Distance Education Policies

1) Use of District resources for design and delivery of online instructional materials and Authentication is KEY All Assets on SRJC Resources

  • Starting with Fall 2011, all SRJC online classes are required to be on SRJC servers.
  • Use of the staff server is problematic, since authentication cannot be set up for an instructor by IT. The staff server cannot be used unless the instructor can set up authentication himself or herself.
  • Currently, the viable options is to use Canvas for your online class materials.
  • If it is an undue burden on faculty to switch their materials over to Canvas extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis. Gradebooks must be on SRJC resources and password protected-no exceptions.
  • CCCconfer/Elluminate is an acceptable solution for webcast videos.

Authentication

  • Starting with Fall 2011, all SRJC online classes are required to be behind password protection.
  • Syllabi and Section pages can be open to the public, but all other components of the course are to be password protected.
  • Password protection on components such as Message Lists and Gradebooks are particularly important in order to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Gradebooks must be put behind password protection that requires each student to use a unique username and password, and students cannot see other students' grades.
  • Password protection is important to reduce liability for the school.
  • Linked multi-media files need to be put in password-protected directories to prevent back door access.

Sources of Authority


2) Accessibility Compliance Policies

  • The guideline for online courses is not "reasonable accommodation" but rather "accessibility." That means that all online materials should be accessibility compliant.
  • If making an online course accessible would alter the fundamental nature of the course, an exemption may be possible for certain disabilities. For example, a student with severe hearing impairment might not be able to participate in Music Appreciation. The music course might be exempt from serving students with a severe hearing impairment, but not exempt from serving students with a visual impairment. Instructors who feel an exemption is warranted for a particular course should e-mail the Dean of Learning Resources and Educational Technology. The Dean will consult with the Dean of DSP&S, to decide if an exemption is reasonable. They may need access to the course to make a judgment.

Review Process

  • Online courses are due to be reviewed on a six-year cycle.
  • Faculty whose courses have been identified for accessibility review in a given year will be contacted by the Distance Education department starting in the late spring or summer to complete the review and pass for compliance by the following February.
  • The review needs to be conducted in person in the Assistive Technology Specialist's office in Doyle Library or from a distance by using CCCconfer.
  • Faculty teaching a particular course online for the first time have the responsibility to schedule an accessibility review as soon as the materials are completed, ideally before the start of the class. If the instructor will be developing content as the class is being taught, the course must be reviewed before the class starts, and reviewed again upon completion of the materials.

Linking to Third Party Sites

  • Third party sites that are optional will not be checked for accessibility compliance. The instructor needs to clearly mark links to optional sites as such.
  • Required sites that have a limited number of errors that will not interfere with the necessary content being read correctly by screen readers will be allowed. The Distance Education Assistive Technology Specialist will need to evaluate whether the site can be given a pass.
  • Required sites with a large number of errors whether interfering with the necessary content or not, will not be allowed.

Publisher Sites

  • When an instructor requires students to access a non-compliant publisher site, the site owner shall be contacted by DE and alerted to their non-compliance. Instructors will be allowed to continue to use the publisher site provided that:
    • The publisher acknowledges that they are working on a complaint version of the materials and agrees to take responsibility for any accommodation needs OR
    • The publisher can prove that they are the only vendor offering a unique set of materials not duplicated by any other publisher

Optional Material on JC Servers

  • Materials created by the instructor and those delivered from JC servers, even when optional, need to be compliant.
  • From the District Policy Manual - Policy 3.12.3P: "...review will include all class material required or realistically necessary for completion of a class, and all online class materials hosted at SRJC.”

Multi-Media Presentations

Captioning and Transcripts Using the DECT Grant

  • Captioning of all videos and creating transcripts for audio presentations are covered by a state-wide grant.
  • There will not be a significant work load issue for the instructor to obtain captioning or transcripts.
  • Visit the Assistance page for instructions on submitting your multi-media files to the grant.
  • Ordering captions through the DECT grant is now as simple as clicking a button when storing videos on 3C Media Solutions

3C Media Solutions

  • Instructors are encouraged to use the 3C Media Solutions repository to store large files.
  • 3C Media Solutions is the preferred method of delivery over the 3rd party solutions such as YouTube or Vimeo.
  • 3C Media Solutions is an educational media distribution source for video content provided for the 112 campuses of the California Community Colleges System.
  • When using 3C Media Solutions, the viewer is provided with a player, similar to YouTube or Vimeo. Uploaded videos are processed to work with the player. The advantage is that the user experience is smooth, reducing playback issues.

CCCconfer/Elluminate

  • Instructors are encouraged to use CCCconfer for creation of videos for online classes. CCCconfer uses a java application called "Elluminate" for online class sessions. Elluminate has the ability to capture the screen and archive a video presentation of the session.
  • Live captioning is available for those using CCCconfer. When using CCCconfer, the instructor is required when possible to use a live captioner, unless the videos fall into the category of "frequently changing instructor-created videos" (see next section). CCCconfer requires 48-hour advance notification by the instructor for live captioning.

Frequently Changing Instructor-Created Videos

  • When an instructor creates videos for SRJC classes, and the video content changes on a regular basis (at least every 18 months), the videos will not need to be captioned unless a deaf student enrolls in the course. Such videos still need to be made available ONLY to enrolled SRJC students, not the general public.

Embedding/Linking to Third Party Videos

  • Embedding YouTube or other video content made by third parties on SRJC Web pages OR embedded third party pieces such as YouTube videos will need to be accessible. If the third party pieces are not accessible, the instructor should link to the material as opposed to embedding it and clearly label the link as an optional link.

Sources of Authority

See also:


3) Regular and effective student contact in the online environment is a MUST Sources of Authority