Polices: Distance Education and Hybrid Classes

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Distance Education and Hybrid Classes

Policy Number: 513

Categorized: Information Technology

Responsible Office: Extended Learning Institute, VP of Instructional and Information Technology

Subject: Policy and procedures governing distance education and hybrid classes

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Additional Information:

Effective Date: 12/14/2010

Last Reviewed Date: 10/04/2017


1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all full-time and part-time teaching faculty teaching distance education and/or hybrid classes at NOVA.

2.0 Policy Statement

At NOVA, the three types of classes that constitute distance education are administered as follows:

  • Classes that meet 100% online (online classes) must be offered through ELI
  • Classes where face-to-face instruction is less than 50% but not 100% online are considered Distance Education Hybrid Classes:
  • Hybrid classes that meet face-to-face less than 30% are administered the same as online courses and must be offered through ELI.
  • Hybrid classes that meet between 30 and 49% face-to-face are jointly administered by the campus and ELI.
  • Classes where the instructor and students are in different locations at the same time through the use of technology (synchronous distance education classes) will be jointly administered by the sponsoring campuses and ELI.
  • Classes that meet face-to-face 50% or more, but less than 100% of the normal meeting pattern for that course, are considered a Non-Distance Education Hybrid Class. Non-Distance Education Hybrid Classes are administered by the campus.

The academic deans are expected to hold non-distance learning hybrid course faculty and courses to the same standards, such as faculty training requirements, as the hybrid courses overseen at the College level.

All courses at the College, whether delivered in a face-to-face, hybrid, or online format, must teach the content defined in the Course Content Summary for that course and must achieve the student learning outcomes identified by the relevant program/discipline.

All hybrid courses must follow the College Schedule of Classes Guidelines for listing Hybrid Classes.

All faculty who will teach a hybrid course must complete training prior to offering their first hybrid class.

Faculty – particularly adjunct faculty – should not be assigned a hybrid course without prior training, or mentorship by an experienced hybrid instructor (in those instances where staffing must occur on an emergency basis and a trained hybrid instructor is not available).

Faculty may not offer hybrid classes, or any class that meets less than 100% face-to-face, without the specific approval of their academic dean. Academic deans, in consultation with their provost, will review all hybrid class schedules and coordinate their scheduled meeting times and locations as necessary to fully utilize classrooms throughout the term before finalizing the class schedule.

3.0 Definitions

Distance education: For purposes of SACSCOC accreditation, “distance education is a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction (interaction between students and instructors and among students) in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place.” At NOVA, the following classes fall under this definition of distance education:

  • Classes that meet 100% online (online classes)
  • Classes where face-to-face instruction is less than 50% but not 100% online (distance education hybrid classes)
  • Classes where the instructor and students are in different locations (synchronous distance education classes)

4.0 Procedures

Schedule of Classes Guidelines

Campuses are responsible for entering all hybrid courses in the Schedule of Classes, whether distance education hybrids or non-distance education hybrids, and coding them according to College SIS procedures.

To improve the clarity of information provided to students, class notes in the Schedule of Classes for all hybrid courses must follow the College Schedule of Classes Guidelines for Hybrid Classes.

  • Hybrid courses that meet face-to-face less than 50% of the time must be coded as a hybrid to meet SCHEV and VCCS requirements.
  • Courses that meet face-to-face 50% of the time or more are not coded as hybrids, but should be identified as hybrids in the Schedule of Classes, and include the standard College hybrid class note.
  • Classes where the instructor and students are in different locations through the use of technology (synchronous distance education classes) require special coding to show whether distance education is being delivered or received by that particular section. (Consult the specific coding for guidelines from College Information Systems for details.)
  • Hybrid classes that meet face-to-face 50% or more are a campus class listed in the campus section of the schedule and have a campus section number. The academic deans are responsible for correct PeopleSoft coding according to VCCS and SCHEV standards, and for tracking compliance with the College-wide standards on hybrid courses.
  • All hybrid classes must use the hybrid icon in the Schedule of Classes.
  • Include at least the following standard College hybrid course statement: “Hybrid class. Includes both classroom meetings and significant additional online work which replaces some classroom meetings. Class meets face-to-face (insert schedule). Computer with Internet access required.”
  • Include the required note as the first note in PeopleSoft, because only the first note shows in the online schedule available on the NOVA website.

Training and Certification

ELI will provide training and develop a certification process which will include course design training, technology training, and training on successfully teaching a hybrid course. Training should be ongoing – hybrid faculty are required to regularly update their skills by attending periodic refresher workshops to work on course updates, learn new strategies, share with other faculty about what is and is not working, see demonstrations of what other faculty are doing, etc.

Administration of Hybrid Classes

Hybrid classes that meet between 30 and 49% face-to-face are jointly administered by the campus and ELI. They are campus classes listed in the campus section of the Schedule of Classes and have a campus section number, but the campus must coordinate these classes with ELI when the Schedule of Classes is developed so ELI can track and report student success according to SACSCOC guidelines, ensure correct PeopleSoft coding according to VCCS and SCHEV standards, and track compliance with the College-wide standards on training, course quality, student support, etc.

Classes where the instructor and students are in different locations at the same time through the use of technology (synchronous distance education classes) will be jointly administered by the sponsoring campuses and ELI. An on-campus face-to-face section is a campus class listed in the campus section of the schedule and has a campus section number, but the campus must coordinate these classes with ELI when the Schedule of Classes is developed so ELI can arrange technical support, track and report student success according to SACSCOC guidelines, ensure correct PeopleSoft coding according to SCHEV standards, and track compliance with the College-wide standards on training, course quality, student support, etc. The section at the remote site will carry a section number at that campus. Campus deans are responsible for coordinating scheduling and room use for these synchronous distance education classes.

5.0 Authority

NOVA Administrative Council (December 14, 2010)

State Council for Higher Education of Virginia

Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges

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