Initial Notification of Teaching Assignment:
When faculty are notified (or requested) by the department chair of a teaching assignment in one or more of the department's distance education programs, the faculty member should complete the Course Request Form (the basis for setting up the course in Banner) and follow the instructions for routing to the department chair for approval (the department routes the form to the Dean's Office for final approval before it is submitted to App State Online). The form provides fields for the faculty member to request a state vehicle for travel to and from the site, to place the textbook order for the distance education class section, to notify the distance education staff of special needs for the course (such as software, equipment, etc.), to request library assistance, and much, much more.
Selecting Class Meeting Dates and Times:
The Academic Coordinator for the program handles course scheduling and thus he/she should be contacted for information about which days of the week and the times of the day that work best for the particular program, location, and students. In general, undergraduate classes in part-time programs meet one evening per week (M-F) and generally begin at 6:00 pm. Undergraduate classes offered as part of the Full-time, day-time site-based programs typically meet one day per week between the hours of 8-5, M-F. Graduate programs are offered part-time and usually meet in the evenings. The courses may begin as early as 4:00 pm, but faculty who wish to begin earlier than 6:00 pm should verify with the Academic Coordinator that this is possible and/or desirable. In addition, some graduate programs schedule Saturday classes that meet in a different pattern than once per week. Faculty should be aware that these days, times, schedules provided here are very general guides, and class scheduling varies widely depending upon the specific circumstance; the assigned Academic Coordinator is the best source of information with regard to the class schedule for a particular program and location.
On occasion, a site event may lead faculty & students to rearrange a specific class meeting (e.g., during MerleFest in Wilkesboro). When this occurs, the faculty member must contact Linda Hampton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org at least one week prior to the change. The email should include the faculty name, the program, the location, the course prefix, number, and section, and the time and day change requested.
Class Meeting Calendar:
Distance education programs/courses follow Appalachian State University's Academic Calendar in effect for the term. Faculty should plan their syllabi accordingly. When considering a deviation from the standard academic calendar, faculty should take into account that electronic access to services, and support for students may depend upon Banner enrollment in the course, and enrollment does not begin in Banner until the first scheduled day of classes (according to the university calendar) and ends with the last day of exams. On occasion, faculty will teach at sites (community colleges in particular) where the calendar differs from Appalachian State University's Academic Calendar. App State Online schedules classes with the site according to Appalachian's calendar and any special notifications on the Course Request Form and insures that buildings and assigned classrooms are accessible on such dates. Should a faculty member encounter problems related to calendar/schedule issues, the faculty member should contact the site's public safety office to gain entrance and should notify Linda Hampton by email at email@example.com as soon as practicable, so that Ms. Ward can insure that the problem will not occur again. As a precaution, faculty members who are aware of calendar discrepancies may wish to remind an official at the site the week before the discrepancy that the class will meet as scheduled.
When a faculty member must cancel class, he or she should follow the procedures outlined on the Inclement Weather Closures/Cancellations page. Faculty members should check with the program's Academic Coordinator for information concerning the telephone tree. In addition to notifying the students, the faculty member must notify Linda Hampton (firstname.lastname@example.org). Failure to notify the site in advance of a class cancellation will result in Appalachian being billed for space that was not used (in addition there is an extra charge for technology support personnel), and all parties involved should take care to avoid this.
Changes to the Initial Course Request Form:
SACS requires that the schedule of classes for a distance education program be laid out during the SACS Approval process, and barring unforeseen events (e.g., a resignation or curriculum redesign) the classes are offered to cohorts in the sequence in which they were originally laid out. As with classes offered on the main campus, distance education classes are scheduled (entered into Banner) well in advance of the semester in which they are to be offered. For this reason, changes to faculty assignments, textbooks, needs/requests, etc. sometimes occur before the course actually begins. When a change occurs, faculty members are asked to notify App State Online (email@example.com) as soon as possible to insure that the Banner information is corrected and that service and support requests are changed to reflect the new circumstances. Changes to the initial faculty request for a state vehicle should follow the "Change to Initial Requests" procedure outlined on the Travel/Vehicle Reservation page of this handbook.