Faculty and Staff


Blended Courses: Definition and Delivery Protocol

Definition: Park University blended courses are courses where 20%-40%* of traditional face-to-face classroom time is replaced by online instruction and activities. All blended courses will meet face-to-face every other week (at a minimum), and must meet face-to-face the first week. All Park blended courses require weekly student activities and contact with the instructor; weekly attendance will be documented.

*to be determined by departments and/or schools during initial design of course

Factors affecting the current definition:
  • Blended courses are typically defined as those where 20%-40% of traditional face-to-face classroom time is replaced by online assignments and activities.
  • Veterans Administration (VA) guidelines* require at least 60% face-to-face content. Minimum class room F2F time at a campus center for a (3) credit hour course which meets (40) hours per term would be (3) credit hours x number of weeks in term (8) which equals (24) hours.
    *38 CFR21.4267 2) A course which requires regularly scheduled, standard class sessions at least once every two weeks and which has a total number of class sessions equal to the number of credit hours awarded for the course, times the number of weeks in a standard quarter or semester, as applicable;
  • Veteran’s Administration (VA) regulations for a residence course state that a course must meet in person (at a minimum) every other week.
  • It is a Financial Aid requirement to meet the first week to verify attendance.

Faculty Training for Blended Courses
By definition, blended courses contain a significant proportion of online teaching and learning. As such, all faculty members must take PDL 750 before proceeding with creating a blended course, or before teaching an existing blended course.

Prioritization of Blended Course Creation
The online portion of a blended course will go through the same quality-assurance steps as those courses which are offered completely online. The creation of blended courses will be guided by a prioritization process overseen by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Blended Course Creation
Coordinating with PDL staff, Academic Affairs will determine the number of new blended course builds and/or blended course revisions that can be accomplished each semester.

Program and course developers will decide which elements of the course are online and which ones are delivered face-to-face. Blended courses taught prior to Fall I 2012 will continue to be offered in the blended delivery modality and will be scheduled for a review to verify compliance with this protocol.

Blended Course Approvals
Approval authority to request development of a new blended course resides with the Program Coordinator, Department Chair and Dean.

Other Considerations
Use of eCompanion to include the “weekly schedule” and “grade book” functionality is required.

Instructors are expected to adhere to the student response guidelines used for online courses.

Assessment of learning outcomes in blended courses will proceed in the same way it does in all other modes of delivery (i.e., CLOs, CLO Assessment, CLO Assessment Rubric).

Blended courses may be constructed and/or scheduled in either the 16-week format or the accelerated 8-week format.

A blended course must be clearly identified as such on the course schedule. Students will be notified in advance of the course start date that they must have access to a computer to work in eCompanion for the online portion of the course.

On the course syllabus, instructors must indicate in the course outline the specific times when the course is in residence and when it is online.

Instructors in face-to-face courses retain the ability to use eCompanion to cover occasional missed sessions (e.g., conference attendance) without the course being labeled “blended”.

Blended courses will be considered face-to-face for the purposes of faculty pay, tuition, observation/evaluation, etc.

Courses offered completely online will have the appropriate elements tagged during their initial design to enable blended delivery.

ADDITIONAL DEPARTMENT STANDARDS FOR BLENDED COURSES

English and Modern Languages
Park University Department of English and Modern Languages Blended Course Guidelines, Effective November 2012 (EN and ML Blended Course Guidelines, AY 12-13 Approved by Departmental Program Coordinators, November 9, 2012)

Blended courses in the Department of English and Modern Languages must adhere to the following departmental guidelines, which are consonant with the University’s blended courses policy and protocol (MyPark > Academic Affairs).

General Guidelines
  • Approval authority to create a new blended course and/or to teach a blended course resides with the Department Chair, Program Coordinator, and Dean. Such requests should come to the Chair, who will bring them to the Program Coordinator, the Department, and, pending approval, the Dean of the College for Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Assessment of learning outcomes in blended courses will proceed in the same way it does in all other modes of delivery (i.e., CLOs, CLO assessment, and CLO assessment rubric). All blended courses will meet face-to-face every other week (at a minimum), and must meet face-to-face the first week.
  • All Park University blended courses require weekly contact with the instructor, documented through eCompanion.
Guidelines for EN and ML Blended Course Meetings
  • Instructors teaching 16-week courses that meet 3 days/week may replace between 10 and 12 face-to-face class meetings with online activities.
  • Instructors teaching 16-week courses that meet 2 days/week may replace between 7 and 9 face-to-face class meetings with online activities.
  • Instructors teaching 8-week courses that meet 2 days/week may replace between 3.5 and 4.5 face-to-face class meetings with online activities. Instructors teaching 8-week courses that meet 1 day/week may replace between 2 and 2.5 face-to-face class meetings with online activities.
  • Online activities must be facilitated through eCompanion.
  • Face-to-face class meetings must be held at a Park University Campus Center.

Guidelines for EN and ML Blended Course Online Activities
  • Activities appropriate for online facilitation include: instructor-facilitated asynchronous discussions, small group discussions and group activities, peer review, quizzes and formal exams, interactive online activities (web quests, podcasts, online videos), journal writing.

Guidelines for EN and ML Blended Course Syllabi
  • Blended course sections must be clearly identified as such on the course syllabus, including the requirement that students utilize eCompanion.
  • A detailed course schedule must specify which class meetings (or portions of class meetings) will be facilitated online and what activities will be undertaken in each face-to-face and online meeting.

EN and ML Courses Approved for Blended Delivery
The following courses are currently approved for offering in the blended modality:
  • EN105, First-Year Writing Seminar I
  • EN106, First-Year Writing Seminar II
  • EN234, Introduction to Fiction
  • EN306B, Business Communications

Information and Computer Science and Math
Any Math and ICS course that is currently offered online can be offered in a blended format.

If a course is currently not offered online then it cannot be offered in a blended format. The list of courses that are currently offered online and can be offered in a blended format are:
Mathematics: MA120, MA125, MA135, MA141, MA150, MA208, MA210, MA211 and MA311.

ICS: CS140, CS144, CS151, CS208, CS219, CS220, CS225, CS300, CS305, CS 314, CS321, CS322, CS351, CS352, CS365, CS366, CS371, CS373, CS380, CS385, IS205, IS216, IS217, IS310, IS315, IS316, IS361, IS362, IS370

Office of Academic Affairs
3 January 2013