Online learning

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to define the guidelines, procedures and requirements for distance learning courses at Lynn University.

Policy

Courses developed for online delivery must be complete and meet standards for content, instructional approach, and software used for online delivery. A review process will ensure that these standards are consistently met at Lynn University.

Definitions

Online Learning—includes all of the technologies including software, hardware, and learning environments that are used to deliver classes via the internet.

Procedures/Guidelines

I. Faculty Online Teaching Participation Criteria

Faculty, who wish to participate in online learning for the first time, must contact the Instructional Design department to establish contact and familiarity with the support staff and to validate their knowledge of online instruction and/or schedule training for online course delivery. Workshops designed to familiarize individuals with online course-delivery software and online course development are offered periodically throughout the academic year. Training is also available on an ad-hoc basis in a private sessions with an Instructional Designer.

Prior to teaching an online course faculty members are required to be appropriately trained and familiar with Lynn University online policies. Faculty, who wish to participate in online learning for the first time, must complete the online training modules. These training modules are designed to familiarize individuals with the software used for online courses, online teaching methodology, copyright and fair use in the online environment, and basic software training. These courses are offered periodically throughout the academic year.

II. Faculty Online Course Assignments

Online courses are considered part of a Faculty member’s course load. Faculty should be assigned to courses based on their qualifications and semester course load prior to the start date of each semester. Instructors must be contacted either by phone or email to confirm availability for each assignment well before the start date of the course. Due to the extensive time involved in online course development, it is suggested that at least three months be allowed for course development.

III. Collaborative Learning Model

Lynn University subscribes to a collaborative learning model in all online courses. In order to facilitate this model the Discussion Board or other collaborative tool is a required component of all online courses. Online instructors are also expected to be reasonable available throughout the course using virtual technologies. It is suggested that one optional live chat session per week be made available in each online course.

IV. Instructor Availability and Response Time

Online instructors are expected to login to monitor their online course at least once each day in order to check for any student questions or issues. It is suggested that online instructors respond to student issues within 24 hours or 1 business day after the student has posted a question in the online course or submitted a question via email. It is also important to grade and return assignments in a timely manner. Lynn University encourages instructors to grade assignments within 72 hours of the due date and post the grade in the appropriate application. In order for students to learn from their work, all submitted assignments must be graded prior to the next assignment due date.

V. Course Assignments

All written assignments must be submitted to the current online assessment tool with plagiarism detection enabled. In designated courses, faculty must assess prescribed assignments using supplied rubrics. To submit, read, download, or assess assignments, both faculty and students need to authenticate using the Lynn University assigned username and faculty secure password.

VI. Online Course Review Process

Course Reviews are performed when a new course is initially developed for delivery and again every two years or as needed. Courses are reviewed by the Instructional Designer and an approval for the course is sent to the faculty member as well as the Dean of the respective College. See Course Review Form.

VII. Term-based Ongoing Course Preparation

A term-based faculty course preparation and update deadline is set by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs. This date is usually one week prior to the course start date and is conveyed to the instructor and the College each term by the Instructional Design Team. All courses must be checked for accuracy and updated by the respective instructor by the Friday prior to the start of each term.

VIII. Online Course Monitoring and Observation

Online courses will be observed to ensure quality of course content, instructor effectiveness, and proper use of course delivery system. The outcome of these observations will shared with the instructor, College Dean, and Academic Vice-President (upon request).

IX. Student Evaluation of Online Courses

Students are surveyed concerning online course quality and faculty performance at near the end of each course. Survey data is compiled by the office of Institutional Research and is shared with the College Dean, and the relevant faculty member.

Students are asked to rate instructors on a number of performance variables including teaching, interpersonal, and administrative skills, and are asked questions regarding the distance learning medium and services.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Academic Affairs.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018