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Instructional Responsibilities

Davenport University

Online Instructor Responsibilities


1. Course Preparation:

  • Prepare the course according to the guidelines and time frame provided by your Associate Department Chair (ADC).

  • Maintain the course continuity and design. All materials, including pictures, video and articles, must have written Intellectual Property permissions for use in the online course; therefore, nothing should be embedded into the course that has not been discussed with the ADC. Instructors may provide links or directions to resources to augment and support Learning Objectives in the course.

  • Post two online office hours each week for every course taught in a session. These should be the same hours weekly, if possible, and may be broken into two 1 hour sessions. Please use Blackboard (Bb) Collaborate or Bb instant message (IM) for office hours.

  • Prepare an Introduction and Course Expectations session via Collaborate for the first week of class. During this session you should introduce yourself and make students aware of the expectations of the course, policies, assignments, etc. This session can be live or previously recorded with a Q & A session during an office hour. Student attendance at a live session must be optional, and live sessions must be recorded for later asynchronous playback. These resources may be helpful:

2.  Communication and Availability

  • Insure that all written communication between faculty and students takes place either in the course or via Davenport e-mail. Check regularly for student questions and concerns. Do not use personal or other business e-mail accounts to communicate with students. Effectively communicate with students asynchronously using the Bb platform as the primary method of instruction. Synchronous communication with students must also be made available. Synchronous communication methods include telephone, Bb Collaborate, Bb IM, or Google Hangout.

  • Respond to student questions and concerns in a timely and professional manner. The recommendation is for instructors to respond to students within 24-48 hours. Minimum expectations are to log in and actively engage by guiding discussions, providing instruction, and clarifying concepts at least 5 days per week with one of those days on the weekend. For 15 week courses, consult with your ADC for specific expectations on timing.

  • Notify your ADC immediately of any difficulties that prevent communicating with learners in the Blackboard format, and provide an alternate plan of communication. Courses cannot be left unattended for longer than 48 hours.

  • Be accessible via Davenport e-mail for 15 days before the class begins for preparation, and 30 days after the class ends to aid in any grade issues or appeals. Student grade appeals come first to the instructor and must be addressed in a timely fashion. Your ADC should be made aware immediately of any appeals that you receive.

3.  Course Management

  • Abide by any specific departmental policies and procedures, including the use of the Student Alert and Incident reporting forms for issues related to learner concerns, and the University Attendance Policy. It is required that attendance be submitted for all 100 level and below courses up to the last day to withdraw with a “W” grade.  Attendance must be submitted for all 200 level and above courses for the first two weeks of the semester and/or session.

  • Personally welcome each student on the Introduction board with more than “welcome to class.”

  • Create a supportive learning environment where students are encouraged to participate and progress throughout the course. This should encompass a variety of instructional techniques that support various learning styles. If you need guidance, your ADC and Teaching and Learning Coordinators (TLCs) are available as resources.

  • Return grades on assignments with quality constructive feedback. As a rule of thumb, discussion boards should be graded within 3 days of due dates and assignments graded within 5 days of due dates with a maximum time between assignment due date and grade of no more than 7 days.

  • Provide feedback and interaction within the course that is consistent, substantive, and professional to maximize learning and engagement. Comments should be specific in nature and go beyond “good job” or “well done.” Expectations for interaction in the Discussion Board, journals, labs, etc. will vary from course to course; consult with your ADC for specific requirements.

  • Be open and encourage feedback from learners on the course's direction and methods of instruction.  Strongly support the completion of student evaluations of the course.

  • Submit final grades and last attendance date (LAD) by the date required to the University. You must also enter a letter grade into the Bb grade book. If there is an issue entering grades, immediately contact your ADC. If a student requests an Incomplete, he or she must submit the correct form to you. It is then your responsibility to allow or deny the request (70% of course work must be completed – consult your ADC if you need guidance). Complete the form, and forward it to your ADC in a timely manner. You must also follow up with the student to ensure that the work is completed by the deadline you gave, and then submit a change of grade form to the Director of Academic Services for Online.

  • Use all rubrics that are embedded in the course. Use of the rubric for the Required Assessment Assignment (RAA) is mandatory and must be included with feedback and assignment grade returned to students. Some courses require Excellence System rubric assessment on the RAA as well - you will be notified if this is expected.