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Guidelines for Determining the Distance Education Components of Courses

Below is the proposed process to use to assist users (faculty, course schedulers, etc.) in determining the proportion of their courses delivered using distance education methods. 

For each course taught, users will need to select one Instruction Mode, then, depending on their selection, they may also need to supply additional information on specific percentages for the Attributes fields.    

Here are the details on the fields used in the process.

  1. Instruction Mode– refers to how course content is delivered in what would traditionally be considered as the classroom.  Course content includes lectures, class discussion, learning activities, or other types of interactions that would generally be part of planned learning in the classroom.  There are four possible responses to this prompt:
    • In Person – the instructor is physically in the classroom and delivering content in a face-to-face format for all meetings of the class.

    • Distance– the instructor is not physically in the classroom for any part of the class, and thus uses distance methods to deliver all of the course content.

    • Hybrid – the instructor is not physically in the classroom for a part of the class, and thus uses distance methods to deliver those parts of the class that are not In Person.

    • Guided study – instructor-directed independent learning courses with set starting and ending dates that use technology to support regular and substantive interaction between students and the instructor.  This would include independent study, research hours, internships, student teaching, individual instruction, and all other course types that do not fit into the above categories.

      In-Person should be set as the default Instructional Mode for all classes. 

      It is important to note that “content delivery” refers to activity that occurs or would traditionally occur in the classroom.  Many instructors use technological outlets such as K-State Online or Blackboard to post notes, lecture slides, reading materials, or other resources.  These uses of technology are considered supplemental to content delivery, so they are not considered as content delivery for the purposes of this process.  
      • When the In Person Instruction Mode is selected, the user is finished with the process, as this choice presumes no distance attributes are used.  When Guided Study is selected, the user is also finished with the process, also assuming that distance attributes make up less than half of the content delivery. 

      • When Distance or Hybrid Instruction Mode is selected, the user will also supply data on the distance Attributes in the course. 

  2. Attributes– these describe the different forms that the content delivery can take.
    • For the Distance Instruction Mode, the following Attributes will appear:
      • Synchronous videoconferencing, where the instructor is delivering the course content directly to the students AT THE SAME POINT IN TIME, just not in the same place, using a non-web-based technology.

      • Synchronous web-based, where the instructor is delivering the course content directly to the students AT THE SAME POINT IN TIME, just not in the same place, using a web-based technology.

      • Asynchronous, where the students are receiving the course content on their own through the assistance of some form of technology, with the opportunity to interact with the instructor at another point in time. 
    • For the Hybrid Instruction Mode, the above Attributes will appear in addition to:
      • In-Person, where the instructor is physically in the classroom directly delivering course content to the students.

For each of the Attributes that appear for Distance or Hybrid, the user will need to provide a percentage of the course instructional time in which content is delivered through each method.  Below are specific instructions for what the user should enter for the different Attributes.

  • Synchronous videoconferencing delivery percent – What percent of the content is delivered using a video or teleconferencing (non-web-based) technology?  For simplicity, the user should estimate this in 5% increments.  For example, if the instructor plans to deliver two of 15 lectures using a non-web-based videoconferencing technology during the semester, the estimate should be 15% (2/15 = 13.33, rounded up to 15%). 

  • Synchronous web-based delivery percent – What percent of the content is delivered using a web-based method?  Again, for simplicity, the user should estimate this in 5% increments.

  • Asynchronous delivery percent – What percent of the content is delivered using asynchronous communication methods?  These might involve students watching uploaded lectures online, followed by participation in an asynchronous chatroom, where they post comments or discussion points on their own time, and the instructor posts responses at another time.  The expectation is that there is regular communication between the instructor and the students as a group, except that such communication does not occur at the same point in time.  If the instructor uses email to deliver content to all students, this would also represent an asynchronous form of content delivery.  However, if the instructor uses email to respond to individual student questions, that would not be considered in this form of delivery.  Again, for simplicity, the user should estimate this in 5% increments.  

  • In-Person instruction percent – What percent of the content is delivered with the instructor physically in the classroom with the students?  This field will only appear under the Hybrid mode. 

 Notes

  1. When considering instructional time, time used for orientation or evaluation should be excluded from the calculation of percentages.  For example, if an instructor meets with students on the first day of classes to orient them to the course, and/or has exams administered to students face-to-face, but the remainder of the courses is delivered via distance, the course would be classified as Distance (100%).

  2. Kansas State University does not allow “correspondence” courses.  Federal regulations require that instructional communication between the instructor and students in distance courses to be “regular and substantive” for students to be eligible for financial aid.  If such a level of communication is not occurring, the course would be considered as “correspondence.”  Any courses considered as “correspondence” could jeopardize Federal financial aid programs for the university and its students.