The College of Arts & Sciences is dedicated to making sure that all online courses developed and taught offer students the same quality of education that they would receive if they were to take these courses in the classroom. Therefore, the following tasks must be completed prior to any individuals teaching online courses.
All faculty and instructors who teach or develop online courses must have up-to-date certification through the online educator development program. This certification must be completed before any requests to develop or teach online courses will be approved. The certification process requires the completion of 7 core courses and 3 elective workshops, as well as any necessary future recertification courses. For more information, please go to https://itas.ua.edu/teaching-online/online-educator-program/.
Any online course that a faculty member would like to develop or revise must be vetted through a proposal process, as described below.
- Course proposals must be provided by a department chair. No proposals from individual faculty will be considered by CCS.
- Proposal should be submitted to Ruth Pionke, Director of Continuing Education, and Sunny Chambless, CCS Program Manager.
- Proposal should contain the following:
- What semester the course would ideally launch (Fall/Summer/Spring)
- How often the course would be offered
- Estimated number of Distance Learners (DL) who will enroll in the course each semester (contact Sunny Chambless if assistance is needed on this front)
- Course must be a 100/200 level course
- Course must be a core/general education course
- Course cannot have any prerequisites
- Once the proposal is submitted, it will be reviewed by CCS student services staff and academic advisors to determine whether they believe that the course will be a viable addition to their offerings and meet the academic requirements of DL students.
- Courses that do not maintain a minimum of five or more DL enrollments for more than two academic semesters may not be revised by CCS when their 3-year MOUs expire. These courses will be removed from the system and will not be available for use by the department past their expirations.
- A course that has been removed from the offerings will require a new proposal, provided by the department chair, and will be reviewed through the process stated above to determine whether it should be redeveloped.
All faculty and instructors must meet with the A&S representatives who are responsible for reviewing online courses. This includes our A&S Faculty Technology Liaison and our eTech Assistant Managing Editor. During this meeting, the A&S representatives will provide the individuals with a checklist, listing the best practices for online teaching and detailing the expectations of the College for a course developed in this manner. Individuals are invited to contact these representatives if they should have any questions regarding online teaching. The representatives can provide examples of well-designed courses, if needed.
Per UA’s institutional compliance and its participation in a federal reciprocity program to offer distance education, all courses offered online must abide by the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Learning Education Programs that were adopted by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) and in agreement with the Alabama Commission for Higher Education (ACHE).
In order to ensure that all online courses offered by the College of Arts & Sciences comply, any online course will be developed jointly with the College of Continuing Studies in accordance with the College of Arts & Sciences’ Policy for Developing/Revising Online Courses.
The following individuals can be contacted for more information.
- Director of Continuing Education – Ruth Pionke, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Faculty Teaching Liaison – Nathan Loewen, email@example.com
- eTech Asst. Managing Editor – Jessica Porter, firstname.lastname@example.org