Academic Policy  1650.10 

Online and Distance Education

The University of Arkansas has established that all online and distance education credit courses and programs will be reported and coordinated through Global Campus, a unit within the Division of Academic Affairs, overseen by the Vice Provost for Distance Education, that reports to the Office of the Provost. This policy applies regardless of the college or school housing the offerings, the intended audience, the instructor, the source of funds, the location, the medium, or the term of offering.

Coordinated means that Global Campus is to be provided with draft plans for each course and program for review at the early planning stages and consultation throughout the planning and implementation process. Reported means that Global Campus will be provided data to maintain a current base of institutional information on courses and programs, by term, enrollment, sites, medium, and costs of distance education offerings and other data as required.

The purpose for the centralized reporting and coordination is threefold. First, it will ensure that there is one source for data on online and distance education plans, resources, courses, and programs within the institution, for reporting and information purposes such as required reports to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), the UA System, and the Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE). Second, it will provide information and institutional resources outside of their unit available to those offering online and distance education course and programs, including technical and instructional design expertise, federal, state and international compliance, and assistance for faculty with quality assurance appropriate to individual disciplinary standards. Third, it can provide a basis for and support for joint ventures and shared information among colleges and programs.

Online and distance education is defined broadly here as courses or programs offered for credit to or at an off-campus site as well as where the instructor and students are physically separated.  For specific course delivery mode definitions for online education, see Academic Policy 1622.12.

This definition includes 1) consortia courses or programs, 2) courses and programs offered by faculty sent to or employed to teach classes of students in off-campus sites and centers, including out-of-state, and 3) online courses and programs offered of any kind to individuals or groups or classes of students. For reporting purposes, online offerings will be distinguishable from other offerings.

Academic deans will serve as an advisory group to the Provost and the Vice Provost for Distance Education on issues related to this policy. Items may be referred to the Provost, Vice Provost for Distance Education, or deans for discussion and recommendation.

Reformatted for Web October 1, 2014