Getting Started

Faculty Teaching Online

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is committed to maintain the highest standards of excellence regardless of the course delivery format.  The Center for Online Learning and Teaching Technology (COLTT) embraces such commitment and provides best practices and strategies for online course design and delivery. Within this context, COLTT provides the following high quality standards and guidelines for the approval, design, and delivery of online/hybrid courses and programs.

Definitions

Distance Education: According to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), “the formal educational process that occurs when students and instructors are not in the same physical setting for the majority (more than 50 percent) of instruction.”

Distance Education Course: THECB defines it as “a course in which a majority (more than 50 percent) of the instruction occurs when the student(s) and instructor(s) are not in the same place.” In accordance with THECB, there are two types of distance education courses: fully distance education courses and hybrid/blended course.

Fully Distance Education Course: This is one type of distance education course. THECB defines the type of the course as “a course which may have mandatory face-to-face sessions totaling no more than 15 percent of the instructional time.” According to THECB, “examples of face-to-face sessions include orientation, laboratory, exam review, or an in-person test.”

Hybrid/Blended Course: This is one type of distance education course. THECB defines this type of distance education course as “a course in which a majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor(s) are not in the same place.”

Distance Education Degree or Certificate Program: According to THECB, this is defined as a program in which a student may complete a majority (more than 50 percent) of the credit hours required for the program through distance education courses.” However, SACS defines a distance learning program as a program “offering 50 percent or more of a program.”

Possibilities

  • Change existing non-online program to a traditional (16 weeks) online program
  • Change existing non-online program to an accelerated (7 weeks) online program
  • Change existing non-online course to an online course
  • Change existing non-hybrid course to a hybrid course

Process

A. Online Programs (traditional online programs)

  1. Institution Approval: Existing programs that wish to transition to online must obtain approval from the Undergraduate Committee or Graduate Committee to deliver the program online.
  2. THECB Approval: The Center for Online Learning and Teaching Technology will coordinate with Academic Affairs the submission of the Certification Form for the Electronically Delivery program to the Texas Higher Coordinating Board as part of the Texas Distance Education Approval Process.
  3. UT System Notification: The Center for Online Learning and Teaching Technology will coordinate with Academic Affairs the notification to UT System on the offering of the program in an online format.
  4. Effective Online Teaching: To ensure consistency and quality in online learning, AA & COLTT have institutionalized a continuous quality improvement process (Blueprinting Process) designated to ensure that online programs are designed, developed and implemented with high-quality standards and exemplary academic rigor.  Blueprinting Process for Online Programs (See attached Blueprinting Process Agreement. Agreement must be signed by Dean, Chair and Program Coordinator - Deputy Provost & COLTT Director)

Process:

  • Meet with Dean, School Director/Department Chair and Program Coordinator
  • Meet with all participating faculty
  • Agree on process and sign Blueprinting Process agreement
  • Agree on process and participating faculty sign Course Development Agreement
  • Start course development process
  • Align goals and SLOs at Program and Course Level
  • Certify faculty on Quality Matters (QM)
  • Develop courses
  • Internal reviews (2)
  • Course offered for 2 terms
  • Submit course to QM for review 

B. *Accelerated Online Programs

  1. Institution Approval: Existing programs that wish to transition to an accelerated online format must obtain approval from the Provost.
  2. THECB Approval: The Center for Online Learning and Teaching Technology will coordinate with Academic Affairs the submission of the Certification Form for the Electronically Delivery program to the Texas Higher Coordinating Board as part of the Texas Distance Education Approval Process.
  3. The Center for Online Learning and Teaching Technology will coordinate with Academic Affairs the notification to UT System on the offering of the program in an online format.
  4. Effective Online Teaching: To ensure consistency and quality in online learning, AA & COLTT have institutionalized a continuous quality improvement processes (Blueprinting Process) designated to ensure that online courses and programs are design, developed and implemented with high-quality standards and exemplary academic rigor.  Blueprinting Process for Online Programs (See attached Blueprinting Process Agreement. Agreement must be signed by Dean, Chair and Program Coordinator - Deputy Provost & COLTT Director).

Process:

  • Meet with Dean, School Director/Department Chair and Program Coordinator
  • Meet with all participating faculty
  • Agree on process and sign Blueprinting Process agreement
  • Agree on process and participating faculty sign Course Development Agreement
  • Start course development process
  • Align goals and SLOs at Program and Course Level
  • Certify faculty on Quality Matters (QM)
  • Develop courses
  • Internal reviews (2)
  • Course offered for 2 terms
  • Submit course to QM for review

C. Online Courses:

Development Process for Online Courses (courses that are not part of an online program) See faculty agreement/timeline for online courses.

Process:

  • Meet with School Director/Department Chair
  • Review Quality Process
  • Align goals and SLOs at course level
  • Certify Faculty in Quality Matters
  • Develop course

 D. Hybrid Courses:

Development process for Hybrid Courses. See faculty agreement for Hybrid Exemplary Course Program.

Process:

  • Meet with School Director/Department Chair
  • Review Quality Process
  • Align goals and SLOs at course level
  • Certify Faculty in Quality Matters Develop Course