Faculty and Staff

Guidelines for DE Courses and Programs

To meet the requirements of the US Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the following guidelines are to be followed for DE courses and programs. 

Guidelines for Distance Education Courses and Programs

Teaching in Distance Education

The Office for Academic Innovation offers different trainings to enhance your online teaching experience. Check out the AI website to view the schedule of trainings that include Canvas, Best Practices for Teaching Online, Improving Your Online Course, Video Best Practices, and much more.

The Center for Teaching Excellence offers guidance and resources in Course Design, Program Redesign, Online Course Designs, Blended and Flipped Learning, while also offering workshops for both Teachers and Graduate Students.

Below are just a few of the many resources that are offered through CTE.

  • Basic Tips and Guidelines for Creating Effective Online Courses
  • Promoting Student Learning
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Online Courses
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Online Course Design
  • Rubric for Evaluating Online Course Design
  • Facilitating Effective Online Discussions
  • 10 Simple Steps towards Universal Design of Online Courses
  • Ensuring Digital Content is Accessible to Students with Disabilities

Creating and Scheduling DE courses

Gaining Non-Traditional Format Approval for a course is a one-time approval process for courses with 50% or more of the class taught online. The NTF approval is required, per University Rule 11.03.99.M1, in order to be able to schedule the class. More on scheduling polices can be viewed on the Office of the Registrar website.

Courses for 2018 Spring approval were received through memo format. Summer 2018, Fall 2018, and beyond must be approved through the Curricular Approval Request System (CARS), per Curricular Processes 11.99.99.M0.01. These courses must gain approval before they are able to be scheduled as an NTFA section.


Distance Education courses are taught 100% online.

Hybrid and Blended courses must have the NTFA attribute and are determined at the section level. Online and hybrid courses must meet the same credit hour requirement as face-to-face courses and must account for 45-48 hours of instructional time for each three credit hour course.


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