Effective 02/2022 | Albright College

Effective 02/2022

 

Policy Name Development and Facilitation of Online Asynchronous Courses
Policy Category Academic
Policy Approved By Vice President
Responsible Division Head or VP Assistant Dean for Online and Digital Learning
Responsible Department Academic Affairs
Responsible AVP or Director Provost
Original Policy Date 4/7/2021
Last Known Revision Date 11/15/2021
Current Policy Effective Date 2/7/2022
Recommended Policy Review Date 2/7/2024
Policy Applies To Faculty
Additional Authority/References None
 

 

POLICY PURPOSE

Quality online courses are designed and facilitated according to a set of standards and best practices in the industry.  Albright College’s fully asynchronous online courses are guided by the Online Learning Consorium which is one of the standard bearers in this area of course development and facilitation.  These standards and best practices are woven throughout the online course creation process.

BACKGROUND

The purpose of this policy is to outline requirements, standards and recommendations for asynchronous online course design. While we encourage these same principles in the design of all Albright courses, they are specifically used in the context of Albright Certified Asynchronous Online courses. These guidelines are based on a variety of sources and intended to serve as guides.  As always, faculty maintain academic freedom in their teaching and can modify their instructional practices as needed for their own pedagogical purposes.

For those who choose to engage in online asynchronous instruction, following are expectations and timelines for development and review by an instructional design team that includes the faculty member and others. Course content remains subject to approval by the academic department and Curriculum Development Committee.

 

DEFINITIONS

TERM DEFINITION
Asynchronous Online Asynchronous learning happens on your schedule. While your course of study, instructor, or program will provide materials for reading, lectures for viewing, assignments for completing, and exams for evaluation, you can access and satisfy these requirements on your own schedule, so long as you meet the expected deadlines.
Closed Captioning Closed captioning (CC) and subtitling are both processes of displaying text on a television, video screen, or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information.
Open Educational Resources Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials that are either (a) in the public domain or (b) licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the instruction of students.
Online Learning Consortium Online Learning Consortium is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments.
WCAG Guidelines Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.

 

POLICY TEXT

Course Requirements/Standards/Recommendations for Quality Matters Asynchronous Online Courses

 

Each course must include:

  • Use of the Albright College Online Template.
  • A syllabus, which is due at the end of the development cycle. This includes completing a “What’s Due When?” or similar document and Instructional Equivalency charts.
  • Instructor Introduction, Course Overview, Course Tour, Syllabus Orientation videos along with student introduction and Q&A forum.
  • Rubrics or specific grading criteria for all major assignments and writing assignments.  Rubrics and specific Grading Criteria are most helpful to students when performance levels for each criterion is explicitly stated.
  • All pages, assignments, discussions, videos, quizzes, etc. must be made accessible using current WCAG Guidelines and the Albright College Accessibility Policy.
  • Each module includes the following items:
    • A text/audio/video module overview laying out the overall theme or main ideas of the lesson
    • A list of module-level objectives along with their associated course-level objectives.  Designed in a conversational/student-centered tone which communicates the objectives in a meaningful way for the students
    • Varied required and supplemental resources, to include three to four types (PowerPoint, textbook, website, journal articles, instructor video along with other videos with closed captioning, handouts)
    • Instructor video with transcript and/or closed captioning (Best practice says no longer than 15 minutes. If there is a need for long video clips, breaking it into topical clips.  Best practice recommends including some type of assessment in videos
    • A discussion forum, or other means of student-student and teacher-student engagement in each module of the course that shows regular and substantive interaction
    • Varied assessments to address the objectives (writing, project milestone, formative/summative assessments, discussion)  Create assessments that span across multiple parts of Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • An ongoing assessment, with multiple steps, milestones or submissions for students to receive feedback on their progress toward the final assessment objectives.  This can be achieved in many ways and up to the course developer on how to best implement in the course
  • Course must include 15 hours of instructional equivalency per credit.
  • Courses must meet federal guidelines on Regular and Substantive Interaction (July, 2021)

Courses should consider:

  • Varied supplementary resources to help students further their learning, but that are not directly tied to assessment
  • Facilitator guide for faculty teaching the course instructors other than the course developer teaches the course.  Additional student-to-student engagement besides the discussion forum (posting projects for review, group projects, etc.)
  • Interactive learning elements (Flipgrid, H5P, etc.)
  • Open Educational or Low-Cost Resources
  • For courses that are heavy on publisher material, additional materials and class activities to support the publisher material.
  • In these courses, personalization is emphasized.   Examples include icebreakers, peer review assignments, weekly review sessions, pre-tests, providing timely feedback, etc.

 

ASSOCIATED PROCEDURES LOCATION

Guidelines for Online Course Development – Housed in Digital Learning and Innovation

 

REVISION LOG

DATE OF REVISION MAJOR CHANGES

(Note:  electronic copies of the former versions of the policy must be maintained within the unit, department, or division)

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