New distance education policy proposed

Aretha Welch
Las Positas College’s teachers may soon have to adhere to a stricter set of regulations when it comes to communicating with their students online.
Scott Vigilon, LPC co-chair of Distance Education Committee, presented a new policy for archiving teacher/student exchanges for online classes. He made the presentation at an Oct. 24 academic senate meeting.
In essence the policy, which is yet to be approved by both the Curriculum Committee and the Distance Education Committee states that teachers must initiate “regular effective contact” with students and archive this communication.
Should LPC teachers fail to do so, the school runs the risk of having many of their accredited distance education courses reclassified as “correspondence” courses. This will mean a major decline in the amount of federal financial aid awarded to the school and its students.
For teachers it will mean sending or creating more blogs, announcements, discussion groups and emails within the blackboard system.
Vigilon said the blackboard system is setup to archive each online course and all exchanges which take place throughout the course. This will make the process of archiving almost effortless for most teachers.  Teachers who have set up an outside email to liaise with their online students will have to come up with a system to archive their work, or risk having their course reclassified and money taken away from the school.
The policy is now being reviewed by the Faculty Association’s lawyer, to look at how it will affect teacher job evaluations.


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