Crowder college distance learning handbook for online faculty

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CROWDER COLLEGE 1 Table of Contents Crowder Colleges Distance Learning Mission Statement ............. 2 What is Long Distance Learning? .................................................... 2 Software and Technology Tools Needed ......................................... 2 Crowder College Online Class Template ......................................... 4 Quality Standards .............................................................................. 4 Distance Learning Faculty Responsibilities .................................... 5 Student Support Services ................................................................. 6 Syllabus Guidelines ........................................................................... 7 Netiquette ........................................................................................... 8 Grading ............................................................................................... 8 Communicating with Your Students ................................................ 8 Testing ................................................................................................ 9 Plagiarism Software/Turnitin.com .................................................... 9 Library access for online students ................................................... 9 Cancellation of Classes ................................................................... 10 Faculty and Course Evaluation ....................................................... 10 Student Limit per Section ............................................................... 12 Minimum Enrollments per Section ................................................. 12 Cancellation of Classes ................................................................... 12 Procedures for Recycling Courses in Blackboard .................... 12 Course Development and Approval Process ................................. 12 Copyright Guidelines ...................................................................... 13 Intellectual Property ........................................................................ 13 Students with Disabilities ............................................................... 13 Students with Disabilities Accessible Media .............................. 14 2 Crowder Colleges Distance Learning Mission Statement Welcome to distance learning at Crowder College! Our mission is to provide effective and quality education to our students through the available technology of distance learning. While the medium is different from that used in a ground class, we strive to create an educational environment that is still comparable to our traditional one in strength, effectiveness, and quality. In the Quality Standards for Online Courses Manual, you will find a complete listing and description of those best practices that we feel are necessary for quality teaching and learning. Please read this manual carefully. Our goal is to offer Distance Learning faculty a broad range of tools and technologies, along with the training and support for successful development and delivery of distance learning courses. What is Long Distance Learning? The U.S. Office of Technology Assessment defines distance learning as the linking of a teacher and students in several geographic locations via technology that allows for interaction. At Crowder College, we use primarily the Blackboard platform to integrate our curriculum with the technology. While Crowder College offers a variety of methods of teaching, including flex courses, a combination of on campus teaching and Blackboard, we define fully online courses as ones that are taught at least 80 percent online (science and speech courses, for example, might have Saturday lab components) and involve significant interaction between instructor and students. Software and Technology Tools Needed Adequate access, hardware, and software are necessary in order to teach online. The following requirements are those that are suggested for students taking online courses. These requirements also apply towards the faculty teaching those courses. Hardware: o Must have a computer or access to one. 3 o The computer must be able to access the Internet. o The computer must be able to run a Graphic Web Browser that is Java and Frames capable. o 512MB (2gig recommended) of RAM, with 1gig of hard drive space available, and operating with CPU processor speed of Pentium 4 3GHz or greater for PC, or running a Power Macintosh or higher. o Monitor Resolution 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768 o Internet Connection Any high-speed connection (e.g. Cable Broadband or DSL) o Free Hard Disk Space 500 MB or greater Software: o Must have software necessary to access the Internet. o Must have a Graphic Web Browser that is Java and Frames capable. o Must have word processing software that can save in "Rich Text Format". o Must have an active Internet email account. o Although not required, it is recommended to have virus protection loaded and active on the workstation. User Requirements and/or skills: o Ability to access the Internet o Proficient in using a web browser. o Proficient in sending and receiving email including sending and receiving attachments. o Proficient in using a word-processing program. o Proficient at downloading software or documents. o Able to download and install plug-ins for a web browser such as RealPlayer, Shockwave or Adobe Acrobat Reader. o Able to meet additional special requirements that are specified for a particular class. Keep in mind that it will be necessary to access your class at least four times a week, and probably on weekends occasionally. Relying only upon college hardware during working hours most probably will not be adequate. 4 Crowder College Online Class Template All online courses at Crowder College contain a common required template so that there is consistent organization within the classes. The following menu items must be visible and utilized within your course: Course Information: A syllabus and a complete semester schedule must be visible here. Course Documents: Study guides and other such materials will be here. Assignments: Assignments, Exams, and quizzes will be located here. Staff Information: Faculty Biographical Information with photo will be located here. Blackboard Help: This area contains materials to help your students maneuver within the Blackboard LMS. Online Tutoring: SmartAssign link for our online tutoring service. In the Blackboard Help section you will find information and short video clips on how to perform the basic functions in Blackboard. If you find that your students need help, please direct them to this area. The Online Tutoring link will allow the student to use SmartAssign, our online tutoring service. Also included in the template is an announcement that reminds all faculty of the required placement of the most important documents in online courses, such as syllabus and schedule. Please read this carefully, and then you may delete it from your course. Other menu items can be added, and colors and style can be modified if desired. The above menu items must remain and be utilized as directed, however. Quality Standards Crowder College rigorously holds to quality standards for all online courses. While different mediums will, of course, be used, the online 5 course should be comparative to its traditional counterpart. All faculty who teach online should read carefully the Quality Standards for Online Teaching Manual and hold to those quality standards in their online courses. Each instructor will be evaluated annually by their department chairs; these quality standards are the criteria by which all online courses will be assessed. Remember that online teaching demands a certain amount of interaction between the instructor and the students, just as with traditional teaching. This interaction is necessary for quality teaching and will require as much time and preparation as a traditional classroom. Distance Learning Faculty Responsibilities Respond to email and phone requests from administrative officers within a 24-hour period. Meet all deadlines for administrative paperwork required by Crowder College. This includes book adoption, attendance verification, roster information, final grades, and other deadlines. Teach the course for the complete session dates, as specified by the official schedule. Begin and end the course as outlined on the academic schedule. For online courses, it is advisable to schedule assignments that will complement official holidays on the academic schedule where the college is closed. Facilitate the administration of course evaluations and surveys for your students. Follow the institutional syllabus outline. Uphold college academic standards and policies, and follow grading policy, as specified in the College Catalog. Submit a copy of the class syllabus at the beginning of the semester to the Instructional Office using the required methods given. Maintain and keep grade books and archived courses for a period of five years. Participate in an administrative evaluation of your course and instruction annually. Perform a self assessment of your online course each semester in the Blackboard Quality Online Teaching site. Maintain a working email address and check it frequently. The email address should be one that either reflects the institution or is a non offensive general account. Do not utilize another colleges email account in your correspondence with your Crowder students. 6 Respond to email and phone requests from students within a 24-hour period, except on weekends and holidays. Notify your students if you plan to go out of town, or will be unavailable for an extended period of time, that would prevent you from responding to students within a 24-hour period. Permit only registered and paid students to access your online course. Ensure that you have access to a working computer and Internet connection. Have a back-up plan if your personal computer is not working. Student Support Services One goal of Crowder College is to ensure that all faculty and students have adequate access to both instructional and administrative support services. The information below will hopefully help you to keep open those necessary lines of communication between yourself and these services. It is strongly suggested that you include pertinent numbers, such as Information Technology and Blackboard Help numbers, on your syllabus so that your students will also have access to these numbers. Information Technology: Cartridges for printers, Campus Email Accounts, help with computer hardware & network problems, purchasing software, computers, printers, network equipment. Phone: 417-455-5712 fax: 417-451-9669 Hours: During Classes / Monday - Friday 7:30am - 9:00pm Between Semesters / Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm Blackboard Technical Help: Mike Jernigan Email: michaeljernigan@crowder.edu or help@crowder.edu Work Phone: 417-455-5518 Office Location: McDonald Hall Room 230 Office Hours: Mondays-Fridays 7:30-4:30 Debra BrownOnline Coordinator: Other online issues, Pedagogical issues, evaluation process for online faculty, help with online instructional concerns. Email: debrabrown@crowder.edu Work Phone 417-455-5484 Home Phone 417-775-2151 Office Location: Farber Building, office 139 7 Crowder College Website: http://crowder.edu Crowder College Blackboard login website:http://crowder.blackboard.com Crowder College Library website: http://www.crowder.edu/library/library.html GroupWise Email: http://webmail.crowder.edu/ Instructional Office: Faculty contracts & information, Car ID tags for Faculty & Staff, Institutional Syllabi, office hours of instructors, scheduling of classrooms. phone: 417-455-5740 fax: 417-455-5745 Hours: Monday - Thursday 7:30am - 6:30pm Friday 7:30am - 4:30pm Human Resources/Payroll Office: Absence notification forms, Award nomination forms, Benefits info., contracts for employees, educational loan applications, employee handbooks, employment application forms, Grievance forms, Payroll forms, Policies & procedures, Salary schedules, Staff development booklets, Suggestion box, Long distance codes, Vacation/Sick leave info., Workers' comp forms, YMCA enrollment & cancellation forms. Phone: 417-455-5726 fax: 417-455-5747 Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm Bookstore: Books, office supplies, CC clothing, FedEx & UPS pick-ups & deliveries, Mail service & stamps. Phone: 417-455-5588 Hours: Monday 8:30am - 6:30pm Tuesday - Friday 8:30am - 4:00pm Syllabus Guidelines It is required of all faculty that the institutional syllabus, if there is one, for your particular course be used. Always ask your department chair to send you the institutional syllabus for your course. This information should be included at the beginning of your syllabus, and then other information that you might like to add can be included after the institutional syllabus information. Online syllabi should include minimally the following components, though you may include more. Institutional syllabus information Contact Information (email and telephone) Methodology of Course (HOW will the students perform in the course: discussion board, tests, assignments, etc.) 8 Geography of Course (WHERE are the items located) Disability Statement Plagiarism Statement (what is it, what are the penalties, etc.) Bad Weather Policy Credit Hour Policy Netiquette As with traditional teaching, an online instructor should practice professional behavior and language. In the discussion board, particularly, no profanity or off color humor should be used, and careful attention should be paid to wording and tone. This applies, as well, to emails. Sarcasm and satire can easily be misunderstood without the aide of body language, and this is not available typically in the online environment. Grading Faculty who teach in an online environment face different grading challenges than faculty who teach traditional courses. Problems with text conversion, difficulties with software, time consumption with uploading and downloading documentsall of these and more are constants in the work load of an instructor teaching online. In spite of these, however, it remains an expectation of the college that faculty will continue to mark papers, give written feedback on tests, quizzes, and papers in a comparative fashion to traditional instruction. For more information on how this can be done, please contact Debra Brown at debrabrown@crowder.edu. There is software available that can make this easier on the instructor, as well as methods within the Blackboard shell. Communicating with Your Students Frequent communication and interactivity with distance education students is essential. The instructor should be available for the students to contact during the semester. You should provide appropriate phone numbers and an appropriate email address. We strongly urge that faculty use their Crowder email address as a primary contact address. Professional conduct in an online setting includes avoiding any profane, suggestive, or inappropriate email addresses; this would include using another institutional email address as your contact email address. As you prepare your syllabus, remember to provide information to the students on how to contact you. It is also helpful to let them know when you will be 9 responding to their email messages (for instance, Monday-Friday, within 24 hours, but not on the week-ends). Testing Just as in traditional courses, instructors will also evaluate student performance in the online environment. Due to the nature of the online medium, however, security is as much a security issue, if not more, than in the traditional classroom. It is strongly suggested that several security measures, which are outlined in the Quality Standards for Online Classes Manual, be used. As well, multiple-choice exams should not be the only means of grading your students. Well-developed essay questions that require higher order thinking, combined with other types of questions, are an effective way to measure student knowledge. Exams should correlate closely with the competencies outlined in the course syllabus. Some of the major exams should be built within Blackboard for security and assessment purposes. Plagiarism Software/Turnitin.com Crowder College uses a paid service called Turnitin.com to help evaluate if plagiarism is present in student writing. This service is extremely effective in quickly finding word for word sections from internet sites. Turn around time in receiving reports is generally 5 minutes to 1 hour. To find out more about this service and how to utilize it in your course, contact Mike Jernigan at mjerniga@crowder.edu. It is strongly suggested that all online faculty make use of this with writing intensive courses. There is also a comparable service built into Blackboard called SafeAssign. It is strongly suggested that all online faculty make use of one or both of these services with writing intensive courses. Writing requirement The College System encourages all instructors to include a writing component in their course. You may choose to have essay questions on the exam or extra writing assignments. Do not use multiple-choice exams as the only means of grading your students. Library access for online students The Crowder College LRC, the library, has many available tools for online students. Several very good databases, such as Ebsco, ProQuest, 10 NewsSearch, and many others are available online. Students can also search the Swan Library Catalogue (Crowder College library and other local libraries), along with the Mobius Library Catalogue (all Missouri Libraries). The online system allows for interlibrary loans with several options as to pick up locations. For passwords to the databases, contact Eric Deatherage, the head librarian, at ericdeatherage@crowder.edu. Cancellation of Classes Crowder College will cancel courses, both on campus and online, that have insufficient enrollments. Generally, a course must have a minimum of ten students enrolled in the course for a course to make. However, exceptions will be made at the department heads discretion. Faculty and Course Evaluation Consistent evaluation of quality and effectiveness of instruction is a necessary component in teaching, and the online environment is no exception. It should be understood by all involved in the evaluation process that reward and improvement rather than punishment is the goal. Given this, the policy of evaluation for online courses at Crowder College shall be as follows: 1. Self Evaluation: All faculty teaching a fully online course will self-evaluate one class every school year using the online version of the Quality Standards for Online Courses manual assessment tool, located in the Blackboard Quality Online Teaching course. These results can then be viewed by the respective faculty; improvements, if needed, can and should then be implemented. This evaluation should be completed mid-term of the spring semester each year. Faculty may use a summer, fall, or spring course. 2. Division Chair Evaluation: All new online courses being offered online for the first time will be evaluated during the semester by the division chair, using the Quality Standards for Online Courses evaluation sheet.. For new or current faculty teaching an existing online course for the first time, the division chair will choose at least one class per instructor 11 to evaluate during the semester using the Quality Standards for Online Course evaluation sheet. For all other courses and faculty, the division chair will choose one online class per instructor to evaluate each academic year using the Quality Standards for Online Courses evaluation sheet. Any course taught during that academic school year may be chosen. Division Chairs should have these evaluations completed and submitted by the end of the spring semester. Division chairs will evaluate their respective online offerings, or an acceptable department liaison may be chosen by the Division Chair for this purpose. The evaluator is considered qualified to evaluate if he or she has successfully completed Crowder Colleges Distance Learning Training for Online Teachers. Evaluations should be completed no sooner than the 6th week of the course in a typical 16 week course, but no later than the 12th week. 3. Division chair and faculty collaboration: After the division chair has completed the evaluation, there should be a formal meeting where both strengths and weaknesses and any needed actions are discussed with the faculty member, along with specific possible solutions. If performance is deemed unsatisfactory, areas of dissatisfaction will be specifically outlined in writing and specific performance expectations established whereby the deficiency may be corrected. The performance improvement contract should include a description of unsatisfactory behavior, desired behavior, how future behavior will be measured, and future review dates. Both signatures should be present on the evaluation sheet at the end of this meeting. 4. Vice President of Academic Affairs The division chairs will then send the evaluations to the Vice President of Academic Affairs for review and collection at the end of each semester. The VPAA will be responsible for the resolution of any possible conflicts within the evaluation process. Should employee performance fail to meet guidelines outlined in a performance contract the employee will, at the recommendation of his/her immediate supervisor, meet with the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who may elect to outline an additional probationary period, or recommend dismissal to the President. See the Employee Handbook, 12 Section IV, on Discipline, Employee Conduct, and Termination for more specific information. Student Limit per Section Caps for online courses are generally set by department chairs. Most classes will have a maximum load of 25, but there are some with fewer and more than this. Minimum Enrollments per Section Traditionally, a minimum of ten students is needed in order for a class to make. Department chairs will make the final decisions based upon student need and other factors. Cancellation of Classes If an online course is cancelled for any reason, the course will show as green on the Crowder College web schedule. Your department chair will notify you of the cancellation within a reasonable amount of time. Procedures for Recycling Courses in Blackboard It is required of all faculty that online courses be exported and the grade books downloaded each semester, for a minimum of five years. In order to do this, read the Blackboard manual that is available within the Blackboard site. If you have expectations of teaching the course again, then be sure and export your course and save it to your computer. The course can them be imported into Blackboard for future use. Crowder College does not archive past courses. Course Development and Approval Process In order for a new online course to be developed, first contact your department head to find out if there is a need or interest in doing so. The Instructional Office will then give you the necessary form. Any faculty member who develops a course that has not previously been taught online at Crowder will receive a developmental fee. This fee does not apply to courses that are offered through the use of external pre made course shells. 13 Copyright Guidelines 6.12 Ethical Use of Copyrighted Material 6.12.1 It is the policy of Crowder College that its employees adhere to the current provisions of the federal copyright statutes and the Congressional guidelines pertaining to the use of copyrighted materials. Although copyright law is a continuously evolving field, each employee will make a good faith effort to operate ethically and legally. Expanded procedures concerning use of copyrighted materials are included in employee handbooks, and guidelines for ethical use of copyrighted materials are available in booklet form in the deans and divisional offices. Intellectual Property 5.7 Ownership of Patents/Copyrights 5.7.1 When an employee of Crowder College working on his or her own time develops an idea, process, written work or invention, all patents, copyrights and other legal protections to ownership of this concept or project will remain the property of the individual or individuals who developed it. This protection also applies to ideas, processes, written materials and inventions developed by individuals or companies with whom the college is working on an advisory or consultative basis. Employees may, working on their own time, use college facilities and on-campus equipment. When college use incurs expense to the institution for supplies, copying, telephone, postage, materials, etc., those expenses must be reimbursed to the college. Ideas, patents, written materials, and projects developed by college employees for or using the name of the college, as work assignments or commissioned by the college through outside services, will remain the property of the college. Students with Disabilities In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations, students must first be registered with the Office of Disability Services (ODS), at the main Neosho campus. Please contact the Academic Resource Center, and speak with Christy Manning, ARC and Disability Services Coordinator, at 417-455-5433, to apply for and request reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Or, students may also contact the ARC/ODS Director, Amy Frieling, at 417-455-5624. Students who require disability-related accommodations must have a current Accommodation Authorization Memo from ODS to provide to the 14 instructor. The accommodations that are authorized in the letter should be discussed and agreed upon with the instructor. Online accommodations vary, and will need to be discussed and agreed upon as quickly as possible to ensure student needs are met. Accommodations, such as exam administration, are not provided retroactively; but from the point at which the instructor is notified. Online accommodations may include, but are not limited to: Extended examination time Accessible media (i.e. to be used with screen readers, etc.) Audio files Closed Captioning Students with Disabilities Accessible Media Many of the courses offered at Crowder College use technology to enhance course delivery, both on-campus and through distance learning (referred to as eLearning). The United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has stated that eLearning must be designed and delivered in such a way that all students, including students with disabilities, have equal access to course content. Collectively, State and Federal regulations require equal access to resources and materials for students who are otherwise qualified to enroll in the course. Furthermore, accessibility must be built into eLearning; OCR interpretation states that a College or University violates its obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act when it responds only on an ad-hoc basis to individual requests for accommodation. Finally, this instruction must result in a course-taking experience that is similar to that of students without disabilities. The concept of designing an accessible online course means designing for the widest range of people's abilities. Not all web users and visitors are using the standard graphical browsers. They may be using adaptive technologies such as screen readers or text-based browsers, have their browser graphics turned off, or may not be able to use, or have access to a mouse or keyboard. Some users also have physical or cognitive disabilities that impact their use of a Web page. Eventually we may be using cell phones or audio devices from our cars to access the web. In 15 keeping with this commitment to provide accessible information and services, the following are some suggestions to ensure your online course will meet basic accessibility standards: Create a logical tab order through links, form controls, and objects. Place distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc. Supplement text with graphic or auditory presentations (i.e. roll over text descriptions) where they will facilitate comprehension of the page. Primarily audio based courses should have a comparable amount of text-based lessons. Font size should be 12 or above. Provide closed captioning to any video presented with course content. Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element. This includes: images, graphical representations of text (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIF's), applets and programmatic objects, ASCII art, frames, scripts, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, all sounds, stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video. Avoid causing the screen to flicker. Use of frames is discouraged. If you must use frames, title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation. Ensure that foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone with color deficits. Clearly identify the target of each link. For data tables, identify row and column headers. When a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted and given sufficient opportunity to indicate more time is required. Do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change the current window without informing the user. 16 Official Copy: August 2012 Copyright Crowder College Copyright in this document is owned by Crowder College. All rights are reserved. 601 Laclede Neosho, MO 64850 Phone 417.455.5484 Email: debrabrown@crowder.edu

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