Kaskaskia College’s distance learning education is in full compliance with the definition below from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) which reads -
“Distance Learning (Distance Education) 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; or videocassettes, DVDs and CD-ROMs used in conjunction with any of the other technologies.”
Distance Learning is NOT correspondence education, which is defined by HLC as, “Education provided through one or more courses in which the institution provides materials and examinations by mail or electronic transmission to students who are separated from the instructor. Interaction between the instructor and the student is not regular and substantive, and it is primarily initiated by the students. Correspondence courses are typically self-paced. Correspondence education is not distance education and students taking correspondence courses are provided very limited (if any) financial aid support.”
The Higher Education Act of 1965 102 (a) (3) (B) reads “An institution shall not be considered to meet the definition of an institution of higher education in paragraph (2) if such institution - …enrolls 50 percent or more of the institution’s students in correspondence courses.”
To comply with this Act, Kaskaskia College further clarifies the following terms in the definition of Distance Learning below:
- Interaction must be initiated by the instructor
- 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.
- Interactions must be substantive – of an academic nature
- 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.
KC affirms that all online courses offered at KC are distance-learning courses and complies with the HLC definition above.
Replaces Distance Learning Engagement Policy 3.75
Approved December 17, 2018