Guidelines and Standard Practices for Online Learning
University of Rochester Guidelines and Standard Practices for Online Learning are centered around the position that the quality of online offerings is equivalent and consistent with any other academic offering of our institution. Describing our approach to planning and support can be represented in the alignment with Indicators of Quality in Distance Education described below.
- Describe your institution’s planning process for Distance Education,
including how the need for distance access was identified, the nature and size
of the intended audiences, and the provisions for serving those audiences.
- Describe your institution’s resources for distance learning programs and
its support services to ensure their effectiveness. What course management
system does your institution use?
- Describe how faculty are trained and supported in developing and teaching
online courses, including the pedagogical and communication strategies to
function effectively. Describe the qualifications of those who train faculty,
or are otherwise in charge of online education.
- If your institution uses courses or academic support
services from another provider, describe the process used (with
faculty participation) to evaluate their quality, academic rigor, and
suitability for the award of college credit and a degree or certificate
- Does your institution have a clear policy on ownership of course
materials developed for its distance education courses? How is this
policy shared with faculty and staff?
- Describe how your institution provides distance students with clear
information on: program completion requirements; the nature of the
learning experience; any specific student background, knowledge, or technical
skills needed; expectations of student participation and learning; the nature
of interaction in the courses; any technical equipment or software required or
- Describe how your institution provides distance learners with adequate academic
and administrative support, including academic advisement, technical support,
library and information services, and other student support services normally
available on campus. Do program materials clearly define how students can
access these support services?
- Describe how administrative
processes such as admissions and
registration are made available to distance students, and how program materials
inform students how to access these services.
- What orientation opportunities and
resources are available for students of distance learning?
- How does your institution ensure that the same
academic standards and requirements are applied to the program on
campus and through distance learning? If the curriculum in the Distance
Education program differs from that of the on-ground program, please identify
- Are the courses that make up the distance learning
program offered in a sequence or configuration that allows timely
completion of requirements?
- How do faculty ensure that the technological
tools used in the program are appropriate for the content and intended
- How does the program provide for appropriate and
flexible interaction between faculty and students, and among students?
- How do faculty teaching online courses verify that
students who enroll in online courses are the same persons who participate in
the course activities and complete and turn in assignments?
- Distance learning programs are expected to produce
the same learning outcomes as comparable classroom-based
programs. How are these learning outcomes identified -- in terms of knowledge,
skills, or credentials -- in course and program materials?
- Describe how the means chosen for assessing
student learning in this program are appropriate to the content,
learning design, technologies, and characteristics of the learners.
- What process is in place to monitor and evaluate
the effectiveness of the distance learning program on a regular basis?
- How will the evaluation results will be used for continuous
- How will the evaluation process assure that the program
results in learning outcomesappropriate to the rigor and breadth
of the college degree or certificate awarded?