Blended and Online Course Faculty Expectations

Policy Name:  Blended and Online Course Design

Policy Number: ACA – 1005

Effective:  2016/04                                                                                                                        

Revised:  2019/04


Policy Statement

Blended and Online Course Faculty Expectations

Best Practices in online teaching are student centric in that these practices have students’ interests as their core. Integrating learning activities to promote engagement with the subject matter and with the students, requires cognitive and affective methodologies. These concepts are implemented for teaching, communicating with, and coaching students towards performance which will result in academic achievement. Faculty are expected to review and update the course shell prior to the beginning of the course and to follow all policies as stated in the course syllabus. The following expectations provide general guidance to effective online instruction based on current best practice. Each school may create specific expectations in each category that meet or exceed those listed.


Interactions with Students

Create a friendly, engaging, online community of learners through the use of a non- authoritarian style response and responsiveness to students by:

  • Sending students an email the week before the course starts to welcome them to the course.
  • Holding virtual office hours two to three times per week
  • Responding to student questions and concerns within 24 hours or sooner or as specified in the course syllabus
  • Being flexible to student needs as much as possible and
  • Reaching out to students who are struggling
  • Complying with any other school specific requirements


Online Discussion

Online discussion posts should demonstrate an effort to make individual connections with students,promoting a professional learning environment,using problem solving skills to deal with concerns, instructional presence, intellectual presence, professional expertise, promoting a positive and moving-forward learning environment. Faculty should play an active role in online discussion. How they are involved may vary depending on the course and school expectations. Faculty should clearly state how and when they will participate in course discussion boards.

The following recommendations are standard practices in online discussion and should serve as guides to schools and faculty:

  1. Faculty respond to all introductions posted by This helps to create a learning community and establish relationships (see section 4.2.1)
  2. Faculty respond to each student’s initial discussion board This helps to keep the student engaged and to know that the instructor is an active participant.
  3. Faculty intervene if online discussion goes off track and/or if it becomes inappropriate.
  4. Faculty respond to an identified percentage of student
  5. Faculty comply to any other school specific requirements


Announcements & Emails

Announcements and emails are critical components of blended and online courses. Especially in the fully online course, these forms of communication may be the only type used for interacting with students. Faculty are expected to:

  1. Post an announcement at the beginning of the course welcoming the students to the class, outlining the instructor-specific guidelines on late work, APA requirements, and explaining any other expectations of
  2. Post weekly announcements, by 11:59PM on an identified evening, providing a summary of the prior module, a transition and introduction of the upcoming module, and any
  3. Respond to emails, phone calls, discussion board posts directed at the instructor within 24 hours.
  4. Comply with any other school specific requirements.



Course grading policies must be clearly stated in the syllabus and communicated effectively to students. The use of rubrics and narrative feedback is considered essential in blended and online courses. Faculty should comply with the following:

  1. For each assignment, provide a grade with narrative feedback within one week of the due
  2. Provide substantive feedback throughout the grading rubric, focusing particularly on those critical elements where points have been deducted and areas in which the student would benefit from additional insight.
  3. Grade according to the policy as stated in the course syllabus.
  4. Follow the stated late policy in the course syllabus and reach out to the student reminding them of the late
  5. Monitor student performance and reach out to struggling
  6. Submit final grades on time to Web
  7. Comply with any other school specific requirements.