UDC Online Learning Environment
The virtual classroom experience is not self-paced or correspondence-based. Rather, online courses demand weekly or daily interaction. Students should expect to be actively engaged in deliberation, discussion, and collaboration. Rigorous and rewarding, online courses are equivalent to traditional courses in their shared standards of learning expectations. The amount of time needed for student participation will depend upon the requirements of the course as well as technological capacity. Online learning requires motivation, self-discipline, and a strong ability for time management.
Online & Hybrid Overview
UDC offers over 100 online and hybrid/blended courses. Fully integrated online and hybrid courses are currently offered in the College of Arts and Sciences; School of Business and Public Administration; College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences; and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as well as our Community College. UDC’s hybrid/blended course offerings are more widely available across various disciplines.
Online & Hybrid Educators
Faculty must be certified to teach online at UDC. Faculty in all areas at the University are engaged in building new online and hybrid/blended courses. The Center for the Advancement of Learning (C.A.L.) provides faculty with various online certification options. C.A.L. ensures that faculty are gaining knowledge on course design and best practices for online learning. C.A.L.’s mission is to provide faculty with the necessary tools and technologies for designing and developing their online/hybrid courses. For detailed information about online learning certification at UDC, see this page; click here for a video overview of the process.
Quality Assurance in Online Education
One of several tools used to assess the quality of online courses at the University of the District of Columbia is the Quality Matters rubric. Quality Matters (QM) is a leader in quality assurance for online education and has received national recognition for its peer-based approach to continuous improvement in online education and student learning.
Integrity and Authenticity
C.A.L. maintains a variety of applications and security levels to ensure authenticity, identity validation of students, and student work.
- We use a central authentication source to verify learners via a single sign-on system.
- Learners logging into the learning management system authenticate prior to gaining access to the system and its content.
- Faculty are encouraged to use password protected assignments and assessments.
- C.A.L. maintains applications within the learning management system to validate user identity and protect integrity of submitted work.
- Respondus LockDown browser is an application used in courses to protect academic integrity.
- Safe-Assign is an application employed within sources to monitor plagiarism.
Important Institutional Definitions
Hybrid/Blended Course: A course that combines online and face-to-face (F2F) instruction utilizing Blackboard. Physical meeting times must be listed in the Schedule of Courses. 20-79% online activities = Hybrid/blended course. Designated as: H
Online Course: A broad term that includes Distance Education courses and Blended Instruction. A course that provides most or all instruction over the internet and has no required on-campus components, with the exception of proctored assignments or exams when applicable. 80-100% online activities = Online course. Designated as: O
Traditional Course: A course that meets entirely face-to-face; may utilize Blackboard as an enhancement. 0-19% online = Traditional course or technology enhanced traditional course. Designated as: T
H– Hybrid/Blended Course; 0– Online Course; T– Traditional Course