As you are aware, to prepare for fall semester, we have asked all faculty to prepare all courses to be fully online. Being prepared to teach our courses asynchronously online will allow us to shift modality quickly as needed.  We hope to be teaching on campus, but it will be a very different campus scene with social distancing and many fewer students at any one time in our classrooms.  Large lecture sections will be online and other classes will be hybrid with flipped lectures and high impact in-class sessions.

UAH must maintain a high standard of instruction regardless of method of course delivery. The UAH standard for online courses is Quality Education Practices Online (QEPO). We are encouraging as many faculty as are able to complete the QEPO certification during the summer term. To accommodate the current circumstances that not all faculty may be able to complete the QEPO before fall semester and will need to continue the certification during the fall, Academic Affairs has created Limited Approval for online courses to provide minimum standards for online courses for summer and fall courses as a temporary one-time measure. 

Objective.  Our objective is to provide faculty the tools and assistance needed to build a course quickly and efficiently in order to provide students with the best opportunity to learn and succeed. Any course and/or faculty member previously approved through QEPO are automatically approved for academic year 2020-2021.  All online courses and/or faculty members that have not been previously approved by or completed QEPO, respectively, must go through the required Limited Approval process for summer and fall. 

Standards.  The Limited Approval standards are based on key, minimal best practices in online learning that must be maintained in all online courses at UAH in the summer and fall 2020 semesters.  The standards for online courses include:

  • ·Multiple Points of Engagement - Students need to interact with the course, each other and the instructor. In online courses, students no longer have the classroom experience to engage with each other, and, while in hybrid courses, their interactions are limited. The multiple points of engagement can take many different forms: videos, discussion prompts, homework assignments, quizzes, Zoom lectures, collaborative projects, etc.
  • ·Organized Course Structure – The course needs to have continuity in design and structure to allow the student to navigate to the learning activities quickly and easily. In Canvas, this navigation is accomplished through the use of modules. Modules organize your course content in a linear progression and provide a simple, step-by-step sequence for your students to follow.
  • ·Defined Goals – These learning objectives (statements of what the student is learning) are necessary to keep the students motivated. By demonstrating how each part of the course links back to the objective, the student is reminded their efforts are for a purpose. The course itself and each course module should each have a goal associated with it.
  • ·Clear Information – Students must achieve a certain level of self-sufficiency in the course to remain engaged and be motivated to succeed. To do this, they must have clear and concise guidelines on how to operate. Many operational aspects, particularly communication, must be defined in advance by the instructor to insure the expectations of the students are set correctly.  Students crave clear, frequent, and accurate communication from their instructors.

Process.  The dean in each college has identified online reviewers to provide you guidance and support in your development of courses.  These college reviewers have been trained by, and, will work with, ETL to evaluate your course for the Limited Approval standards defined above.  The college reviewers will work with you to assist you in achieving the standards required in the Limited Approval process.  When you and the college reviewers are satisfied with your online course, the college reviewers will be forwarded to ETL for final approval.

Your dean will notify you of the names and contact information of the reviewers within your college.  Please contact your college reviewers while you are going through the QEPO and building your course if you have questions and then notify them when you are ready for a Limited Approval review.

The ETL staff stands ready to assist you. Please see the ETL website for information about teaching online resources for summer and fall 2020. You may request assistance by contacting  The ELT staff and the college reviewers look forward to helping you achieve your goals for online teaching.

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