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The American Distance Education Consortium


ADEC Guiding Principles for the Development of Distance Learning Policies

(Approved by the ADEC Board of Directors on March 26, 2003)

Needs Assessment — State and land-grant institutions should collect local, regional needs and national assessments from multiple sources in order to coordinate statewide needs assessments to be used in planning for distance learning programs and services.

Quality Criteria — Distance learning programs should result in learning outcomes appropriate to the rigor and breadth of the degree/certificate awarded. Programs should be coherent, comprehensive, and developed with appropriate discipline and pedagogical rationale. Each program should provide for significant interaction, whether real time or delayed interaction, between faculty and students and among students.

Program/Course Support Services — State and land-grant institutions providing distance learning programs should have appropriate faculty and student support services for teaching and learning via electronic delivery.

Institutional Evaluation — State and land-grant institutions offering the program should evaluate the program's educational effectiveness including assessments of learning outcomes and student and faculty satisfaction.

Student Services — Enrolled on- and off-campus students should have comparable access to the range of student services appropriate to support their learning.

Admissions — Information and advice about requirements for admission to state and land-grant institutions and admission to a specific program should be available to distance learning students.

Financial Aid — To the extent that federal and other financial aid policies can support the distance learner, state and land-grant institutions should work toward comparability of aid programs for both on-and off-campus students.

Advising — Comparable advising services should be made available to both on- and off- campus students.

Library — Appropriate library services must be made available to distance learning students.

Compensation and Recognition — Good teaching should be rewarded for both on- and off-campus instruction, increased loads resulting from the use of distance learning technologies, and for pioneering or significant efforts in the application of technology.

Training — Faculty new to distance education should attend training sessions or demonstrate competency to effectively teach over distance learning systems.

Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright — State and land-grant institutions should establish a policy on intellectual property rights and copyright in the instructional technology context.

Infrastructure Support — Centralized support should be used to help build the distance education infrastructure and ongoing infrastructure expenses.

Student Enrollments — State and land-grant institutions students should be counted for credit enrollment purposes regardless of the location or time of course enrollment, or the unit providing the course (continuing education or regular college units).

Co-mingling of Courses — State and land-grant institutions should develop procedures that permit the commingling of students in credit courses/programs from on- and off-campus units, regardless of the source of registration.

Accessibility — Accessible Web pages should be created for all core institutional information such as course work, registration, advising, admission, catalogs, and student services information.

Prepared by members of distance learning policy collaboratory:

Valorie McAlpin, University of Maryland-College Park
Larry Coyle, University of Minnesota Alan Escovitz, Ohio State

University Group Members:
Arnold Bateman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Jim King, University of Nebraska
Sue Day-Perroots, West Virginia University
Barbara Kirby, North Carolina State University
Ken Mudge, Cornell University
Debbie Robison, University of Missouri
Carmen Gonzales, New Mexico State University
Betty Red Leaf, Little Priest College

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Last Updated: April 28, 2003