A. NSHE Code: Definition of Distance Education (Section 11)
1. The term “distance education” means a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction occurs when the student and instructor are separated by geographic distance or time. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. Distance education may employ correspondence study, audio, or other electronically mediated technologies.
B. Western Nevada College offers online courses in a learning centered environment that fulfill the same objectives, meet the same outcomes, and are assessed with the same rigor as traditional courses. Just as traditional courses observe standards appropriate to that mode, online courses observe the guidelines and standards defined in this document.
C. All WNC courses will adhere to current WNC policies and bylaws, and to all NSHE requirements.
1. Online Course - An online course provides all instruction in an asynchronous manner and has limited or no regular on-campus schedule, with the exception of proctored assignments when applicable. Synchronous chat room activities may be used when appropriate.
2. Web-Enhanced Course - A web-enhanced course shall have flexible learning formats to enhance student learning. It shall include an in-class component, but the format may differ from a traditional course by using flexible class meeting times, online components, and/or other delivery modalities (such as video, interactive video, cable media, other).
3. Traditional Course - A traditional course conducts all class sessions on campus in a synchronous manner. Traditional courses may use Web resources such as class notes, quizzes, and other class resources. Web assignments for traditional courses may be asynchronous. Students enrolled in traditional courses with important or required web components may access any online course components through WNC computer labs.
Section 2: Faculty Training
A. All Faculty teaching web or web enhanced courses for the first time are required to attend training prior to teaching their first session of that class in the accepted LMS used by WNC. The Distance Education (DE) Coordinator will notify the Distance Education Committee and the Division Chairs of instructors who have met the training requirements.
B. Division chairs will complete LMS training.
C. The institution provides appropriate training and the opportunity for exposure to new and innovative technologies, tools and software for enhancing access and learning.
D. The instructor ensures approval and/or copyright permissions and clearance for all multimedia that will be used in their courses.
A. Approval for a new web course must be obtained from the division chair.
B. Refer to course development procedure (To Be Developed)
Section 4: Course Delivery
A. All online and web enhanced courses must be delivered in the accepted WNC LMS.
B. All web classes with content must be complete two weeks prior the semester in which it is to be taught.
C. All courses will be available by 8:00 AM on the first day of instruction.
D. Faculty will login to all web classes a minimum of three times weekly, evenly spaced to ensure proper student/instructor interaction.
E. Faculty will respond to student communications within 48 hours except during weekends and holidays (this should be stated in the syllabus).
F. Faculty will return graded assignments in a timely manner, consistent with the nature of the assignment and the general guidelines for reviewing the assignments posted in the course.
G. Online Course Proctoring
1. Online course proctoring insures equal access for all students.
a. Students who are participating in an online course are allowed to complete proctored exams at any college-approved proctoring site.
b. Approved sites may include schools, libraries, colleges and organizations actively engaged in learning and proctoring capability.
c. Students have the responsibility of procuring an acceptable proctoring site and communicating this information to the course instructors.
d. Online course instructors will facilitate the completion of the proctored exam. This could include several process steps.
1. Contacting the test proctor.
2. Transmitting the testing materials to the proctoring site.
3. Informing the proctor of any special handling instructions.
e. Students will be required to provide proper identification when they attend the proctoring session. This ID will in the form of a photo ID which could be a driver’s license, State-issued photo ID, military ID, or passport.
f. Online proctoring is available and can be set up through the course instructor. Students will be assessed an additional fee for this service.
Section 5: Online Peer Course Review
A. WNC is a Quality Matters (QM) college.
1. All new on-line courses will be QM reviewed prior to being taught.
2. All courses that are currently taught on-line will be brought up to QM standards as time allows; no longer than five (5) years from the date of this policy going into effect.
3. All QM reviewers will have completed the QM reviewers’ course.
B. Online Course Review Process
1. The Distance Education coordinator will facilitate the review process. The DE coordinator will not be a member of the review group.
2. All reviews will be performed by a QM review group, formed from a pool of academic faculty who are certified QM reviewers.
3. If the rating by the QM review group is below QM standard, the QM review group will work with the course instructor to bring the course up to QM standards.
4. Upon completion of the review, the QM review group chair will provide the division chair and the DE coordinator with the results of the review.