Online teaching supports NMSU’s mission by allowing us to serve our rural populations and to meet the educational needs of students who cannot take face-to-face courses. However, this delivery mode presents challenges to traditional pedagogy because of constantly evolving technology. In addition, the federal government distinguishes between distance education and correspondence courses; students in distance education are eligible for federal Title IV funding; students in correspondence courses are not eligible. Therefore, it is the responsibility of NMSU to ensure that all distance education classes are eligible for federal financial aid.
To ensure that our courses are true distance education courses, NMSU will check course sections that are designated as online (M70–M79). Courses that meet the following criteria will be exempt from review:
- Courses that have been certified as passing in a Quality Matters review within the past 5 years.
- Courses taught by an instructor who has successfully completed the Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP).
Basic Online Course Check Procedure
Initial course review will take place in the third week of the Spring and Fall semesters.
Staff from Academic Technology will review the level of interaction between the faculty and students and the use of the technology for consistency with best practices and federal guidelines. Additional details of this review are as follows:
- Staff from Academic Technology will gather data regarding courses the third week of each term.
- By the end of the third week, courses that do not meet any criteria of the Basic Online Course Checklist will be flagged.
- Results of the course review will be shared with each faculty member with a request that weaknesses be remedied within two weeks (week 4 and 5). This notification will include referrals to Digital Learning for assistance. Department Heads and Deans will be copied on the notification.
- In week 6, Academic Technology will re-examine all courses flagged in the earlier review.
- Any courses with weaknesses after the second review will be referred to the Department Head and Dean for follow up.
Training is available through IIQ that can help ensure our courses are distance education rather than correspondence courses. IIQ will provide support for faculty to address weaknesses in their online course.
Information relating to this review will be stored on an in‐house secure server and will remain confidential.