Kaskaskia College’s distance learning education will maintain full compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Kaskaskia College has adopted the HLC’s definition of Distance Learning which is: “Education that delivers instruction to students who are separated from the instructor that supports 'regular and substantive interaction' between students and their instructor synchronously or asynchronously using one or more of the following technologies: the internet; one-way and two-way transmission through open broadcast, closed-circuit cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communication devices; audio-conferencing; other media used in a course used in conjunction with any of the other technologies listed”.
To comply with the U.S. Department of Education and the HLC, Kaskaskia College further clarifies the following terms in the definition of Distance Learning:
- Interaction must be initiated by the instructor.
- An instructor is an individual responsible for delivering course content and who meets the qualifications for instruction established by the HLC, ICCB, and programmatic accrediting bodies if appropriate. Eligible programs can be taught by “the instructor or instructors.
- Interaction must be “regular” or weekly with the class as a whole (Summarization of discussion post or providing additional learning materials) or individually (providing feedback on discussion question comments or on homework) with a combination of both types of interaction throughout the course.
- “Regular” or “Weekly” is defined by this policy as a minimum of five interactions per credit hour. This formula is based on the model of a traditional, three credit hour, face-to-face, 15 week term class where one class session is defined as weekly interaction. Therefore, a one credit hour class would require five substantive interactions within any given term; a three credit hour class would require 15 substantive interactions within any given term, etc. Must be predictable and scheduled with tracking and intervention taking place.
- Interactions must be substantive – of an academic nature and assumes direct interaction between the learner and the instructor and requires direct instruction from the instructor including:
- Assessing or providing feedback on a student’s coursework.
- Providing information or responding to questions about the content of a course.
- Facilitating a group discussion regarding the content of a course or competency.
- Other instructional activities approved by the institution’s or program’s accrediting agency.
Examples of Substantive Interaction Include the following:
- Course materials (ex. recorded webinars, videos, and reading materials) which facilitate synchronous or asynchronous interactions and require the student to complete an activity.
- Constructive feedback on student assignments, which identifies specifically what has been done correctly, needs improvement, or guides students to the next steps of learning. Brief comments like “good job” or “you need to improve” are not substantive.
- Synchronous online meetings and chats that further explore course material and answer student questions.
- Regular participation by the instructor in discussion activities with students, perhaps to provide a summary, to correct errors of fact, to keep the discussion on topic, and/or to add expertise to the content of the discussion.
Replaces Distance Learning Engagement Policy 3.75
Approved December 17, 2018; Revised April 20, 2022