Distance Education Policy

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) adopts the following policies regarding web-based education:

SPSCC will offer online, virtual, and hybrid courses in addition to in-person classes.

SPSCC and faculty teaching online, virtual, and hybrid classes will comply with all federal guidelines for regular and substantive interaction in distance learning courses and programs.

Students should expect that all courses at SPSCC will use an online Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver some course content, and be prepared with adequate internet and technological resources to access such content.

For each class, including in-person classes, at SPSCC, faculty will, at a minimum, use the college-designated LMS to:

  1. Post the syllabus
  2. Post and maintain grades
  3. Perform college assessment activities

All faculty teaching online, virtual, and hybrid classes must complete a quality-review self-assessment of online instruction within their first quarter of teaching distance classes at SPSCC.
SPSCC will provide regular ongoing professional development opportunities to enhance distance instruction.

Distance Learning: Classes offered in online, virtual, and hybrid modalities.
Course modalities:

  1. In-Person (also called face-to-face) classes meet at scheduled times and locations.
  2. Online (also called asynchronous or self-paced) classes do not have scheduled meeting times. Students complete their course work through an internet-based learning management system.
  3. Virtual (also called synchronous) classes meet at scheduled times using internet-based communications applications.
  4. Hybrid classes are a mix of two or more of the above listed modalities.

Regular and Substantive Interaction: The Department of Education defines “regular and substantive interaction” as “engaging students in teaching, learning and assessment, that is consistent with the course content under discussion, and includes at least two of the following every week:

  • Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, physically or online, where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students;
  • Submitting an academic assignment;
  • Taking an assessment or an exam;
  • Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction;
  • Participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion that is assigned by the institution;
  • Interacting with an instructor about academic matters; and
  • Required discussion forum activity.