FSU Alert: Because of the severe snowstorm forecast for this weekend, the university will be closed Saturday, Jan. 29 except for essential operations.
Online courses are those in which 100% of the course’s instruction are conducted online. Another course delivery option is hybrid (blended) courses. Hybrid courses are those that combine classroom and online methods, and deliver at least 15% of the course’s content online. Both online and hybrid courses must go through the University’s approval process.
Course developers must create their online course materials in accordance with the following requirements and guidelines. These guidelines satisfy or exceed the various accreditation criteria of the New England Commission of Higher Education for Distance Learning Programs. The Director of Digital Learning provides training sessions for online course development. Throughout the development process, course developers have access to training and support in the areas of design and building content within the Blackboard learning management system. Once a course is developed, the designer will maintain intellectual ownership of the course materials. Fitchburg State University will maintain and host the course offering in a Blackboard shell. Please note that all course materials must be delivered using the Blackboard learning management system unless otherwise authorized by the Director of Distance Education at Fitchburg State.
Online courses should be developed considering student diversity and thus should address different learning styles. Appropriate examples and grading rubrics for course assignments should be demonstrated to students whenever appropriate. This can help students understand what is expected and ensure a greater likelihood that appropriate work will be submitted.
Student assessments may be accomplished through various types of evaluations. It is essential that all student work be evaluated through the use of clear criteria. Professors who want to require a proctored exam should contact the Director of Digital Learning.
The use of the discussion board is strongly encouraged in online courses. When appropriate, the discussion board should be used as the primary intellectual interaction between faculty and individual students/student groups. The discussion board should be monitored frequently by the instructor, who must check the ongoing discussions among students and make comments as necessary to guide the discussion.
Both faculty and students have access to technical support, including support from the Instructional Designer, throughout the duration of the course. This includes the related contact information in course materials. Faculty are encouraged to make students aware of the demo course available to all students as an introduction or review to Blackboard.