Course Development and Delivery

Approvals required for distance learning delivery

  1. Approval of deans and / or chairs or directors. No course may be delivered in a distance-learning format, including web-based or ITV delivery, without the approval of the relevant dean and/or department chair or school director.
  2. Inter-campus ITV courses. Inter-campus ITV courses should enhance the offerings available to students on both campuses and are offered with the approval of the relevant Chairs, Directors, or Deans at both campuses. Such courses should be appropriately promoted at both campuses.
  3. Receiving ITV courses from other institutions. Chairs, Directors, or Deans may propose that FDU receive a course delivered by another institution via ITV. This option may be exercised in situations in which the department, school, or college certifies to the College EPC, the Dean and to the Campus Provost that it is unable to provide the course, or that receiving the course from another institution allows for more efficient and effective deployment of faculty resources within the department, school, or college.
  4. Delivering ITV courses to other institutions. Chairs, Directors, or Deans may propose that FDU deliver an ITV course to another entity or academic institution. An appropriate intellectual property and faculty compensation plan should be determined by all parties prior to the course delivery, consistent with the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology Intellectual Property Policy.

Supported courseware for web-based or web-enhanced courses.

  1. Student Authentication. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 “requires an institution that offers distance education or correspondence education to have processes through which the institution establishes that the student who registers in a distance education or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the program and receives the academic credit.” At Fairleigh Dickinson University, distance learning students must log into a secure portal via a customized User ID and password. All students who enroll in courses at Fairleigh Dickinson University are authenticated through an identity management system that provides a unique user name and password for access. Without these identifiers, students cannot register for classes or access university tools for distance learning. Instructors of all classes offered primarily online must make sure that students are authenticated via the university’s centrally supported identity management system in order to submit work for grading. At present, the only way to reliably meet this standard is to manage the class using the course management software currently supported by the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology. Please visit the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology website for the most up-to-date information about supported courseware.
  2. Other ways to authenticate students. Instructors may also choose to require in-person examinations at proctored locations where student identity can be verified. In the future, when other technologies to assist with student authentication become more prevalent and affordable, Fairleigh Dickinson University will assess them for possible implementation. Instructors or programs desiring to employ such technologies are encouraged to contact the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology.
  3. Courses not using supported courseware. If an instructor prefers to develop online materials intended for face to face courses “from scratch” using a web editor, or use some other technology to support his or her class, he or she is free to do so. However, the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology cannot devote staff or technical resources to support such classes. Furthermore, all instructors and course developers are obligated to follow the policies concerning student privacy and copyright. The chosen course technology must also work within the University’s technological infrastructure. Course developers using non-supported technologies are encouraged to consult with personnel in the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology or the Office of Information Resources and Technology for advice.
  4. Courses using publisher-supplied “course packs.” Some publishers provide online supplemental course materials compatible with Blackboard or other course management systems, usually called “course packs.” Instructors are free to use such material. However, instructors who are considering use of these systems should bear in mind the following. First, no FERPA-protected student information (such as grades) may be posted on any off-site server without first consulting with the Assistant Provost for Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology, and possibly the University General Counsel, for advice. Second, some of the publisher-provided course packs have caused instability in our webcampus system, and in such cases we reserve the right to remove the material from our system. Third, in the case of upgrades to the webcampus system, the course packs may not work as they are compatible only with earlier releases of the product. In this case the instructor must work with the publisher directly to obtain more up-to-date materials, as Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology is unable to modify the “course packs.” Finally, instructors making heavy use of publisher-provided materials are generally not eligible to receive course development stipends.
  5. Central administration. All state-of-the-art course management systems are centrally administered, which means that student user names, passwords, and enrollment are managed by a courseware administrator. Faculty teaching the courses and staff supporting the classes must be in frequent communication.
  6. Administrative access to classes. No individual employed by or contracted to work for the University may access class material without the instructor’s knowledge and consent for any reason other than performing technical maintenance on or service to the class. Access for maintenance purposes will be restricted to a small group of qualified individuals (the “courseware system administrators”). Courseware system administrators are required to maintain confidentiality concerning course materials or other information that may be visible while performing such technical maintenance or service. If however the courseware system administrator observes material that is obviously illegal or contrary to University policy, he or she is obligated to report the incident to the Assistant Provost for Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology, who is obligated to address the problem with the faculty member, and appropriate campus authorities if necessary.
  7. Course security. The University will take reasonable steps to protect courses housed on University servers, or server space leased to the University, from unauthorized intrusion. The University recommends that you keep backups of your course materials and cannot be responsible for lost or compromised data.

Use of copyrighted material in a technology-enhanced course.

  1. Copyright law. Course developers or instructors may not use another person’s intellectual property in a way that would violate law. Course developers or instructors must ensure that use of any copyrighted material is governed by “Academic Fair Use.” If “Academic Fair Use” does not apply, provision must be made for obtaining permission to use the copyrighted material.
  2. Copyright permissions. Course developers should recognize that even if “Academic Fair Use” appears to apply to a given use of copyrighted material, the best protection is afforded to the instructor, course developer, and University if appropriate permissions are obtained to use all copyrighted materials used in a class.
  3. Reading list. The Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology and the University Libraries will maintain an up-to-date reading list on copyright issues.
  4. Faculty development. The Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology and the University Libraries will periodically offer faculty development opportunities pertaining to use of copyrighted material.

Assessment of course pedagogy and effectiveness

  1. Need for assessment. Integrating technology into a course will likely have substantial impact on student learning and engagement, and may be relevant to accreditation. For this reason careful attention should be given to assessing all technology-enhanced courses.
  2. Assessment resources. The Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology will serve as a resource to those wishing to develop assessment plans for their technology-enhanced courses. Please contact our office at least one semester prior to the start date of the course for which you wish consulting assistance.

Enrollment in technology-enhanced courses.

  1. Course instructors may not open their technology-enhanced course to students who are not presently registered for the course via Enrollment Services in that academic semester or session.
  2. All student and faculty accounts, course shells, and enrollments in course shells are automatically created from information residing in our student information system. No active courses, user accounts, or enrollments will be created except via this process under any circumstances.
  3. Faculty members may request empty course shells for the purpose of developing new course materials. Such shells will be clearly labeled as “Development Shells.” No students may be enrolled in development shells. To request a development shell, email manish@fdu.edu or call extn 7074. Development shells will be removed from the system automatically, on a date agreed at the time the shell is created (usually six to eight weeks).
  4. Individuals who require “Blackboard Organizations” to support an on-campus group or activity may request an Organization Shell via an email to manish@fdu.edu or by calling extn 7074. Requesting individuals will be made “managers” of organization shells, and will manage all enrollments in the Blackboard Organization. The Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology will not manage enrollments for organizations. Only active members of the University community may participate in Blackboard Organizations. Any organization shell that has been dormant for two consecutive  semesters will be removed from the system, after first notifying the organization manager.