Application for Majority Online Courses and Programs

Majority Online Courses Approvals

To obtain approval to teach a majority online course at UMW (that is, a course which is 50% or more online) submit a majority online course proposal to the Distance & Blended Learning Committee via the CIM system. In addition to the proposal, applicants must also include a copy of the course syllabus and the signed Online Course Authorization Form. The proposal requires approval in CIM from the applicant’s chair or dean before the committee’s review. The committee reviews that approval as support that the applicant is prepared to teach online, whether through past online teaching experiences, training in online teaching, or other methods.

Note: Full proposals are not reviewed past the semester deadlines. Information about temporary, emergency designation is included further below.

Please complete the proposal using the CIM system (attach the online course authorization form).

Part 1: Proposal Form Completed in CIM, which includes the following questions:

  1. Briefly describe the online environment that you imagine for the course.  Questions to consider: How will you create this environment? Where will your course live? How do you plan to use tools such as Domain of One’s Own, Canvas, Open Educational Resources, etc.? What other digital learning tools will you use? How will students be introduced to the online environment? How can students address technical issues that may arise within the online environment?
  2. Briefly discuss your plan for engaging students and building community in the course.  Questions to consider: How will you welcome students into your course? How will you engage students through the course? How will you build community in an online environment? What tools and activities will you use to encourage community? How will you support students struggling with the complications of learning at a distance?
  3. Briefly discuss your plans for making the course accessible.  Questions to consider: How do you plan to incorporate accessibility into your course (e.g., supporting students with visual impairments, hearing impairments, learning disabilities, neurodiversity, etc.)? How will you confirm your course is accessible? What specific tools will you use to help with building an accessible course?
  4. Briefly discuss your plans for assessment in the course.  Questions to consider: What kinds of assessments will be included in your course (Self-assessment, peer-assessment, rubrics, contract grading, collaborative work)? How will you adapt your assessment approach to an online environment?

Part 2 for Single Instructor Approval: Attach Course Syllabus

Attach a syllabus for the majority online course you are proposing including a description, learning outcomes, major assignments, basic structure, course calendar and any other components that will be unique to the online version of your course.

Part 2 for All Instructor Approval: Attach Sample Course Syllabus

A department chair or dean can submit for “all instructor’” approval for a course by completing the proposal process above and including “all instructor” on the proposal form (for “Faculty Name”). Attach a sample syllabus for the majority online course being proposed, including a description, learning outcomes, major assignments, basic structure, course calendar and any other components that will be unique to the online version of your course. Bold items that will remain fixed across all offerings of the course. 

To assist with an efficient review process, remember to attach the online course authorization form.

Emergency Majority Online Course Approvals

The Distance & Blended Learning Committee will consider a chair’s requests for emergency majority-online course designations in the event that such designation is necessary for a department or program in an upcoming semester. The request should include the chair’s rationale for why the course needs to be offered majority-online, how the course is appropriate for an online format, and how the instructor has prepared for online teaching. Requests are only considered in situations where staffing assignments are made after the committee’s deadline for proposals for that semester.

Requests for emergency majority online course designation involve an abbreviated proposal process. All proposals must be submitted through CIM. Emergency designations are made for a specific semester only and any further designation must be made through the normal proposal process. A course may only be taught by a specific instructor one time under an emergency approval. If the same instructor is teaching the same course online in future semesters, the instructor and course must go through a full approval process. Emergency proposals are reviewed by the committee chair. The committee will process emergency applications as quickly as possible. (See the proposal instructions for requesting emergency majority online course designation.)

Process for Requesting Emergency Majority Online Course Designation

Full proposals are not reviewed past the semester deadlines. Emergency majority online course designation involves an abbreviated proposal process. Emergency applications are processed by the committee as quickly as possible.

The chair should submit the request via CIM. Answer #1 on the proposal discussing the “instructor’s preparation” for teaching online. For all remaining questions on the proposal, enter “for emergency designation” as the response. Attach (1) the completed course authorization form and (2) the statement of rationale discussing why the department/program needs the course to be offered majority online and how the course is appropriate for an online format.

Continuing and Professional Studies Mini-Course Approvals

Applications for approval for CPS mini-courses must include an outline of the course, including learning outcomes, and a statement of how CPS plans to ensure that the instructor meets the committee’s requirements (has either taught online previously or has taken training in online instruction).  Applications are due at least 3 weeks before the course is offered, and the committee will turn around the approval within a week.  The chair will review these applications.  The committee will only review applications during the semester, not over breaks.

Additional Materials for Majority Online Course Proposals