Instruction Modes

APU categorizes classes using one of four instruction modes. All class sections should be appropriately identified using the definitions below. Instruction modes provide critical information to students by setting expectations for their learning experiences. Accurate use of instruction modes also ensures APU’s ability to reliably report on methods of class delivery.

Definitions

In-person classes deliver 100% of their instruction face to face and have required classroom attendance. Students meet on a regularly scheduled basis and may encounter Internet and/or computer requirements in these classes.

Blended classes deliver at least 33% but less than 50% of their instruction in an online format and include required classroom attendance and online instruction, which can be either synchronous or asynchronous. Compared to in-person classes, blended classes have substantial activity conducted online, which substitutes for some classroom meetings.

Online asynchronous classes deliver 50% or more of their instruction in an online format but have no required live virtual meetings. Students have a timeframe for participation each week, but they may contribute whenever they choose in accordance with course instructions. Some asynchronous courses may offer optional live sessions such as desktop video chats, but live, real-time class meetings are not required.

Online synchronous classes deliver 50% or more of their instruction in an online format but have required virtual meetings for live interaction with the instructor and/or class. Students may be required to meet online at a specified time for lectures, student presentations, or other real-time activities. Virtual meeting tools may include desktop video conferencing, online chat, and phone.

Who Determines Instruction Modes?

The academic department identifies the instruction mode of a class as part of the standard scheduling materials submitted to the registrar. If necessary, the academic department can consult with the Office of Curricular Support (OCS) and/or the Office of Innovative Teaching and Technology (ITT) to determine the best instruction mode for a class. Note that before a class can be officially designated by the registrar as blended or online, the class needs to go through the appropriate approval process. Similarly, before a faculty member can teach a blended or online course, he/she must complete relevant training. See below for details about approval processes.

What is the Process for Approving Online Courses and Faculty?

Online Course Approval Process

  1. Contact OCS: With dean’s approval, contact the Office of Curricular Support to start the approval process.
  2. Work with ITT: Once OCS accepts a course proposal, the Office of Innovative Teaching and Technology will partner with a faculty subject-matter expert (SME) to create a course blueprint for faculty governance approval.
  3. Build Course: ITT will use the approved blueprint to build the online course. Once the course is built, it will be added to the registrar’s list of approved online courses.

Online Faculty Approval Process

  1. Contact ITT: If a faculty member is teaching an online course for the first time at APU, he/she must enroll in and successfully complete the Orientation to Online Teaching (OOT).
  2. Complete Training: The OOT course consists of two parts: a) an online module that can be completed independently, and b) an online discussion forum and videoconference that is done with other OOT participants. Completing OOT requires at least six hours, but completion time may vary depending on a faculty member’s experience with and aptitude for online learning and related technologies.
  3. Teach Course: Faculty members who complete OOT will be added to the approved list that is shared with the registrar. From that point on, the faculty member will be able to teach any online course for APU.

What is the Process for Approving Blended Courses and Faculty?

Blended Course Approval Process

  1. Contact ITT: With dean’s approval, submit a Blended Learning Certificate Application.
  2. Complete Training: The faculty member designing the blended course (faculty designer) will enroll in the Orientation to Blended Learning: Design Track (OBL-D). The OBL-D course consists of two parts: a) an online module that can be completed independently, and b) an in-person meeting with an ITT professional. A typical faculty designer can complete OBL-D in about three hours, although completion time may vary depending on his/her experience with and aptitude for blended learning and related technologies. Registration for the OBL-D course is part of the Blended Learning Certificate Application.
  3. Build Course: The faculty designer will complete the Blended Course Blueprint (estimated 2-3 hours) and meet with Ann Kwinn for feedback. Once the blueprint is approved, the faculty designer will build the course in the LMS (estimated 10-20 hours). Once the course is built, the faculty designer will meet with Teri Rolley for feedback. Once ITT approves the course, it will be added to the list of approved blended courses that will be shared with the registrar.

Note: Faculty members who demonstrate proficiency in blended pedagogy can receive credit for the online module of the Orientation to Blended Learning: Design Track (OBL-D) course. However, all applicants are still required to a) build the course within the campus LMS using the Blended Course Blueprint and b) meet with an ITT professional to review the course. Once credit is issued, the blended course will be added to the list of approved blended classes, and this list will be shared with the registrar. Also, Faculty members who are designing and teaching a blended course must take both the design (OBL-D) and teaching (OBL-T) tracks.

Blended Faculty Approval Process

  1. Contact ITT: If a faculty member is teaching a blended course for the first time at APU, he/she must enroll in and successfully complete the Orientation to Blended Learning: Teaching Track (OBL-T). Registration for OBL-T is part of the Blended Learning Certificate Application.
  2. Complete Training: The OBL-T course consists of two parts: a) an online module that can be completed independently, and b) an in-person meeting with an ITT professional. A typical faculty member can complete the OBL-T in about three hours, although completion time may vary depending on his/her experience with and aptitude for blended learning and related technologies.
  3. Teach Course: Faculty members who complete OBL-T will be added to the approved list that is shared with the registrar. From that point on, the faculty member will be able to teach any approved blended course for APU.

Note: A faculty member who has completed the Orientation to Online Teaching (OOT) course OR completed relevant ITT training (e.g., Course Redesign Institute, Digital Pedagogy Faculty Learning Community, etc.) can receive credit for the online module of the Orientation to Blended Learning: Teaching Track (OBL-T) course. However, all applicants are still required to meet in person with an ITT professional. Once credit is issued, the faculty member will be added to the list of approved blended instructors, and this list will be shared with the registrar.

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