in the web-based format must be equivalent to the same courses taught in the traditional format.
Faculty teaching web-based courses are expected to be familiar with and abide by all applicable or relevant copyright laws. Information about copyright laws can be found on the Sherrod Library Digital Copyright site.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Synchronous and Asynchronous online courses lists the specific components that are required in any web-based course. Faculty members and departments may offer online courses without completing the MOU. The developing faculty member should contact information Technology Services (ITS) to request an evaluation of the course based on the required components listed in the MOU.
Approved courses will be reviewed on a three year cycle. Faculty may work out a re-development plan with ITS and receive additional compensation as part of the re-development /re-approval process. Faculty should contact the department before beginning re-development to determine if the redeveloped course will be eligible for compensation based on the proposed changes.
In accordance with TBR policy, all faculty developing and teaching Internet courses must demonstrate competence in the use of the technology for instruction and course development. It is the responsibility Information Technology Services to ensure and document this competence prior to the offering of the web-based course.
All open student computer labs will be configured and managed to support student access to the content of web-based courses developed by ETSU faculty.
Web-based courses are to be evaluated by the same standards as traditional courses and the areas assessed must be equivalent to traditional courses. The Student Assessment of Instruction (SAI) for both asynchronous and synchronous online courses will be securely administered to students through links in the course management system. Faculty members, department chairs and college deans will have access to the results after the semester has ended.
In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), all students in online courses are required to use their ETSU username and secure password to access the course management system.
The ETSU email policy requires all faculty communication with students regarding ETSU business be conducted via the official ETSU email account.
The University will provide the necessary support, hardware and/or supported software, for faculty members who have specific feasible plans to develop and offer web-based courses in a reasonable time frame. The necessary hardware and software includes an acceptable computer, any supported client software needed for content development, appropriate network access and server space on the University's streaming servers, and on-going support from Information Technology Services. ITS will consult with faculty and departments to determine if a particular faculty member has, or can acquire, the necessary technical skills, if the faculty member either has or can develop a realistic and feasible plan for developing the Internet course, and if the particular course is suitable for delivery online. ITS will develop a suitable training plan for the faculty member developing the course. If resources are limited ITS will consult with faculty and departments to set priorities based on factors such as the number of students to be served, programmatic and organizational needs, and estimated time for completing the task.Synchronous online courses are to be delivered using ITS supported web conferencing software.
Approved: Information Technology Council
Revised: February 2017