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Committee on Online Learning (COOL)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Needs to Submit Proposals for Online/Hybrid Teaching?

  • Faculty who want to teach an existing online/hybrid course for the first time at Chabot; even one that has already been taught by others in your area in the past, or one you might have taught at another college.
  • Faculty who want to  create a new hybrid or fully online delivery option for an existing on-campus course already in our catalog.
  • Faculty who want to develop an entirely new course that will be offered in some form of distance learning.  (*Note in this case, a separate course creation proposal to the Curriculum Committee also must be made).
  • Faculty who are teaching the class as a hybrid and want to offer it online, or who are teaching it as online and want to offer it in hybrid format.

I am making changes to the delivery of the online/hybrid course; do I need to submit a new proposal?

The answer is, it depends. You do not need to submit a proposal for an online or hybrid course you have already been teaching at Chabot unless you intend to significantly change the delivery mode, such as turning a hybrid into a fully-online course or vice-versa. For example, a hybrid course you are teaching is offered at 51% online instead of 75% online would not require another proposal. However, if you plan to offer a hybrid course as fully online, the submission of a new proposal would be required. For example, a course offered fully online instead of a hybrid, for which there are no in-person meetings, would require a significant change to the set of contact hour descriptions, etc.

Type of Change Submission of New Proposal Required?
Changing from hybrid to fully online delivery yes
Changing from fully online to hybrid delivery yes
Making changes to hybrid, but still a hybrid no
Making change to online, but still fully online no

Why is separate approval required for courses to be offered in DE delivery?

With over 50% of all courses at Chabot college incorporating Blackboard (and other technology) into their courses, we are often asked at what point does the course become hybrid or online and therefore require approval?

Title 5 Section 55206 Regulations require separate course approval for distance education delivery courses. If any portion of the instruction in a proposed or existing course or course section is designed to be provided through distance education in lieu of face-to-face interaction between instructor and student, the course shall be separately reviewed and approved according to the district’s adopted course approval procedures. The key factor necessitating approval is when face-to-face time is replaced with online delivery.

Why does each instructor have to submit his/her own proposal?

As required in the current faculty contract (page 10-4), the process calls for all faculty planning to:

  • teach for the first time a course or a section of a course in Online Learning format, or
  • change the approved delivery of a course they are currently teaching in Online Learning format

to present an Online Learning course delivery plan to the COOL Committee.

(There may be some exceptions in the process for: Program-based Course Proposals).

There are three primary reasons for this.

  1. Faculty have not always been aware of new technologies and successful applications by colleagues that might enhance their Online Learning delivery plan and contribute to greater student success and satisfaction.

  2. We have found that faculty who present delivery plans contribute to the overall knowledge base about Online Learning and, thus, to the quality of all online/hybrid offerings.

  3. To be a successful at online teaching, faculty should be experienced in the technology and medium of online delivery. Faculty should also be aware of the support services offered: Blackboard Faculty Support and Online Learning Student Support.

Program-based Course Proposals (this section is a DRAFT)

If a discipline area agrees to offer prebuilt, uniform courses in either online or hybrid modalities, the COOL will honor the decision to utilize consistent, shared, instructional platforms with a modified approval process. The ability to utilize these types of course designs, allows for increased online / hybrid offerings, increased faculty utilization of online learning, and increased educational opportunities for students.

The COOL recommends the following considerations to approve these proposals:

1. An initial course proposal must be submitted by a "lead" instructor for each course to be offered. If the proposal represents multiple courses and/or instructors, the course delivery methods, the contact hours, and all other aspects of the course delivery plan written in the proposal must reflect the plan for all of the courses/instructors indicated. Courses with varying units, contact hours, delivery methods, etc. require the submission of a separate proposal.

2. Each faculty, if not previously approved for online learning, should enter into a “mentoring” relationship with the either the course developer or experienced online faculty who have facilitated that specific course. The COOL is currently seeking funding for mentoring, but faculty are also encouraged to inquire within their division.

3. All faculty planning to facilitate an existing “approved” course must complete a course demonstration, (in person if deemed necessary by the review team), to demonstrate their familiarity with the course and to provide insight to their knowledge / experience with online learning. This will allow COOL members to offer insight into online instruction and ensure that the faculty member is fully aware of the unique characteristics of online learners.

Where should I begin - Blackboard training or the Online Learning proposal process?

The answer depends on deadlines. Ideally, prior to attempting to teach online, you complete introductory Blackboard training, and gradually incorporate various uses of Blackboard into your on-campus courses for a few semesters.

What do the Statewide Regulations specify as far as the amount and types of faculty-student contact?

Title 5 Regulations specify that "All approved courses offered as distance education shall include regular effective contact between instructor and students, through group or individual meetings, orientation and review sessions, supplemental seminar or study sessions, field trips, library workshops, telephone contact, correspondence, voicemail, email, or other activities." (Section 55376) This language was adopted by the Board of Governors in July 1998, changing the focus from "in-person contact" to "regular effective contact" for credit transferable courses.

Three Key Issues: Content, Interaction, & Access

  • Content Delivery

    • How will the required information be successfully delivered via Online Learning modes?
    • What combinations of media (video, audio, CDs, websites, textbooks, manuals, etc.), instructional modes (lecture, discussion, laboratory, etc.), and assignments are involved in this course?
    • What is the approximate schedule of time allocated to each mode?
  • Interaction

    • How will communications between faculty and students, and between the students themselves, be enabled, encouraged, and managed?
    • How does the instructor define "regular effective contact" for this particular course?
    • What types of interaction will occur, with what frequency?
    • How will these types of interaction be evaluated for their effectiveness?
  • Access

  • How will students participate in the course?
  • What variety of learning options are made available for different students with different learning styles?
  • What technical, academic, and learning resources are required?
  • What about access for students with disabilities?

The College's Obligations:

    • Student support services
    • Faculty Development & Training for technology-mediated courses
    • Responsive Technical Support for faculty and students
    • Timely, systematic planning, preparation, budgeting, and implementation of training and technical support.
    • A commitment to quality. "The greatest strength of the community college lies in the quality of instruction."

What guidelines exist about Access for Students with Disabilities?

For the most updated resources on accessibility, please check our resources page.

The Curriculum Committee Review

"Curriculum committees must make a judgment as to the quality of the course based on a review of the appropriateness of the methods of presentation, assignments, evaluation of student performance, and instructional materials. Are these components adequate to achieve the stated objectives of the course?"

Opportunity vs. Obstacle Course: The curriculum review is intended to assist faculty interested in creating a course of the highest possible quality. There is not a single, "most effective" model for distance education that everyone must follow, but rather an entire continuum of delivery modes. How much the class will rely on technology, videos, on-campus meetings, or off-campus contact depends totally on the curriculum, the instructor, and the students. The questions to be discussed should be made available to all interested faculty and staff, and effective proposals should be shared as exemplars.

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