Overview and History of Distance Education
The mission of Teaching and Learning Services is to support instructors and program directors in enhancing meaningful and engaging student learning opportunities. One important role in providing this support is through distance learning and online course and program development.
Fort Lewis College approved its first online course in 2014 and has continued to expand online course offerings since that time. Currently, online courses in the catalog exist within a variety of departments. Online courses are part of an overall institutional goal to provide options and scheduling flexibility for students in order to graduate in four years and to engage with regional educators in hybrid and online program for graduate studies. Offering distance education courses during summer sessions has increased the number of students who can enroll at Fort Lewis College while working or living away from campus. Currently, FLC is waiting HLC review and approval to offer multiple fully online programs across campus, the first being the Ski Operations Certificate and a Master’s in Education.
Distance Education Policy & Process
Teaching and Learning Services, with approval of Faculty Senate, created the Distance Education Policy & Process in 2018. The policy includes definitions of both hybrid and online instructional types, the role of Teaching and Learning Services, and requirements and expectations for distance education faculty and courses, including the qualifications, course development process, quality review, course ownership, and faculty compensation.
Faculty Training & Compensation
According to Higher Learning Commission’s Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education, “Faculty responsible for delivering the on-line learning curricula and evaluating the students’ success in achieving the on-line learning goals are appropriately qualified and effectively supported.” In 2018, FLC launched its training course for faculty teaching in online and hybrid courses. The training course, Designing for Impact in Distance Education, is a 15-week course that prepares instructors for with the necessary skills to successfully teach online. It runs every fall and spring semester.
Faculty receive a $2000 stipend for development of a new online course, and $1000 for teaching the first online section of that course, considering that they have met the requirements outlined in the policy and the Course Development Agreement.
Hybrid course designers are eligible to receive a $1000 stipend for designing a new hybrid course in which 50% or more is online, as well as $500 for teaching the first hybrid section of that course.
List of FLC Approved Online & Hybrid Courses
Visit the Registrar’s Office Website for the most current list of approved distance education courses at FLC.
Quality Matters Course Evaluation
Teaching and Learning Services, in collaboration with course designers, evaluate online and hybrid courses using the Quality Matters rubric. Fort Lewis College is a member of Quality Matters.