Revision of Distance Education Policy

A complete PDF copy of the Revision of Distance Education Policy can be downloaded from the files section of this page. 








In keeping with the definition published within the Higher Education Opportunity Act (P.L. 110- 315), distance education, for the purposes of this document, is defined as: "education that uses one or more of the technologies described in subparagraph (B)—

(i) to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor; and

(ii) to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, synchronously or asynchronously.

(B) INCLUSIONS.—For the purposes of [above] subparagraph . . . the technologies used may include—

(i) the Internet;

(ii) one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;

(iii) audio conferencing; or

(iv) video cassettes, DVDs, and CD–ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs, or CD–ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in clauses (i) through (iii).*

1. Unless otherwise indicated, all University and School policies, standards, and guidelines for on- and off-campus instruction shall apply to distance education programs and courses.

2. The programs and courses offered through distance education shall be consistent with the mission of Dominican University.

3. The curriculum offered by a School through distance education shall go through the same processes and procedures that are in place for all other programs and courses offered by that School and Dominican University.

4. Any programs or courses offered by third parties shall go through the same program or course review that on-campus curriculum is subject to.

5. Any proposal of a new course or program should be informed by the standards checklist when proposing their design and quality assurance procedures.

6. Unless otherwise stated, this policy will apply to both online courses and blended courses. Dominican University shall align with the Higher Learning Commission’s definition, and be informed by the Sloan Consortium definition** , of these terms, with online being defined as one where at least 75% of the face-to-face class time is replaced with online class time, and blended being defined as replacing at least 30% and up to 75% of face-to-face class time with online class time.


The University will ensure the technological and infrastructure support for faculty and students, including the instructional design and delivery of courses consistent with best practices in higher education, as defined in the current version of the standards checklist.


Elements of quality assurance are addressed more specifically in the current version of the standards checklist.

1. The design of an online or blended course shall be consistent with best practices in higher education.

2. Content delivered in an online or blended course shall meet the same quality standards of all other courses within the School.

3. Program assessment shall include all online or blended courses, using the same quality standards already in place within the respective programs.

4. Distance education courses shall be evaluated according to the same course evaluation policies in effect for all other courses within the School where the course is being taught. Each School offering a distance education course shall use an assessment instrument that takes into account the satisfaction with the method of delivery used and the satisfaction with student services and access to the faculty teaching the course. This assessment instrument shall be distributed every academic term to all students in the course.

5. Any new blended, online or distance education course or program that does not have a face-to-face equivalent must meet the quality standards set in place at the time of the proposal of the course or program.

6. The ratio of full-time to part-time faculty teaching online or blended courses shall be consistent with the ratio used in other programs within the department or School.

7. In no case shall the maximum enrollment of a blended or an online course exceed that of its face-to-face equivalent in order to maintain best practices of blended and online teaching (see the most current version of the standards checklist).

8. Students and faculty participating in distance education courses are required to use their official Dominican University email accounts.

9. A Dominican network login will be required for access to all online or blended courses. All students will be subject to the same academic integrity policies in place within their School.

10. A credit hour for distance education corresponds to a credit hour as defined in Dominican University’s credit hour definition.


1. Faculty teaching distance education courses are accorded the same Library privileges on-campus faculty are given, and are able to search the same Library databases from off-campus that all other faculty are able to search.

2. Prior to teaching either an online or blended course using a University course management system, faculty must attend a mandatory training session in its use. If a School is using a third party's course management system, the School must ensure that its faculty is trained in its use.

3. Prior to teaching an online or blended course at Dominican for the first time, all faculty members are to complete a University-approved course management module on the pedagogy of online instruction.

4. Faculty teaching courses through the videoconferencing system at the River Forest campus will receive training in its use from the Information Technology staff. A student worker will be present in the videoconferencing room for technical troubleshooting at the request of the instructor.

Intellectual Property

1. The Intellectual Property policy as written in the Faculty Handbook applies to distance education courses.

2. Material posted on the web or within a course management package will, upon request from the faculty member, be copied for that faculty member if he or she leaves the University or before the course is deleted from the server hosting the course, assuming the faculty member is the owner of the content.


1. Any course taught through distance education is treated with the same weight for compensation and course load purposes by a School as traditional (i.e., non-distance education) courses.

2. Adjunct faculty members are compensated for a distance education course at the same pay rate that the School compensates its adjunct faculty for traditional courses.


1. It is the responsibility of the faculty member teaching a distance education course to ensure that the material used falls under the "fair use" guidelines of the United States Copyright Act or that copyright clearance from the publisher has been secured.

2. The Rebecca Crown Library serves as the Copyright Permission Center of the University and will assist faculty in securing copyright permission. The Library maintains information on securing copyright permission along with a Copyright Permission Form through its web site.

3. The University Librarian acts as the agent of notification for any claims of copyright infringement, as specified on the website of the U. S. Copyright Office (


1. Students enrolled in distance education courses are accorded the same Library privileges on-campus students are given, and are able to search the same Library databases from off-campus that traditional students are able to search.

2. Delivery to students of accompanying material for the course (such as textbooks, computer media, or videos) is arranged through the individual School offering the course. In addition, the Bookstore offers online ordering of textbooks through its web site.

3. The University shall provide appropriate support for preparation of online or blended courses, as discussed in the current version of the standards checklist.


* As retrieved at:

** As retrieved at: Additionally, Allen, I. Elaine and Seaman, Jeff. Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009 ([Babson Park, MA]: Babson Survey Research Group, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010 from .

(REVISED February 7, 2014) 


Article ID: 69352
Fri 12/21/18 9:36 AM
Thu 2/7/19 8:19 AM