This announcement is to inform all of our online instructors that Wayland has adopted a new definition of “attendance in an online course” per Policy 8.4.2 (Class Attendance). This new policy takes effect beginning with the upcoming Summer 2013 term.
According to this policy, attendance will now be defined as active participation in the course, and instructors will be required to have weekly mechanisms for documenting student participation. For most instructors, this will not require a significant change. These weekly mechanisms can be a discussion board assignment, submitting/completing assignments in Blackboard, or communicating with the instructor. Instructors in online courses are responsible for providing clear instructions for how students are to participate in the course. In some cases, instructors may be called upon to provide the last date of attendance, which means the last date that the student actively participated in the course.
If you need assistance in determining how to document your student’s participation in your course, please contact the Virtual Campus at email@example.com.
Another implication of this policy change is that students who have not actively participated prior to the census date of a given term will be considered a no-show and will be administratively withdrawn from the class. Previously, no-shows were only students that had not logged into the course. Beginning with the Summer 2013 term, students who have logged in but are not actively participating may also be reported as a no-show. The Virtual Campus will contact all reported no-shows prior to withdrawing them from the course. Any student responding that they wish to continue in the course will NOT be administratively withdrawn.
We will also be placing a link on the Blackboard login page to make students aware of this change. They will also be notified in the Student Welcome Letter that is distributed to all VC students during registration.
For your reference, I have included text of the new policy below:
(from Policy 8.4.2)
Online Students – Students are expected to participate in all required instructional activities in their courses. Online courses are no different in this regard; however, participation must be defined in a different manner.
- Student “attendance” in an online course is defined as active participation in the course as described in the course syllabus. Instructors in online courses are responsible for providing students with clear instructions for how they are required to participate in the course. Additionally, instructors are responsible for incorporating specific instructional activities within their course and will, at a minimum, have weekly mechanisms for documenting student participation. These mechanisms may include, but are not limited to, participating in a weekly discussion board, submitting/completing assignments in Blackboard, or communicating with the instructor.
- Students aware of necessary absences must inform the professor with as much advance notice as possible in order to make appropriate arrangements.
- Any student absent 25 percent or more of the online course, i.e., non-participatory during 3 or more weeks of an 11 week term, may receive an F for that course. Instructors may also file a Report of Unsatisfactory Progress for students with excessive non-participation.
- Any student who has not actively participated in an online class prior to the census date for any given term is considered a “no-show” and will be administratively withdrawn from the class without record. To be counted as actively participating, it is not sufficient to log in and view the course. The student must be submitting work as described in the course syllabus.
- Additional attendance and participation policies for each course, as defined by the instructor in the course syllabus, are considered a part of the university’s attendance policy.