The web-based Online Services system shows accurate, up-to-date enrollments, giving faculty access to real-time class enrollment information. ACC faculty can also use Online Services to enter final grades and assist students with academic advising.
Faculty are required to provide an orientation for each DL course in order to give students an overview of course components and objectives. The orientation is essentially a DL student's first day of class; it must provide students with all necessary information to begin the DL class.
- If you are teaching an online (ONL) course, you are required to offer an online orientation. You may also choose to offer an additional on-site orientation meeting, although it is not required.
- If you are teaching an Instructional Television (ITV) or Print-Based (PRN), you are required to offer at least one on-site orientation meeting. DL strongly recommends that you also provide students with the option to complete the orientation online—online orientations greatly increase course accessibility for students unable to attend on-site sessions. For courses that do not offer an online orientation option, two on-site orientation meetings are usually scheduled.
If you have students on your roster who have not completed the orientation once the semester has started, please submit an Early Intervention Request Form to contact DL for assistance in reaching those students. The goal of DL's Early Intervention program is to connect with at-risk students as early in the semester as possible and increase their opportunities to succeed in DL courses.
ACC Attendance Policy states, "A student at Austin Community College is expected to attend classes in order to progress satisfactorily toward completion of course objectives. Because objectives can vary from department to department and from course to course, the instructor shall inform the student in writing of specific course policies and objectives at the initial class meeting. A student who is not in compliance with course policies or meeting course objectives in the syllabus may be withdrawn from the course at the discretion of the instructor." The College's Instructor Initiated Withdrawal and Appeal Policy Administrative Rule notes, "For Distance Learning courses, the student is expected to be in compliance with the course syllabus requirements." It is at the DL instructor's discretion to determine whether a student is meeting the course objectives and syllabus requirements.
Faculty can now use ACC Online Services to withdraw students from classes if they are not progressing satisfactorily toward completion of course objectives. Refer to ACC's Important Dates for Faculty for semester withdrawal deadlines.
For DL courses, the number of on-site office hours per week must equal the number of hours stated in Section 7 of the Full-Time Faculty Workload Administrative Rule plus the additional number of hours that the class would have met on campus. For courses with extensive contact via email, discussion boards, or other technologies, the required number of on-site office hours may be reduced. Approval for a reduction of on-campus office hours must be obtained using the Conversion of Posted On-Campus Office Hours to Electronic Office Hours Form. Instructors should consult with their Department Chair and review Section 5B of the Faculty Workload Administrative Rule before completing the form.
ACC faculty may put print materials including class notes, problem sets, periodical articles, or book chapters (subject to copyright law) on electronic reserve for students. Refer to the Library website for complete details, and to download the Reserve Request Form. Bring the completed form and the materials to the library on your campus and submit it to the Reserves staff; it will take 2-4 days to process the materials.
ACC offers students 15 hours of free access to SMARTHINKING a semester. Live, one-on-one help is available in the following areas: Writing, Grammar, Mathematics, Statistics, Accounting, Spanish, and Economics. SMARTHINKING also offers an Online Writing Lab to assist students with writing essays and papers in many disciplines. Students contact the Learning Labs for account Username/Password and login instructions.
Before using the ACC Academic Testing Centers for the first time, DL instructors should contact a Testing Center supervisor to receive an orientation to Testing Center services. Consult the Academic Testing Centers Guidelines for complete details on Testing Center policies and procedures.
DL instructors using the ACC Academic Testing Centers to administer exams must place copies of their exams in all the Testing Center locations, including the Fredericksburg, Round Rock, and San Marcos Centers.
DL faculty with students living outside the Austin-area may choose to allow those students to complete exam requirements at another testing facility through DL's Distance Testing program. It is at the instructor's discretion to approve or disapprove a student's Distance Testing request; therefore, students are encouraged to seek consent prior to registering for courses. The student is responsible for locating an official testing facility to proctor the exams, and providing DL with documentation to confirm the testing arrangements.
If you approve a student's Distance Testing request, please forward your course exams with the student's completed Distance Testing Request & Transmittal Form to the DL Office as early in the semester as possible. DL will express mail the exam materials to the testing proctor, and the proctor will return completed exams directly to you for grading.
If you have concerns regarding plagiarism, consult the Faculty Guide to Plagiarism, which covers background information, policy, detection, and plagiarism prevention information.
You should also contact your campus Dean of Student Services, since your concerns may lead to a student disciplinary action. The ACC Student Handbook provides detailed information about the College's Student Discipline Policy.
Faculty evaluations for DL courses are conducted online each semester, following the same schedule as evaluations for on-campus classes. At the appropriate point in the semester, DL faculty will be asked to explain to their students how to access the DL Faculty Evaluation in ACC Online Services. At that site, students select "Distance Learning Faculty Evaluation" from the menu, and a list of the student's current DL courses will be displayed. The student selects a course, completes the evaluation, and submits it. Once an evaluation has been submitted, the student is no longer able to evaluate that course/instructor. Students are not able to access faculty evaluations after they have received a grade for a course.
For specific information about evaluation dates, deadlines, and procedures, refer to the Faculty & Staff Evaluation website.
All courses are now available in Blackboard; instructors are automatically added to any courses they have been assigned to in Datatel.
DL faculty are strongly encouraged to use their Blackboard course site—its features can help you provide your DL students greater access to course information (including your syllabus, contact information, and office hours) and instructional resources through one convenient portal. Faculty should refer to ACC's Blackboard support website for essential information on getting started using Blackboard, including step-by-step instructions for planning and configuring a Blackboard course.
Instructional Development Services also offers Blackboard resources and training opportunities, including online tutorials, customized departmental workshops, and training sessions to assist new Blackboard instructors.
Each ITV instructor is provided with a beginning-of-the-semester packet that includes cable programming information and other ITV support materials for faculty to include in the course syllabus. If you have not received your packet prior to your DL Course Orientation, .
If there is a problem with a cable broadcast such as a video program does not play, the wrong program plays, or there are technical difficulties, please to report the problem. Provide the name and session dates of the ITV course; the cable provider and area of service; and the date, time, and nature of the problem. Re-broadcasts will be scheduled whenever possible. Students can view missed ITV telecourse programs at any ACC Library Media Center.
If you are having problems with streaming media files, or assisting students with problems viewing streams, complete the Reporting Streaming Media Playback Issues Form. For more information about streaming video, please visit the Streaming Media support website.
ACC Libraries provide a variety of resources for students on navigating the Internet. Visit the tutorials page for "The Info Game," "Finding Information on the Web," and "Internet 101" and other resources available for your students.
ACC is pilot testing a secured online test development and delivery system to provide DL students the opportunity to use computers for completing exams. Secured online testing enables instructors to author, schedule, deliver, and track test questions within a secured desktop computer environment. Online tests at ACC are administered to students in the Academic Testing Centers or in other secure distance testing facilities. DL faculty who are interested in developing online tests should refer to the Online Testing Support website.
Blackboard Collaborate Voice Tools enable faculty to implement synchronous voice chat sessions; record, store and play audio discussion topics; develop audio assessment instruments; send and receive email messages with recorded audio; and develop voice announcements for students. For more information, visit Blackboard Collaborate Voice Tools.
ACC's Professional Development Office offers a variety of workshops and training opportunities throughout the year for ACC instructional and non-instructional staff members. Visit the Workshop & Event Registration website to check the calendar of events and register online.
Additional technology support resources are also available.
Distance Learning 101 is a set of online resources developed to help new and prospective DL students learn more about the DL program at ACC, and better understand whether a DL course is a good choice to meet their learning style, needs, and expectations. Students can explore their learning style compatibility with distance education through the Learning Style Survey; measure their technology skills and find tutorials to develop, review, or renew those skills in the Technical Skills Checklist; and find definitions for technical terms in the Distance Learning Glossary.
The Distance Learning Counselor can also help with Student Services-related issues regarding online and distance education. Encourage your students to , or contact her by phone at (512) 223.8187 for assistance.
Virtual College of Texas (VCT)
If you would like to participate in the Virtual College of Texas program at ACC, contact the VCT Coordinator for information on how the VCT program at ACC works, and the requirements for participation. Comprehensive VCT information for ACC Faculty currently offering courses through the program can be found on the DL website.
VCT students register at their local Host College; therefore, they do not appear in Datatel or Online Services, and are not included on ACC class rosters. DL provides faculty with a preliminary VCT roster and student contact information at the close of the VCT reservation period. VCT has recently implemented a system that allows instructors to sign Host Colleges' Date of Record Rosters online, eliminating the need to mail original documents between the Host and Provider Colleges.
Tests are administered at the VCT student's Host College. Please forward copies of your exams to the DL Office at the beginning of the semester with a completed VCT Testing Transmittal Form and DL will express mail the testing materials to the Host College. Completed exams will be returned directly to you for grading by the VCT Host College testing proctor.
VCT has implemented a new system allowing instructors to sign Host Colleges' Final Grade Reports online, eliminating the need to mail original documents between the Host and Provider Colleges. When a Host College's registrar releases a VCT Final Grade Report, the ACC instructor will automatically receive an email explaining that the grade report is available for appropriate action.
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