College of the Desert strives to ensure that distance learning is characterized by the same expectations for quality, integrity, and effectiveness that apply to more traditional modes of instruction.
In face-to-face courses, regular instructor/student contact occurs at each class meeting via lecture, discussion, and other in-classroom teaching/learning methods. According to Title 5 and the Distance Education Guidelines for the California Community Colleges, each community college must have a policy regarding regular effective contact between instructor and student (including the nature and frequency of the contact) in any course that is fully or partially conducted through DE.
All DE courses at COD, including hybrid courses, will include regular effective contact as per the following:
Initiated interaction: Instructors will regularly initiate interaction with students on a one-to-one and/or group basis. In doing so, the instructor should be, on a regular basis, cognizant of the degree to which students are participating in the course – similar to how a face-to-face instructor is constantly aware of how many students are attending class. Providing students with an open-ended question forum, although appropriate, does not constitute the entirety of effective instructor initiated interaction.
Frequency and duration: In a DE course, the frequency and duration of contact should be comparable to that of the “equivalent” face-to-face course. At the very least, the number of instructor contact hours per week that would be available to face-to-face students will also be available, in asynchronous and/or synchronous mode, to DE students. Given the nature and variety of DE contact, especially asynchronous contact, it is not expected that contact will necessarily occur during well-defined blocks of time as in a face-to-face course. Nevertheless, over the course of the week, an individual student can expect contact that is comparable in frequency and duration to that which would be experienced in an “equivalent” face-to-face course.