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On-Line Teaching Policy

Online Review Committee (ORC)

The Online Review Committee, composed of one elected voting member from each College (A&H, B&SS, E&PS, NS&M, Library, and Graduate College) and the Director of Instructional Technology (voting member who chairs the ORC), oversees online course approvals and policy regarding fully online courses.

Faculty teaching a fully online course for the first time at Shepherd University must have previous online teaching experience or training prior to teaching. All on-line course offerings are subject to review as described below.

Training Process & Requirements:

Faculty teaching a fully online course for the first time at Shepherd University, or faculty who have not taught a fully online course in the past two calendar years, will need to become certified to do so. In order to do this, they may take a six-week “Online Certification Course” (OCC) at Shepherd, or they may take another certification course of their choosing outside of Shepherd as long as it meets the nine criteria described later in this document.  The OCC is currently taught at different times throughout the year by the Shepherd University Director of Instructional Technology.

Training Waivers: (Please Note:  These waivers apply only to faculty who have not taught a fully  online course at Shepherd University within the past two calendar years.  Faculty who have already taught a fully online course at Shepherd, or who have successfully completed the OCC or another certification course covering the required competencies* are only subject to periodic course review as described later in this document).

Previous Online Teaching Experience Faculty members who have taught online at another institution within the past two calendar years may be eligible to waive some or all of the faculty training requirements. They will need to arrange a meeting with either Shepherd’s Director of Instructional Technology or their College elected member of the Online Review Committee to review their experience and present a course (or courses) that they have taught online.  Courses should include all of the required elements for an online course from the Shepherd Online Course Assessment Rubric (SOCAR).* After the review, it may be recommended that the faculty member either complete Shepherd’s Online Certification Course** or another certification course of their choosing that covers the required competencies*, or that the faculty member complete one or more selected self-paced refresher tutorials through Magna Commons before being approved to teach online.
Previous Online Training/Certification Faculty members who have not taught online but have taken the equivalent certification coursework (course(s) that cover similar material** as Shepherd’s OCC), within the past two calendar years, may be eligible to waive some or all of the Shepherd University training requirements. Proof of certification completion is required. However, the faculty member will also need to arrange a meeting with either Shepherd’s Director of Instructional Technology or their College elected member of the Online Review Committee to review his or her experience and present a course (or courses) he or she plans to teach online at Shepherd University.  Courses should include all the required elements for an online course from the Shepherd Online Course Assessment Rubric (SOCAR).* After the review, it may be recommended that faculty members either complete Shepherd’s Online Certification Course** or another certification course of their choosing that covers the required competencies*, or that they complete one or more selected self-paced refresher tutorials through Magna Commons before being fully cleared to teach online.

*See rubric and scoring in Faculty Handbook. ** Shepherd’s OCC covers all material on the Shepherd Online Course Assessment Rubric – SOCAR (in pdf Faculty Handbook).

The Director of Instructional Technology and College elected members of the Online Review Committee will use the following form to review courses created by faculty teaching a fully online course for the first time at Shepherd University.

Online Teaching Training Waiver Application for Faculty Teaching a Fully Online Course for the First Time at Shepherd University:

 

Faculty Member:

Meeting Date with Instructional Technologist or College Elected Member of the Online Review Committee:

Course Title(s):

Number of Credits:

Requirements fulfilled by this course: (Major or Core Curriculum)

Is this part of a fully online program?

Semester in which the course will first be taught:

Describe your experience teaching online or your certification training (if you have not yet taught online). What year did you do this teaching or training?

Proof of Certification? Yes                         No                         N/A

Does course meet the Shepherd Online Course Assessment Rubric (SOCAR) standards?              Yes                         No

If the SOCAR standards have not been met, what training is recommended? (Circle one)

Shepherd University Online Certification Course

Magna Commons Online Teaching Self-Paced Refresher Courses (please list specific ones).

One-on-one meetings with the Director of Instructional Technology

Date for next course review (if SOCAR standards have not been met):

This section to be completed by the Director of Instructional Technology or College elected member of the Online Review Committee:

Instructor currently approved to teach online? Approved _____ Not Approved ____

Signature and Date ___________________________________

Shepherd Online Course Assessment Rubric (SOCAR)*

Nine Essential Standards

Please note that these standards are not used to evaluate course subject content but rather best practices in terms of navigability, structure, clarity, technology and community.

___ Presentation of materials uses more than one sensory mode (e.g. print, visual, experiential).

___ In addition to clearly stated learning outcomes, each activity, assignment, exercise, and assessment clearly indicates what students need to do, how they should submit results, and any special instructions.

___ Lessons/modules are clearly organized and easily navigable.

___ Course requirements clearly state that students are required to interact with each other and with the instructor, a specific time period for the interaction is stated, directions for how to participate in the interaction, standards for the quality or expectations of the interaction are set, and the outcomes of those interactions are noted (i.e. the student receive points for the interaction).

___ Policies and procedures are in place in the course site, are easily located, provide clarity to the reader regarding their responsibility, and reflect the institution’s policies to ensure the integrity of student’s work.

___ Student’s achievement of stated learning outcomes is documented and provided to the student as feedback on their learning activities and assessments, and is documented in the course site where it is accessible to both instructor and student.

___The tools and media used to deliver the content of the course are appropriate (accessible, functional, learner-centered).

___ Instructor provides clear information regarding his or her availability for assistance.

___ Course fosters a sense of community in some way (i.e., instructor and student introductions, pictures, chat room accessibility, etc.).

*Adapted from Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative

Online Teaching Assessment Measures – Protocol

Initial Course Review – The Final Project of the OCC or the SOCAR analysis.

In order to meet SOCAR standards, a course must meet each of the 9 essential standards.

See assessment rubric above..

Initial Assessment of Subsequent Courses

After a faculty member has been initially approved to teach a fully on-line course at Shepherd and has had an initial course approved, subsequent fully on-line courses may be offered by that faculty member without prior approval. Assessment of subsequent courses would take part in the two-year cycle for re-evaluation described below in the cyclic assessment section.

Cyclic Assessment

In addition to the initial course review for Shepherd University professors teaching a fully online course for the first-time, online courses will be re-evaluated by the Director of Instructional Technology and College elected faculty members of the Online Review Committee every two years (or more if issues are brought forth) to make sure the courses are meeting the required standards outlined in the SOCAR.

Student Evaluations

Student evaluations of the online courses will need to be given every time the course(s) are offered.