ODEOL Policies

Distance Education Policy

Purpose Statement

Tuskegee University is a national, independent, and state-related institution of higher learning that is located in the State of Alabama.  The University has distinctive strengths in the sciences, architecture, business, engineering, health, and other professions, all structured on solid foundations in the liberal arts.  In addition, the University's programs focus on nurturing the development of high-order intellectual and moral qualities among students and stress the connection between education and the highly trained leadership Americans need in general, especially for the work force of the 21st Century and beyond.  The results we seek are students whose technical, scientific, and professional prowess has been not only rigorously honed, but also sensitively oriented in ways that produce public-spirited graduates who are both competent and morally committed to public service with integrity and excellence.

What is Distance Education?

The definition used for distance education in this document is the one adopted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges:

“For the purposes of the Commission’s accreditation review, distance education is defined as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction (interaction between students and instructors and among students) in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place.  Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous.  A distance education course may use the internet: one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices; audio conferencing; or video cassettes, DVD’s, and CDE-ROMs if used as part of the distance learning course or program” (Distance and Correspondence Education: Policy Statement, 2010).

Modes of Delivery

  • Online instructional delivery mode  via the internet using  Blackboard a  Learning Management System (LMS)
  • The University schedule of classes indicates what courses are being offered via distance learning and the delivery format (Internet). Alpha characters attached to the section number of distance education courses also indicate information about the course.
  • Online courses are designated as: DL  courses taught 100% Internet. (NOTE: These courses will NEVER meet face to face).

Goals for Distance Education and Online Learning at Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University’s goals and operating plan for distance education flow from and fulfill standing goals and objectives in the university’s strategic plan as well as the university’s mission statement and vision document.

The proposed addition of online courses is designed to help fulfill the university’s mission. Tuskegee University accomplishes its central purpose of developing leadership, knowledge and service through its undergraduate, graduate, professional, research and outreach programs. Through these programs, students are encouraged not only to pursue careers but to be of service to society and to remain active lifetime learners.  The University seeks to instill a robust thirst for knowledge and a vibrant quest for wholesale patterns of personal and social ethics that have philosophical and spiritual depth. In the process, it seeks to help each student develop an appreciation for the finer traits of human personality, the beauty of the earth and the universe, and a personal commitment to the improvement of the human condition.

TU’s online courses are designed to provide greater access to higher education for students, particularly adult learners.

Institutional Accommodation

All degree programs at TU operate under the direct auspices of the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Selected day-to-day operations are coordinated through the respective academic departments.

All academic units of the university will have an opportunity to participate in providing degree or certificate programs for credit and/or courses for credit delivered via distance education wherever there is a need.  The university will assure that the institution’s administrative policies and procedures allow for an effective, efficient distance education support infrastructure. The university is committed to offering a high quality online education program that adheres to the standards set forth by SACSCOC, regarding electronically offered programs.  Through rigorous curriculum and faculty development processes, administrative changes, and equipment upgrades, the university is providing meaningful courses and degree programs that will be on par with its face-to-face offerings. Funding levels and fees will provide sufficient financial resources to initiate and maintain quality distance education courses and programs.

The Office of Distance Education and Online Learning

The Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) consisting of administrative, academic, and technological personnel, coordinates the scheduling, infrastructure and delivery of distance learning courses and works closely with each academic departments to ensure the quality of distance education at Tuskegee University. The Office of Distance Education and Online Learning' s primary focus is on designing and implementing best practices for students and faculty, providing eLearning training for faculty, students and administrative personnel, offering technical assistance for all groups, and providing general information for all issues related to eLearning.

The Office ofDistance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) provides additional support in the area of distance education by providing the following services:

  • Professional development opportunities in the areas of teaching and learning
  • Workshops, information sessions, discussions, and webinars on a variety of distance education topics
  • Instructional and technical support for electronic learning
  • The production of audio, video, photographic and graphic media for instructional use
  • Assistance with the appropriate pedagogical use of technologies
  • Acquisition and loaning of software and hardware for faculty creation of multi-media materials.

The Office of Distance Education and Online Learning will ensure TU’s compliance with laws in other states concerning authorization to provide distance education programs to students in those states. If necessary, the University will prohibit students in some states from enrolling in TU online classes.

Assessment data for effective provision of learning resources to distance education will be available and regularly evaluated and improved where appropriate.

Degree and Certificate Programs Offered Via Distance Education and Online Learning

Programs offered via distance education will be consistent with the role and mission of Tuskegee University.  There will be no distinction between programs offered through distance education and those offered in a face-to-face format.  Unless otherwise provided, all policies, standards, and guidelines for on-campus instruction apply to programs delivered via distance education.

Selection of programs to be offered via distance education is the purview of the appropriate academic unit, which will provide faculty oversight of the program to ensure currency of the program, its courses, and resources.  Each program will result in learning outcomes appropriate to the rigor and breadth of the degree awarded.

Once implemented, the offering academic units and the university commit to ongoing support, both financial and technical, and to the continuation of the program for a period of time sufficient to enable admitted students to complete the program as long as financially feasible.

Courses Offered Via Distance Education and Online Learning

Courses offered via distance education are academic program courses approved through the usual curriculum approval process.  There will be no distinction between courses offered through distance education and those offered in a face-to-face format.  Courses offered via distance education will have the same rigor and expected outcomes of face-to-face offerings.

Courses delivered via distance education carry the same curriculum prerequisites for Tuskegee University admitted students.

Course Development Process (FLOWCHART)

        Faculty Training Process



        Peer Review Process For Online Courses 

The Provost, Academic Deans and ODEOL have worked jointly to identify a course development process that aligns with institutional policies and procedures.  For online distance education courses, The Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) provides training regarding course design and implementation. Training is provided online, in onsite workshops, and through individual consultations in a format that prepares faculty to develop courses that are in accordance with Quality Matters at Tuskegee University review.

Faculty will work with the Instructional Designer (for online courses) and the designated eLearning support team (e.g., Faculty Peer Mentors, Subject Matter Experts, Campus Technology, Admissions, Student Services, T -CAEIL and Library Staff ) to design an online course that reflects the components of Quality Matters at Tuskegee University . To provide a consistent online experience for the student, faculty shall follow the university's LMS Blackboard  template for online course layout. Courses designed for distance education delivery must reflect contact hours and instructional time commitments in accordance with Tuskegee University ' s Credit Hour Policy and expected student learning outcomes that are equivalent to those for the same courses delivered through traditional formats .

Faculty Training

The University recognizes that developing distance learning courses and programs requires a great deal of training, development, and preparation time on the part of faculty. Specifically, faculty involved with course development may have to change their standard teaching approach, formulate activities to engage students, and cultivate a contingency plan in case the lines of communication are broken.

To ensure quality distance learning course/program development and support, the ODEOL provides training, instructional design support services, and other development opportunities (either virtually or in person) for faculty to exchange insights, experiences, and ideas regarding distance learning.  

All faculty developing distance learning courses for the University have been identified by the respective academic dean, and the vast majority of such faculty are full-time faculty. All faculty developing and/or teaching distance learning courses are required to complete the related  four-week training course.

The Office of Distance Education and Online Learning has established an-e-Learning Program Review Committee which will help to review the Online Learning Consortium manual of Criteria Scorecard for Excellence in the administration of online Programs and provide ODEOL and TU e-Learning with recommendations for quality in our online programs. Meetings will be held monthly each semester.

The primary components of Peer Review are a set of standards (or Rubric) for the design of online courses and the online components of blended courses, a peer review process for applying these standards, and related professional development for faculty.

Curriculum Development and Peer Review Process

The Provost, Academic Deans and ODEOL have worked collaboratively to identify a course development process that aligns with institutional policies and procedures.

For online courses, ODEOL provides training regarding course design and implementation. Training is provided online as well as onsite workshops, and through individual consultations in a format that prepares faculty to develop courses that are in accordance with Quality Matters at Tuskegee University review.

Faculty will work with the Instructional Designer (for online courses) and the designated eLearning support team (e.g., Faculty Peer Mentors, Subject Matter Experts, Campus Technology, Admissions, Student Services, T -CAEIL and Library Staff ) to design an online course that reflects the components of Quality Matters at Tuskegee University. To provide a consistent online experience for the student, faculty shall follow the University's LMS template for online course layout. Courses designed for distance education delivery must reflect contact hours and instructional time commitments in accordance with the University’ s Credit Hour Policy and expected student learning outcomes that are equivalent to those for the same courses delivered through traditional formats .

The ODEL has established an-e-Learning Program Review Committee which will help to review the Online Learning Consortium manual of Criteria Scorecard for Excellence in the administration of online programs and provide the ODEOL and the e-Learning division with recommendations for continuous improvement. Meetings will be held monthly each semester. The primary components of peer review are a set of standards (or Rubric) for the design of online courses and the online components of blended courses, a peer review process for applying these standards, and related professional development for faculty.

Quality Matters Peer Review of Online Courses (FLOWCHART)

ODEOL utilizes the Quality Matters Rubric for all Tuskegee University online degree program courses. Quality Matters: Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, Fifth Edition, 2014 which is comprised of a set of 8 general standards and 43 specific standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. The Quality Matters Program  (www.qualitymatters.org) is a research-centered approach to quality assurance and continuous  improvement for online learning. The primary components are a set of standards (or Rubric)  for the design of online courses and the online components of blended courses, a peer review  process for applying these standards, and related professional development for faculty. The  Quality Matters Rubric, with versions for continuing and professional education, educational  publishing, secondary education, and post-secondary education, is based on recognized best  practices, built on the expertise of instructional designers and experienced online teachers, and  supported by distance education literature and research. The goal of the program is to enable  faculty to increase student engagement, learning, and satisfaction in online courses by  implementing better course design.

OLC Quality Scorecard for Online Programs
ODEOL maintains membership with The Online Learning Consortium (OLC). OLC is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing quality online learning by providing professional development, instruction, best practice publications and guidance to educators, online learning professionals and organizations around the world. The OLC Quality Scorecard for Online Programs is an easy to-use process for measuring and quantifying elements of quality within online programs in higher education. By evaluating each of the respective quality indicators within the established nine categories, an administrator of online programs can determine strengths and weaknesses of their program. The results of this tool identify program weaknesses that can be used to support program improvement and strategic planning initiatives. The Quality Scorecard could also be used to demonstrate to accrediting bodies, elements of quality within the program as well as an overall level of quality.

e-Learning Program Review Committee

The Office ofDistance Education and Online Learning has established an-e-Learning Program Review Committee which will help to review the Online Learning Consortium manual of Criteria Scorecard for Excellence in the administration of online Programs and provide ODEOL and TU e-Learning with recommendations for quality in our online programs. Meetings will be held monthly each semester.

Faculty development and support are key to the long-term success of the distance learning program. Without the requisite skills and resources to adapt to new teaching and learning environments, faculty will be unable to respond to the demands of the distance learning program. By accepting assignment to teach a distance learning course, the faculty member agrees to participate as necessary in training sessions (available online and in person) regarding using electronic media, promoting student interaction, and managing situations unique to the delivery of distance education. In support of the needs of distance learning faculty, the Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) provides  instructional programs and access to the necessary technical and communication resources to  facilitate faculty development of skills in classroom management and technology-based  instructional design.  

Student Access to Faculty

Students enrolled in online courses have access to faculty through two venues. First, student may email faculty members at any time with questions. The University’s distance learning policy is that faculty must return student emails within 24 hours if received on weekdays and within 48 hours if received late Friday through Sunday. In addition to contact through email, most courses require students to participate in faculty-monitored discussion forums. General questions regarding course content are typically addressed via the discussion forums and students’ individual questions or concerns are communicated via email.

Faculty engaged in 100% online courses are expected to maintain a minimum often office hours (virtual) a week to accommodate student consultations. If online office hours are utilized, the faculty must be available via some mode of synchronous online communication (e.g., online chat, instant messaging, FaceTime, Skype, email , etc.). These hours are posted on the syllabus, the learning management system, on the faculty member's door, and kept by the department head.

Response time

Faculty engaged in 100% online courses shall maintain a 48-hour maximum response time (excluding weekends, holidays, or extenuating circumstances) for returning student emails and are expected to display high levels of social and cognitive presence as well as high quality writing skills.

  • High quality social presence is defined as the following:
  • Instructor accesses forums, etc. , several times a week.
  • Instructor posts numerous times a week. Postings are directed toward learners.
  • Instructor demonstrates professional behavior and evidence of respect for diversity and the views of others.
  • High quality cognitive presence is defined as the following:
  • Instructor stimulates discussion.
  • Postings are clear, original, and relevant.
  • Reasoning shows well-developed analytical skills and critical thinking.
  • Instructor encourages students to higher achievement.
  • Instructor always provides adequate supporting details and examples.
  • Instructor engages in peer teaching.
  • High quality writing skills are defined as the following:
  • All postings are well written and demonstrate accurate spelling and grammar, good organization, careful editing, conciseness and clarity.

Faculty Workload

As previously noted, the current proposal does not involve adding or expanding academic courses or programs. Rather, it involves providing the existing courses of the master’s programs in Environmental Sciences and Environmental Management programs in an online format. The impact on faculty load will be no different than would be experienced by adding sections of face-to-face courses. This process is managed by the academic division chairs and Deans utilizing qualified full-time and adjunct instructors and, as programs grow, the hiring of appropriate full-time faculty members.

Books and Materials

Faculty who teach distance education courses at the University are encouraged to explore creative ideas for best practice through research, communicating with colleagues, and engagement with content providers. The University utilizes textbook rental and retail systems to provide academic texts and supplemental materials. Textbook Rentals accommodate any required hardbound textbooks, which have a useful life of two or more academic years. Books not eligible for adoption by the rental system and support materials such as workbooks, reference manuals, or dated materials are sold by the University bookstore. Instructors communicate their needs to the appropriate personnel in the same manner as for residential courses. When students are required to purchase books and/or materials, faculty should make this information available as soon as possible so that students may purchase from any source they choose.

Supplementary materials can be made available in printed or electronic form. Library personnel can assist faculty with electronic reserves, inter-library loans, and online databases that can be accessed electronically. Instructors provide students with directions on how to access library materials such as books, periodicals, journal articles, etc.

Evaluation

Evaluation and assessment are integral to the University’s Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL). The ODEOL is an administrative unit under the purview of the Provost as described previously. As such, this unit participates in the University’s planning and institutional effectiveness processes consistent with other educational departments and administrative and educational support units. The ODEOL and staff, in cooperation with the Institutional Effectiveness are responsible for identifying expected outcomes, determining assessment strategies, analyzing results, and demonstrating the use of these results for quality improvement.  There are a variety of instruments used to assess the distance learning programs.  Distance learning courses are evaluated in conjunction with the regularly scheduled university’s course evaluation.  In addition, surveys specific to online learning (content and delivery) are delivered to both faculty and students.   Student learning and program outcomes are also developed, implemented, and evaluated.  The results/findings of the evaluation are then used to make improvement to the courses/programs for continuous enhancement of the distance education program.  

Students will evaluate courses delivered via distance education using the course evaluation procedures in effect for face-to-face courses.   As with campus-based courses, records of evaluations and analyses of evaluations will be used proactively in the enhancement of course offerings.

Final examinations in courses delivered via distance education will be taken under the supervision of the instructor or an approved proctor or through the use of other techniques that assure the integrity of the process.

Credit Hour Policy

All courses, including those using a distance education delivery method, must adhere to Tuskegee University's existing Credit Hour Policy.

Requirements and Expectations for Distance Education Courses

All distance education courses at Tuskegee University are considered comparable to traditional courses and adhere to the same course standards, prerequisites, and requirements as traditional sections of identical courses.

Approval Process for Distance Delivery

  • To teach any course in a 100% online format or a 50-99% online format, the faculty member must have completed the Training for Teaching Online at Tuskegee University course for faculty certification 
  • The Faculty member teaching the course must attend workshops, additional training sessions and webinars provided by ODEOL 
  • Submit the completed course shell for Quality Matters peer review 
  • Revise course shell as needed based upon the recommendations of the peer review team. 

To encourage high quality course offerings, proposals for creating new distance education courses and proposals for converting existing courses to a distance format are given careful review. Not only must distance education courses meet the same quality standards as traditional face-to-face courses, but additional review is necessary to ensure the appropriateness and feasibility oft he chosen e-learning medium. Distance education courses should be approved in the semester prior to the semester of delivery, to allow for sufficient instructor training and course development. The process for developing a distance education course is outlined below:

  • Dean or Department head submits a course or Degree Program or course Proposal to the Director of the Office of Di stance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) for review . 
  • The Director reviews the proposal and meets with the Dean or Department head to discuss feasibility, begin course mapping, and determine technical needs, the Director then submits the degree program proposal to the Provost for review and approval, to ensure alignment with strategic goals regarding delivery and quality of degree programs. 
  • The Provost is responsible for determining if the addition of a course offered via distance delivery results in 50% or more oft he degree program being available via distance education. If so, SACSCOC notification and/or approval may be necessary due to a substantive change.

    Upon approval by the Provost for a course to be delivered online: 
  • The Director wi ll assign an Instructional Designer to meet with the Dean or Department head regarding revisions (if needed ) and to discuss feasibility, begin course mapping, determine technical needs and identify faculty who will teach the online courses which make up the online degree. 
  • Faculty members assigned must complete the Training for Teaching Online course for faculty certification (course certification comes later in the peer review process) Training for Teaching Online and Quality Matters at Tuskegee University certification is valid until there are substantive changes in the Training for Teaching Online and Quality Matters standards. 
  • Faculty member meets with Instructional Designer in the Office ofDistance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) to discuss feasibility, begin course mapping, and determine technical needs -enlisting appropriate contacts Campus Technology, and Library, as needed. 

Course Development, Approval, and Delivery

  • Faculty member consults with the designated Instructional Designer along with the e-Learning support team (e.g. faculty peer mentors, subject matter experts, campus technology, admissions, student services, tutoring services, library staff) to design and develop the online course.

  •  Faculty Peer Mentors review the completed course by applying the Quality Matters (8 general and 43 specific) standards to the online course and provides a report to the Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL);

  • The faculty members will receive a report from the Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) which will include a compilation of the recommendation from all of the members of the faculty peer mentors committee;

  • If there are any deficiencies the faculty member will be allotted 30 days to correct the said deficiencies and submit the revisions to the Director of ODEOL;

  • The Instructional Designer will notify the dean of the college/school when the course has met the Quality Matters course requirements for delivery;

  • The dean will forward the information to any other deans, as appropriate, and to the department head(s), as appropriate (This step is only needed if there are required courses in multiple colleges/schools);

  •  The college/school’s department head will notify the faculty member of the decision;

  • Course information is submitted to the Provost for final review and submission to the Registrar;

  • The registrar includes the courses in the current semester’s course catalog for student registration purposes; and

  • The course is delivered with continued assessment and evaluation by the Office of Distance Education and Online Learning (ODEOL) and the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning.

  • Online courses must be officially reviewed at the beginning of the semester, midpoint and end of the semester for Quality Matters at Tuskegee University certification to remain in place. If the certification requirements are met, the course as taught by the faculty member is so certified. The ability of the faculty member to continue to offer the course using the approved distance delivery method depends on factors including but not necessarily limited to: 
    • the results of the faculty member' s annual evaluations of teaching, particularly with regard to teaching the course in question and the delivery method in question 
    • student needs 
    • department/college/university goals concerning distance versus face-to-face delivery of individual courses and degree programs 
    • resource availability. 

The department head has primary responsibility for overseeing the scheduling of courses offered through the department each semester and summer, and that includes the scheduling oft he course delivery format.

Course Design

Faculty will work with the Instructional Designer (for online courses) and the designated eLearning support team (e.g., Faculty Peer Mentors, Subject Matter Experts, Campus Technology, Admissions, Student Services, T -CAEIL and Library Staff ) to design an online course that reflects the components of Quality Matters at Tuskegee University . To provide a consistent online experience for the student, faculty shall follow the university's LMS template for online course layout. Courses designed for distance education delivery must reflect contact hours and instructional time commitments in accordance with Tuskegee University ' s Credit Hour Policy and expected student learning outcomes that are equivalent to those for the same courses delivered through traditional formats .

The Syllabus

The course syllabus must contain the same information as traditional courses along with the following components: (Syllabus Template click here)

  • Instructor' s virtual office hours 
  • Technological requirements for the course including any special software requirements 
  • Procedure for resolving technical complaints including contact information for technical 
  • support 
  • Preferred method for contacting instructor, e.g. email, phone, text message. 
  • Netiquette expectations 
  • Instructor' s response time for student communications [Faculty engaged in 100% online 
  • courses are required to maintain a 48 hour maximum response time (excluding weekends, 
  • holidays, or extenuating circumstances) for returning student emails).] 
  • Procedure for determining attendance 
  • Student participation/interaction requirements 
  • Information on Distance Learning Library Services 

Student Interaction

Distance education courses must provide for timely and appropriate interaction between students and faculty and among students . All students are expected to participate regularly . Multiple means of student-instructor interaction and student-student interaction are expected. This can include instructors requiring and monitoring students' regular participation, scheduling regular group meeting times, and encouraging students to: post messages to one another about the coursework, attach documents to email messages, visit peer websites, and participate in on-going discussion groups and synchronous chat rooms . Increased interaction among students and between students and the instructor promotes involvement leading to discovery, and student defined questions.

Communicating high expectations explicitly and efficiently keeps students on-task and involved. Distance education instructors expect regular connections with students using a variety of interactive modes. Student-instructor interaction may unfold synchronously, during face-to-face meetings, telephone conferences, video conferencing, and online chat rooms; or asynchronously, with regular mail, taped audio-video broadcasts, email, and the Internet. Faculty should strive to meet the diverse needs of students and insure active learning in distance education coursework by incorporating a variety of course experiences that address diverse learning styles.

Course Assessment

Tuskegee University evaluates the educational effectiveness of its distance education courses and programs to ensure comparability with face-to-face courses and programs. Individual courses are expected to adhere to approved course descriptions and have similar expected student learning outcomes, regardless of the course delivery format. Student satisfaction is assessed through the Student Surveys administered in each class during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, regardless of the delivery format of the class. The Office ofInstitutional Research provides the President and Provost with an annual report on student retention and grade distributions for each course, disaggregated by delivery format.

For academic programs that provide students with different delivery options for the entire program 100% via a particular distance technology, the expected student learning outcomes and measures of those outcomes are identical across all delivery options. In addition, the results of those measures are compared across the different delivery formats.

Requirements and Expectations for Distance Education Students Prerequisites and Readiness

The ability of a student to succeed in a distance education class depends on his or her ability to understand the class structure and technology. Informing students o fwhat skills and technology are needed for particular distance education courses allows them the opportunity to do a self assessment of their capability to succeed in the course. Faculty syllabi will outline general information about the class, including specific skills a student should possess, hardware and software requirements necessary to participate in the course, and faculty contact information. At the time of course registration, students are required to review the Course description, which also includes an online student readiness assessment. Registration for the course constitutes the student's acceptance of the requirements necessary to participate in the course.

Student Integrity and Authentication

Tuskegee University utilizes the SACSCOC suggested secure login and pass code student identification method as an attempt to ensure that the student who registers in a distance education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the associated credit for the course or program. At the time of enrollment, students receive a unique usemame/W# (secure login) and password (secure pass code). This usemame/W# and password is used for student identification/authentication purposes for distance education course work at no extra cost to the student, with both the usemame/W# and password used for work submitted online.

In addition to the secure login and pass code method, faculty may use other means or technologies to authenticate the work o fdistance education students (e.g., proctored exams, special software, web cameras). If a faculty member chooses to use additional means of authenticating the work of distance education students, students must be informed in writing at the time of course registration of any actual and/or projected associated costs (e.g. , cost of specialized software, estimated cost of web camera). Any projected additional student costs associated with verification of student identity/authentication of distance education student work must be stated in the course syllabus.

The checklist below is an opportunity for faculty to reflect on other ways to ensure that the students who are getting credit for a class are, indeed , the students who are doing the work in the class. Here are some ways that online faculty can help ensure that the students who are doing the work are the students getting credit for the class.

  • Password secured Course Management Systems (e.g. Blackboard) 
  • Internal, instructor controlled password protection for exams 
  • Techniques to limit cheating on exams (i.e. randomized questions, multiple questions from pools, time limits on exams, limited availability of exams , etc.) 
  • Minimum of two proctored exams per semester. 
  • Extensive writing tasks throughout the semester 
  • Revision of writing tasks throughout the semester 
  • "Plagiarism training" for students (https: //www.indiana.edu/-istd/) 
  • Plagiarism certificate" for students (https://www.indiana.edu/-istd/test.htrnl) 
  • Requiring students to use Turnitin (request your TU tumitin account if you do not have one) 
  • Informal checking for plagiarism 
  • Personal detail -use challenge questions for at least two exams in each course 
  • Authentication through frequent course level assessment 
  • Frequent and varied opportunities for assessment through the course semester 
  • Use of technology tools at intervals throughout the course i.e. Webcams, Skype, Go to Meeting, Blackboard Collaborate and Google Hangouts in addition to telephone conversations as needed. 
  • Please sign your nan1e and take a photo ofy ourself to access your Week 1 quiz . 
  • Increased emphasis on student portfolios, papers, projects, and quizzes in exchange for high "point weighted" midterm and final tests 
  • Do not allow last minute changes in assignment topics 
  • Employ a lockdown browser system to prevent students from exiting the exam and surfing the web for answers. 
  • Modify assessments often when possible 
  • Design test questions to be randomly drawn from banks of questions and shuffled, so each student gets a different set of questions. 
  • Design tests to be open-book but with a limited amount of time to complete. 
  • Require forced completion on exams so students cannot re-enter a test. 
  • Rely on interactive discussions, writing assignments, quizzes, capstone projects, and group work in place of high-stakes exams. 

Why Verify Identity?

By verifying identity, we send a message that we are concerned that students receive the deserved credit for the work they are performing. We also demonstrate a proactive interest in compliance with any new requirements requiring a process to verify the identity of the student as being the same as the individual who registered for the course

Academic Integrity and the Code of Conduct

Students in all classes, regardless of delivery format, must adhere to Tuskegee University ' s Academic Integrity policy as published in the Tuskegee University ' s Student Handbook .

Student Privacy

Student privacy in all courses and programs regardless of delivery format is protected as per the Policies and Procedures Relating to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) posted on the University's web site.

Distance Education Course Proposal Requirements

Distance education courses should adhere to the same standards, prerequisites, and requirements as traditional sections of identical courses.

Course Proposals for distance education courses must include the following:

  1. Instructor's name, course prefix and number 
  2. Justification for the proposed distance education course 
  3. Evidence that the proposed distance education format of the course adheres to the University's Credit Hour Policy 
  4. Course Classification [A required course, an elective, a general education course, or a major course in a degree program(s)] 

  • A full syllabus (in the same format as syllabi for a traditional course ). Outlining the topics that will be covered in the course and how contact hours will be addressed. The course syllabus must also contain the following components. 

a) Instructor' s virtual office hours

b) Technological requirements for the course including any special software requirements

c) Procedure for resolving technical complaints including contact information for technical support

d) iPreferred method for contacting instructor, e.g. email, phone, text message.

e) Netiquette expectations

f) Instructor' s response time for student communications

g) Procedure for determining attendance

h) Student participation/interaction requirements

i) Information on Distance Learning Library Services

  • Delivery mechanism(s) (e.g. , LMS, video, etc.) 
  • Interaction methods and how those methods will provide for timely and appropriate interaction between students and faculty and among students 
  • Source of course materials (e .g., created, textbook publisher, etc.) 
  • Instructor' s technological expertise including verification of completion of Training for Teaching online course at Tuskegee University certification and Quality Matters Peer Review

Faculty Qualifications  & Requirements

As with traditional courses, Tuskegee University's faculty assumes primary responsibility for and exercises oversight over distance education instruction, ensuring both the rigor of courses, curriculum, and the quality of instruction. Blended courses offered less than 50% via distance education are required to follow the Distance Education Policies at Tuskegee University. With noted differences between teaching distance education courses and teaching courses using "traditional" methodologies, the decision to use distance learning must be made on a course-by course basis, with consideration given to the content of the course, the needs of the learners, and the flexibility of the delivery mechanism.

Faculty are encouraged to align distance learning with operational outcomes in the relevant organizational context of their specified fields. Instructional design should reflect best practice quality standards, and provide for a consistent environment and learning experience for students.

Faculty Qualifications

All faculty requesting to teach a 100% online or blended online/ face-to-face course are required to show competence in online instruction by (1 ) completing the Training for Teaching Online course (2) attend workshops, additional training sessions and webinars provided by ODEOL (3 ) submit the completed course shell for peer review in the prescribed reqiured format and ( 4) revise course shell as needed based upon the recommendations of the peer review team and ODEOL. In addition, department heads must consider other factors such as the following in determining whether a faculty member is qualified to teach an online or blended online/face-to face course:

  • Prior annual evaluations of teaching 
  • Other faculty development or training in teaching online 
  • Skills associated with teaching online (e.g. , basic computer skills, database management, 
  • file management, word-processing, presentation software, e-mail, internet, social networking, learning management systems) 

Only qualified faculty members will teach courses delivered via distance education.  Assigned faculty will have the same expertise, experience, rank, etc. as the faculty assigned to face-to-face classes.

Faculty retain the responsibility and authority for the academic management and oversight of distance education programs and courses and will have full control of the content of the courses based upon the standards provided by the Office of Distance Education and Online Learning.

Faculty retain the authority and responsibility to produce any revised or supplemental materials to maintain or enhance the accuracy and quality of the distance education course.  Tuskegee University Intellectual Property Policy and Guidelines defines all intellectual property rights applicable to faculty, staff and students. (http://www.tuskegee.edu/Uploads/files/Research/intellprop.pdf )

Based on national standards of best practice, research and instructional design principles, Quality MattersTM (QM) is a faculty-centered , peer review process that is designed to certify the quality of online and blended online/face-to-face courses. Tuskegee University uses the national QMTM rubric, specific to institutional needs, to guide the review of all distance learning courses. The Quality Matters at Tuskegee University rubric addresses course quality in the following categories:

  • Course Overview and Introduction 
  • Learning Objectives 
  • Assessment and Measurement 
  • Resources and Materials 
  • Learner Engagement 
  • Course Technology 
  • Learner Support 
  • Accessibility 
  • Professional Communications 

Faculty who teach through distance education technologies are responsible for acquiring sufficient technical skills to present their subject matter and related material effectively and, as necessary, for consulting with technical support personnel.

Tuskegee University’s Office of Distance Education and Online Learning infrastructure  provides development opportunities for faculty to increase their awareness of distance education methodologies and improve their instructional skills.  Each faculty member will receive consultation, training, implementation, and evaluation support from instructional design and delivery staff to assure effective, efficient use of the chosen delivery system.

Tuskegee University will provide adequate equipment, software, and communications access to faculty to support interaction with students.

Faculty are responsible for informing students about technical skill prerequisites and required hardware, software, and supplemental materials necessary for course participation in the syllabus.

When faculty create or teach distance education courses they will do so as part of their regularly compensated responsibilities to Tuskegee University.

Policies for faculty evaluation should give equal value to and appropriate recognition of teaching, scholarly activity/creative endeavor, and service related to distance education programs or courses.

Course Load, Compensation, Ownership of Materials, and Copyright

Distance learning courses are typically part of the faculty member's regular teaching load, with the same rate of compensation as traditional courses. Distance learning courses may also be taught as an overload, at the same rate of compensation as traditional courses taught as an overload.

Any exceptions (e.g., reassigned time for developing courses using new distance technologies) are reviewed on a case-by-case basis , and as per current procedure, must be approved by the department head, the dean, and the provost.

Tuskegee University follows the guidelines outlined by the University Intellectual Property Policy with regard to ownership of materials and utilization of revenues derived from the creation and production of intellectual property.

Faculty must keep in mind copyright, trademark and licensing issues when designing distance education courses. Examples include the use of copyrighted photographs, graphics, text selections, audio clips from a song, or video clips from a movie. The usual permissions must be acquired and documented by the faculty member. When in doubt about copyright ownership, it is preferable to be overly cautious. If copyright permission cannot be obtained or if ownership is questionable, faculty should substitute other resources where copyright permission is clear and obtainable, or substitute resources that are in the public domain.

Verification of Student Identity in Distance Education

Tuskegee University is committed to providing quality content and instruction for online students, and to ensuring the integrity of student participation in Online Courses.

Secured login and pass codes

Tuskegee University  students must use a secure login and pass code to verify  their  identity when logging into online or blended courses via Blackboard. A unique login and password are created and assigned to each student when the student enrolls for courses at Tuskegee University. By using a secure login and pass code to verify student identity, demonstrates the student who registers in a Tuskegee University online or blended course is the same student who participates in and completes the course and receives the credit.

Proctored Examinations

Tuskegee University requires proctoring for any student  enrolled in an online course who takes an exam at an off-campus location. The identity of the student taking the exam is verified by the proctor. If the exam is not administered through BlackBoard, the proctor will collect any and all test materials and submit it to the instructor via the selected testing center (Sylvan). Students must complete the Proctor Approval Form during the first week of the semester and return per the instructions provided with the exam for which the student is scheduling proctoring services and the instructor will verify the proctor's credentials prior to the student taking the exam.  

If online students currently reside outside of our region, instructors may authorize alternative testing centers, which may include:

• Professional testing centers (Sylvan)

  • Procter U

By using a secure login and password to verify student identity, and by requiring proctored exams for which students must present a valid identification,Tuskegee University demonstrates the student who registers in a distance education course is the same student who participates in and completes the course and receives the credit.

Evidence
Tuskegee Blackboard https://tuskegee.blackboard.com/

Office of Distance Education and Online Learning Policies http://elearning.tuskegee.edu/odeol/odeol-policies

Office of Distance Education and Online Learning  Website, Online Testing http://elearning.tuskegee.edu/odeol/online-testing

Library Support for Distance Education and Online Learning

Tuskegee University provides access to adequate library resources for its students and faculty by acquiring, organizing, and preserving materials and other learning/information resources consistent with the instruction, research, and the degrees offered at Tuskegee University.

The Tuskegee University Library System consists of the Ford Motor Company Library/Learning Resource Center and three departmental libraries located in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Allied Health; College of Engineering, and the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science.

The current library print collection is approximately 370,000 volumes, including bound journals and subscribes to over 200 current journals.  The libraries subscribe to more than 100 research databases and more than 50,000 electronic journals and thousands of e-books.  The library maintains a collection of audiovisual materials (CD, VHS, and DVDs) and music scores.

Tuskegee University  ensures that all distance education students have access to library resources to support appropriately the courses in which the students are enrolled.  These services include document delivery, electronic access to reference services, reserves, interlibrary loan, and a web page that includes ready links to services, contacts, and self-help modules.

The library will regularly evaluate the effectiveness of resources provided to distance education students and will demonstrate that services are improved where appropriate.

Instructors will provide distance education students information about library services.

Student Support Services

Distance education students will have reasonable and adequate access to the range of student services appropriate to support their successful completion of course work.  These services will be comparable to those offered to traditional, on-campus users and will include the following:  admissions; bursar’s office; payment processing; bookstore; university catalog; academic advising; technical assistance; registration; withdrawal from courses; financial aid information; academic calendar; services for disabled students (American Disabilities Act of 1990 accommodation); policies, procedures and protocols for taking courses.

  • Support services are available to you. Such services include counseling & advising services, veteran affairs, and student services.
  • Counseling & Student Development Center: supports students step by step through their college experience through academic advising, special needs services, and career & job placement services.
  • Military and Veterans Affairs Services: Military and Veterans Programs promote lifelong learning and professional development for veterans, active-duty military and their families, assisting them in their higher education goals.
  • Tuskegee University Services: Dozens of resources are available for current students, like bookstore, health clinic, student government, student life, and so much more.
  • Student Services: Student Services includes admissions, registration, financial aid, student development, and graduation.

Tutoring

The University provides students with tutorial services through the TCAEIL, which offers online tutoring sessions.  The University also offers its students various online enrichment tools to assist with their academic needs.  Smartthinking is a 24/7 service that provides writing assistance and tutoring online, which is offered to residential as well as online students.    Edmentum (Plato) is yet another 24/7 online enrichment service, which provides academic assessments and modules for students to address areas in need of improvement. As the University expands its online offerings, the ODEOL will continue to explore additional methods to provide appropriate and effective student support.

Students with Disabilities

The University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as with state and local requirements regarding students and applicants with disabilities. Under these laws, no qualified individual with a disability will be denied access to or participation in any services, programs or activities of the University.

To this end, all online courses facilitate learner access to institutional support services essential to student success: online course instructions link to the institution’s accessibility policies and services; online courses are designed to reflect a commitment to accessibility; learners with a disability can easily navigate and interact with course components which are consistent, logical, and efficient. Moreover, information is provided about the accessibility of all technologies required in the course and can be found in various sections including the syllabus, course website (webpages on resources and/or required technology software). In addition, all online courses provide alternative means of access to course materials in formats that meet the needs of diverse learners (e.g. closed captioning for videos; text transcripts; tables set up with headings; selectable and searchable text in PDF documents).

In line with our University's mission, the ADA 504 Accommodations Program is in place to provide and/or help students acquire the necessary resources and accommodations needed (as verified through proper documentation) to help them become the most effective professionals and leaders of society.

The ADA 504 Accommodations Counselor's purpose is to serve as a liaison between the student and faculty member to ensure that students with disabilities are afforded equal opportunities to demonstrate their academic skills and potential through reasonable and beneficial accommodations.

If a student has questions or needs an accommodation in the classroom (medical information is treated confidentially), contact:

Mrs. Ardelia M. Lunn

Old Administration Building - Room 215. Phone: (334) 727-8147

(334) 724-4661

amlunn@tuskegee.edu

Web page: http://www.tuskegee.edu/academics/student_affairs/departments/counseling_center/americans_with_disabilities_act_504_accommodations_program.aspx

Discrimination

Tuskegee University policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, retaliation, serious medical condition, sex, sexual orientation, spousal affiliation and protected veterans status. Furthermore, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination to include sexual misconduct, sexual violence, sexual harassment and retaliation.

For more information on discrimination issues, Title IX or Tuskegee University’s complaint process, contact:

Kasey M. Robinson, J.D.

Title IX Coordinator, Tuskegee University

Kresge Center 206

1200 W. Montgomery Road, Tuskegee, AL 36088

Telephone: (334) 727-8026; Email: krobinson@mytu.tuskegee.edu

http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us/title_ix_compliance.aspx

Student Privacy

Tuskegee University has a written procedure for protecting the privacy of students enrolled in distance courses or programs. Tuskegee’s written policy and procedure is based on the guidelines outlined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which applies to all students, including distance students.

Tuskegee University protects the privacy of all its students and the security and integrity of student records. Tuskegee University Campus Technology maintains numerous precautionary measures to ensure the security of electronic records.  Various controls assure that system security is current and operating effectively.  Some examples are firewalls, virus protection, intrusion detection, and spyware blockers.  The integrity of computerized Tuskegee University student records is validated through daily backups of the student information system (Colleague).  System audit trails record transactions in Colleague from processed data to the source of input. These audit trails allow Tuskegee University  personnel to track changes or modifications to student records and to identify those making changes/modifications.

The confidentiality of student records at Tuskegee University  is maintained according to the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Tuskegee University policy concerning disclosure of student records and directory information is available in our University catalog, on the Tuskegee University  website, and in the Student Handbook.  Student records are released only to the individual students to whom they belong.  Students may sign a release form granting authorization to release records to designated individuals or educational entities.  To safeguard students’ privacy and to avoid identity theft, Tuskegee University assigns each student a unique identification number that can be used in place of the Social Security Number on any documents that identify the student.  Students have access to their records via Tigerweb through the security of a user ID and password.

An additional protection in place for students enrolled in distance education is the Office of Distance Education and Online Learning Confidentiality Agreement . This document is required of students and staff charged with monitoring duties for video-proctoring or online courses. It is also required of students and staff who assist the proctoring of in-person mid-term, final exams, or other assessments for online student.

Tuskegee University Important Policies http://www.tuskegee.edu/academics/academic_services/registrar/important_policies.aspx

U.S. Department of Education FERPA Guidance http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/for-eligible-students.pdf

Office of Distance Education and Online Learning Confidentiality Agreement  http://elearning.tuskegee.edu/Content/Uploads/Tuskegee%20Online/files/Confidentiality%20Agreement_pages.pdf

Verification of Student Identify Fees

Additional fees associated with verification of identity are subject to be charged. 

Student fees are published on the Bursar’s website, and students are notified at the time of registration of all fee charges. Students must sign in and show valid photo identification at the in-person, proctored activities.  However, there is no fee for the on-campus activities. With the instructor’s permission, a student who for verified reasons cannot come to campus can utilize an approved, professional proctoring service. However, the student will be responsible for any costs associated with the proctoring service.


http://elearning.tuskegee.edu/odeol/odeol-policies