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Best Practices in Distance Education

The Best Practices Checklist is a self-study based on the Principles of Good Practice for Academic Degree and Certificate Programs and Credit Courses Offered Electronically, as well as on established quality measures for electronically delivered courses affirmed by the Online Learning Consortium, Quality Matters, SACSCOC, and THECB. The Best Practices Checklist is required for all electronic and online courses and serves as an agreement between the university and instructors that the highest quality electronic or online instructional materials are delivered to students.

Checklist Submission Requirements

A Checklist must be completed for every distance learning course by each faculty member who teaches the course. After a faculty member submits a Checklist, the Checklist is circulated to the department chair and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for approval.

Once the instructor of a course submits a completed Checklist, another Checklist for that course is not required from the same instructor for three years, unless the course undergoes substantial revision. Completion and collection of Best Practices Checklists ensure that quality standards in online learning are being met at our university in compliance with SACSCOC and THECB requirements.

Checklist Submission Deadlines

The agreement must be completed and submitted according to the following deadlines:

Courses taught in Fall: October 29
Courses taught in Spring: March 1
Courses taught in Summer I and II: July 1

Completing and Signing the Best Practices Checklist Electronically

You may complete and sign the Best Practices Checklist for Online and Hybrid Courses online.

Please note: The university is no longer using the fillable PDF form for the Best Practices Checklist. Instead, please complete the Best Practices Checklist online form, where you will be asked to sign in using your Net ID.

If you have any difficulty completing the Checklist online, please contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning (512.245.2322) for assistance. You may also download the the Checklist in PDF form for reference, but please do not submit this PDF form.

Additional Information on Completing the Checklist

Note that all items on the Best Practices Checklist for Online and Hybrid Courses may not apply to all online and hybrid courses, so you are not required to check all statements. In the comment box that follows the Checklist items, you may provide comments or explanation of why some Checklist items do not apply to your specific online or hybrid course.


Sources for Checklist Items

The sources for items on the Best Practices Checklists include policy from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), rules and principles from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and best practices as articulated by the Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan-C) and Quality Matters. The Checklist Sources Table provides complete, itemized source information.