Course Mode Considerations
The decision to create and teach a fully online or hybrid course depends on several different factors. While there is some research that suggests student retention may be higher in hybrid courses (Dzuiban & Moskal), whether or not to create an online or hybrid course should be contingent upon the availability of resources and the learning outcomes to be met for each department.
Fully Online Courses
- Convenient for out-of-district students
- One type of learning modality (electronic delivery) for students to manage
- Reduced student commute time/resources needed to go to classes
- Increased course offerings without increased classroom space
- Less need to worry about scheduling classroom space
- Student authentication more difficult to establish
- Problems with technology harder to handle for students not familiar with distance education
- More difficult for some students to feel they are learning without face-to-face instructor contact
- Easier for instructors to know their students
- A wider range of learning opportunities to make the best use of each modality
- More opportunities to document student learning
- Student authentication easier to establish — instructors have the chance to interact with students both face-to-face and online
- Technological problems handled in both the face-to-face and online environments
- Less convenient for out-of-district students
- Decreased face-to-face class meetings easier to equate with lessened course workload
- On-campus physical resources (classroom space, office hours, lab time) used
Distance education courses are subject to a significant number of Federal and State regulations, strict accreditation standards, and required local policies. It is highly recommended that faculty in charge of proposing or modifying distance education courses have recent training (within the past 3 years) in online instruction to ensure they are knowledgeable in current regulatory guidelines and principles of effective online pedagogy. It is also suggested that this faculty member is responsible for teaching, revising and updating the courses on a regular basis.
Faculty who teach online at PCC must be proficient in certain basic technology literacy skills and online pedagogical readiness in order to assure course quality and to assist students with the technology used in content delivery. Faculty may be required to participate in additional professional development activities in order to fulfill College policy, meet federal and state regulations, and accreditation requirements. (Pasadena City College AP 4105 Distance Education).
Suggested Rubric for DE Course Development
|Low Priority Courses
|High Priority Courses
Numbered 1 – 99
|Basic Skills/ Nontransferable
Numbered 100 – 999
Course Development Timeline
The development of a new online or hybrid course for instructors who need to (re)train to teach online takes about a year. The actual design of the course takes approximately 300 hours. The time frame for creating a course depends on the amount of time it takes for instructors to train and whether or not the course will need revisions during the Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) Committee approval process. Any new distance education course will be taught in the second semester after it has been approved and cleared to teach by the Distance Education Department. (For example, if Form D is approved in the Fall it could be taught the following Summer so as to allow for course development.)
The process to file Form D follows the same timeline as all C&I Course Modifications. For C&I resources and due dates, please refer to the Curriculum and Instruction page on the PCC website.
Note: The C&I Committee will review the entire course when Form D is added/renewed. Faculty filing Form D must also be conversant in the standards required for the entire Course Outline of Record.
The job of the Distance Education Department is to advise and guide faculty during the course development process to make certain that each new course meets all PCC standards for best practices and to provide support to the Curriculum & Instruction Committee when reviewing Form D. Form D will only be reviewed by a member of the Distance Education Department during C&I Technical Review.
Form D is a supplemental document detailing the distance education component of a course and undergoes a separate C&I Committee approval process (Title 5, Section 55206). Before any online or hybrid course can be taught at PCC there MUST be an officially approved Form D on file. It is recommended that a full-time faculty member be in charge of creating and filing Form D.
Purpose of Form D
The purpose of Form D is to confirm that the course meets Federal, State, WASC and PCC quality indicators and accessibility requirements. Each Form D should determine how the goals and objectives of the course will be met, confirm methods of instruction and assessment that illustrate best practices in online learning and academic integrity, and provide for regular means of ongoing course evaluation. Faculty must demonstrate that they understand how to incorporate best practices for regular effective contact and that they are able to create a course that meets requirements for accessibility.
Policies Related to Form D
Form D is a requirement for all Distance Education courses. There are two main regulations that govern the implementation of Form D.
In August 1999, the Chancellor’s Office began requiring that each DE course and its associated materials and resources be reviewed and revised, as necessary, when the course undergoes curriculum review pursuant to Title 5, sections 55002 and 55206, every six years as part of the accreditation process.(“Distance Education Guidelines” 4).
What This Means at PCC
All courses that have an online or hybrid form of course delivery must undergo periodic review for accreditation. This is to ensure that courses are up-to-date, employing the most current practices in distance education instructional design. Form D for Credit/Non-Credit courses at PCC must be reviewed every 5 years and for Career and Technical Education courses every 2 years.
Distance education resources must generally be designed to provide “built-in” accommodation (i.e., closed or open captioning, descriptive narration) and/or interface design/content layout, which is accessible to “industry standard” assistive computer technology in common use by persons with disabilities. Distance education courses, resources and materials must be designed and delivered in such a way that the level of communication and course-taking experience is the same for students with or without disabilities.(“Distance Education Accessibility Guidelines for Students with Disabilities” 12-13).
What This Means at PCC
All students must have the same access to course materials and be able to participate fully and equally in course activities. Designing distance education courses requires understanding how to create a course that addresses the needs of disabled students before the course has even launched. Understanding this is a complex process, and it is necessary that each faculty member filing Form D contact the Distance Education Department for consultation about how accessibility is fully integrated into their course design.
If there is no Form D for the course, faculty must meet with their Division Dean and C&I Representative to initiate the distance education course development process as listed above. It is highly recommended that creating and filing Form D be completed by a full-time faculty member.
- For a new Course of Record, it is recommended that Form D should not be filed until after the course has been approved and taught for at least one semester on-ground.
- For an existing Course of Record, the steps for filing or revising Form D are explained in the flowchart below.
How to File Form D
To complete and file Form D, follow the steps below. The worksheets in each step give examples of completed Form Ds and will help organize the information that needs to be included in order for the proposal to be approved. It is highly recommended that nothing is entered into WebCMS without first following these guidelines, as doing so may mean a delay in the course proposal process.
- Read through the Form D Worksheet to get a feel for what you will have to enter into WebCMS. Fill in the course information.
- Determine if you will propose a fully online or hybrid course (If there is a chance that the course will be taught in both modalities in the future, check both boxes. Otherwise the Form D will need to be revised at a later date and will have to go through the C&I approval process again.). Check the appropriate box (or boxes).
- To assist you with filling out the Regular Effective Contact Section on Form D, download & complete the Form D Interaction Worksheet. Use the information from the worksheet to fill in this section.
- To assist you with filling out the Course Outline Section on Form D, review the examples listed, then download & complete the Form D Course Outline Worksheet. Use the information from the worksheet to complete this section. Note: At present this section of Form D will differ slightly from what is required on the Course Outline of Record for the course itself.
- Complete the Accessibility and Student Services Sections.
- In addition to Form D, you will need to file the the Preliminary Proposal for Modification of an Existing Course, as the entire Course Outline of Record will be reviewed when filing Form D. Please refer to the document from the Chancellor’s Office, The Course Outline of Record: A Curriculum Reference Guide, for information on how to update the Course Outline of Record.
- Send the completed Form D Worksheet to your C&I Representative with the Preliminary Proposal for Modification of an Existing Course. Please DO NOT copy the information from the Form D Worksheet to WebCMS until your Form D has gone through the proper review by the C&I Committee, as this makes the process of giving feedback/revising your Form D more difficult and may result in a delay of the approval of your proposal.
Form D Review
Form D is reviewed through the shared governance process by the C&I Committee. The following rubric is a helpful tool that can be used by the C&I Representative and Technical Review to determine if the proposal should move forward.