General Guidelines for Online Professional Development Courses (2007)

The rules, regulation and procedures contained in this document only apply to approved license renewal providers.

1. Course content must fit with Chapter 17 and the State Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) requirements for licensure renewal:
• Addresses needs evidenced in local school improvement plans
• Assists teachers in improving K-12 student learning
• Assists teachers in improving teaching evidenced through the adoption of practices, strategies, and information

2. Distance learning courses must be pre-approved by the appropriate license renewal coordinator. A complete syllabus must be available online and include the following information:
• Course description
• Course goals and objectives
• Course outline
• Bibliography of theoretical works that forms the basis of the content
• Listing of course requirements that are practical applications of concepts and their impact on students.
• Instructional strategies employed
• Hardware, software and connectivity requirements for students
• Competency-based evaluation criteria
• Timeline for completion of assignments

3. Courses delivered online must use the base formula of 15 hours per credit at the minimum, plus additional hours of reading, writing, research, or classroom application. (See Table 2)

4. Online courses must be as rigorous as courses offered in a face-to-face format.

5. Online courses must be taught by approved instructors, as judged by the license renewal coordinator from the agency administering the course.

6. Students enrolled in online courses must have access to a complete syllabus, an actual instructor and required materials or resources

7. Instructors must identify within the proposal, and utilize multiple documentation methods to monitor active student participation.

8. The local license renewal coordinator and instructor must determine how technical support will be provided to enrolled students.

9. The instructor must cooperate with all course evaluation procedures established by the BOEE and license renewal provider.

10. Online courses may be exclusively online, or a combination of face-to-face, mixed media, and online formats. Courses must have an interactive format including but not limited to: Student to student, instructor to individual student, instructor to whole group, student to instructor. The interactive format may be synchronous (interaction occurring at the same exact time) and/or asynchronous (interaction which does not need to occur at the same exact time).

11. Online courses must have a pre-determined schedule of assignments, interactions, and activities, with an established beginning and ending date.

12. The minimum and maximum enrollment for the course must be agreed upon by the local license renewal coordinator and the instructor.

Administrative guidelines (not part of the policy)

1. This group strongly recommends that a state-wide evaluation instrument be developed and utilized by all license renewal providers, and BOEE fund an external three-year longitudinal study of the impact of online staff development, including inter- and intra-agency findings.

2. Review current policies and thinking regarding guidelines about audience for courses across AEA boundaries and local provider approval, as well advertising.

3. Suggested rule change that graduate credit for online courses provided by in-state institutions be approved for teacher certification and re-licensure.

4. Yearly review of guidelines for online courses conducted by BOEE with representation by license renewal providers.