Distance Education Course Review FAQ

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    South Dakota State University

     Online/Hybrid Course Review and Training Resources

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


    1. What is the purpose of the review? Why are only online/hybrid courses subject to such a review?
    The primary purpose of the review is to ensure high academic quality of the online/hybrid course. Online/hybrid teaching is different from traditional face to face class teaching due to students not being in classroom and technical requirements. SDSU defines a hybrid course as one where more than 50% and less than 75% of the content is delivered via electronic means (online is more than 75%). The review process is considered an opportunity to further enhance the course to foster increased student learning.

    2. Why is my online/hybrid course selected to be reviewed?
    If any of the following conditions are true, the course is required to be reviewed:
    a. instructor’s first time teaching online/hybrid
    b. first time the course is offered online/hybrid
    c. course was reviewed three or more years ago
    d. instructor new to teaching a specific course

    3. Is the review required?
    Yes, the review is a South Dakota Board of Regents requirement.

    4. What principles or standards are used to guide the review?
    Quality Assurance Rubric is used to guide the process and serves as the online course  review rubric. https://insidestate.sdstate.edu/technology/ids/d2l/Documents/How%20To%20Pages/qmRubricAnnotated.pdf. Hybrid course review uses this as review rubric: https://insidestate.sdstate.edu/technology/ids/d2l/Documents/How%20To%20Pages/Hybrid%20Review%20Rubric.pdf.

    5. Who conducts the review?
    The review is conducted by one of the Quality Assurance trained reviewers in the Instructional Design Services Office.

    6. What is the format of the review?
    The reviewer will review the course with you according to review rubric in the IDS office,  your office or online.  Your choice.

    7. To what degree should my course be developed to be reviewed?
    Ideally, the course must be ready to deliver in order to be reviewed. For some instructors, this may be one of the most challenging components of the review. The rationale for this approach is that the course must have the necessary teaching and learning components to address the review rubric items. A fully developed course is preferred yet it is understood that additions and changes may still take place.

    8. When and who should I contact to initiate the review?
    If your course is scheduled for review, you will receive an e-mail from Continuing and Extended Education which will include the deadline dates for review. You will be instructed to contact Instructional Design to schedule your review.

    9. What is the result of not being able to pass the review?
    As noted earlier, the primary purpose of the review is to ensure high academic quality of the online/hybrid course. The review process is considered an opportunity to further enhance the course to foster increased student learning.  It is also an opportunity to enhance your skills and knowledge of online/hybrid teaching and learning, thus, we encourage you to continue working with IDS to make improvements. Courses may not be taught unless the Quality Assurance Review is completed and passed.

    10. Are there training opportunities?
    Yes IDS has three levels of training opportunities:

    a. scheduled or individual training on various D2L tools and review rubric (https://insidestate.sdstate.edu/technology/ids/schedule),
    b. customized training in 6 course development topics, and
    c. highest and most comprehensive level of totally online certificate program (3 certificates: Basic, Advanced, Master) (https://insidestate.sdstate.edu/technology/ids/teaching/Pages/online%20instructor%20certification%20program.pdf).  

    11. What is the purpose of the customized training?
    Faculty are asked to participate in the IDS customized training for one or more of the following reasons:

    a. Faculty member is new to online/hybrid teaching
    b. Faculty member has been identified an area of the online/hybrid course in need of improvement/enhancement.

    12. How long is the training?
    The training is composed of 6 topics on D2L and review rubric with each about minimum 1 hour. If you are new to teaching online, you are strongly encouraged to take all these 6 sessions. If you have taught online/hybrid previously, you can select the area you desire to grow after initial consultation with IDS designer.

    13. There is a rumor that all participants must participate in a full 6 weeks of training. Is this true?
    No, this is not true.  The training is intended to span 6 weeks prior to course delivery for new instructors only. Each week the instructor will work on the specific course areas. By the end of 6 weeks, the course will be fully developed with guidance. This way the new instructor has sufficient time to develop an online/hybrid course and finish the review requirement prior to course start date.

    14. Can the training be online?

    15. Why do I need to work on my next term course while engaged in the current term?
    Typically, in order for an online/hybrid course to be ready for review prior to start date, work on developing the course begins in the current term. This can be a challenge to manage as all faculty are very busy. You are encouraged to talk with your department head about how to best manage your time.

    16. What are the consequences of not participating in the trainings?
    Courses are not reviewed until the required training is completed. 

    17. I taught online/hybrid course in other institutions.  Am I required to participate in the training?
    No, but you must schedule a consultation with IDS Instructional Designer. Each institution is different. IDS Instructional Designer can help identify your specific needs and familiarize with SDSU online/hybrid teaching environment.

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