The following information is provided to professors and department chairs seeking information about how to arrange for and set up an online courses. The information offered here attempts to clarify some of the confusion. Online courses fall into one of two categories:
- Online courses offered as part of an authorized distance education program
- Online courses offered on an Ad hoc basis
- Procedure for Request and Receipt of Online Course Development Stipends
Online courses are divided into two categories for many reasons (among them: main campus and distance education credit hours are reported and funded in different ways, students in distance education sections do not pay campus fees that support on-campus student services, and students in D.E. course sections are not eligible to participate in the textbook rental program). The section numbers assigned to and reserved for distance education courses insure that reporting, funding, and services are appropriately handled.
In both categories, requests for stipends for development and delivery of online courses should be directed to the Office of Dr. Tim Burwell, Vice Chancellor for Resource Management. The most efficient way to request a stipend is to send the request through the department chair's office and then through the dean's office so that Dr. Burwell knows the department and college approve the conversion of the course to online delivery and support the request for the stipend. The Distance Education office does not play a role in the request process unless someone (the department chair, dean, or Dr. Burwell) asks if we support the request if the course is intended to be delivered as part of a distance education effort.
Exams in Online Courses
Exams are a major area of concern for professors who teach online courses. Professors teaching online courses in Face-to-Face or Hybrid Distance Education programs may schedule a space at the site to give proctored exams by contacting Linda Hampton (email@example.com) to schedule the time/date. Professors who are teaching online courses in online Distance Education programs should use the UNC General Administration UNC Online Academic Services Exam Proctoring System. The service provides for the use of Face-to-Face proctoring and the online (video camera required) proctoring service ProctorU via a system-wide contract. Faculty teaching online courses for main campus students should make arrangements for space to accommodate seated exams through their college/department or the Registrar's Office.
Textbooks for Online Courses
Textbook orders for Distance Education program courses are gathered through the Distance Education Course Request Process. Textbook orders for main campus online courses are handled in the way that orders are normally held. Faculty who intend to make use of e-books or specialty materials (through the bookstore) should contact the Bookstore as early in the process as possible, to discuss their needs as all main campus students pay the textbook rental fee and special provisions may be needed to accommodate this circumstance.
Online Courses in Authorized Distance Education Programs
Students and faculty in online courses offered within the context of SACS approved and G.A. authorized distance education programs are supported by the Office of and Distance Education and other campus support units in whatever ways have been arranged for the distance education program. These online courses may be part of programs authorized as "online" or as "site-based."
Online courses offered as part of an "online" distance education program are assumed to be 100% online (require no classroom attendance for instruction or examinations). Any departure from this understanding should be discussed, in advance of the SACS approval/GA Authorization requests, with the Academic Program Coordinator & the Distance Education Program Manager for the program/cohort and must be identified before the marketing for the program begins so that applicants can make informed decisions about whether or not they can meet the "physical presence" requirement.
Online courses offered as part of programs designated as "site-based" may hold one or more classroom meetings, but the faculty member should indicate the specific dates a classroom is needed via the Course Request form and should request that a note be placed on the course in Banner so that students will be aware of the technology access requirement. Classroom space rental costs are charged to Distance Education based on the number of times the site's classroom has been booked (per the faculty member's request); faculty teaching online classes are asked to be diligent in notifying the Distance Education Office when they will either need a classroom or will not need one (if one was requested).
Online Courses Offered on an individual basis (not part of a distance ed program):
Courses not offered as part of officially SACS approved and G.A. Authorized distance education programs are considered to be campus courses offered via the web. Such courses are not eligible for support by Distance Education or other services funded by Distance Education for distance education faculty and students, and the general assumption should be that they will be set up by whoever is responsible for setting up other main campus courses. They should not be coded "ext," and they should not be given one of the assigned section numbers reserved for distance education course sections as this will result in student confusion & problems with textbook purchases, erroneous tuition and fee charges to the students, and errors in student credit hour reports.
Procedure for Requesting Online Course Development Stipends
- The faculty member should secure the support of his/her department for offering the course online.
- The faculty member should send a formal request for a development stipend (or course release) to the Department Chair.
- The Department Chair should forward the request to the Dean of the College for approval.
- The Dean should forward the request to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Resource Management.
- The VC for Resource Management will share the request with the Provost who will make a decision on whether or not to support the request.
- Should the request for a stipend be approved, a contract will be issued to the faculty member by the Chair of the Academic Department (using the EDUCATIONAL COURSE MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT). Exhibit A should be completed using the milestone dates agreed upon by the department and faculty member with guidance from the Director of Learning Technology Services. The faculty member and the department chair will sign the contract. The dean may also be asked to sign. When the academic department and college signatures have been obtained, the contract should be routed to Academic Affairs for the Provost's signature.
- The contract will stipulate dates by which development milestones must be reached. Learning Technology Services will notify the Vice Chancellor for Resource Management that the deadlines have been met and partial payments will be released per the Addendum to the Contract.
- The final payment installment on the contract will be paid when the Director of Learning Technology Services notifies the Vice Chancellor for Resource Management Learning Technology Services that the course has undergone the Quality Matters Review and all suggested/needed changes have been made.