Procedure 116.1.1

Senate Procedure 116.1.1

(Proposal 12-19)
(Proposal 52-20

1. Qualifications 

For Online Courses
In addition to meeting the general faculty qualification requirements, online instructors and
facilitators will need to: 

  • Demonstrate that they have training in the development, delivery, and assessment of
    online courses. Examples of how this may be demonstrated include, but are not limited
    • successful completion of Michigan Tech’s “Foundations of Online Teaching”
      course with the grade of a ‘B’ or better, OR
    • completion of an equivalent online teaching certification, training class, or
      program, OR
    • evidence of an equivalent combination of education and experience of teaching
      well designed online courses that met similar, or more rigorous, standards
      • experience may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to:
        demonstrating that previously taught online courses meet adopted
        standards, having taught courses certified to meet well known standards
        at another institution with similar policies, or having received
        commendations for online teaching. 
  • AND, show proficiency in operating the course learning management system (LMS).
    Examples of how this may be demonstrated include, but are not limited to:
    • successful completion of eLearning’s Canvas Introductory Workshop series, OR
    • evidence of an equivalent combination of training and/or experience sufficient to
      provide adequate skill using the course learning management system as a

For Remote Courses
In addition to meeting the general faculty qualification requirements, remote instructors and
facilitators will need to either be a qualified online instructor or complete a training program
hosted by the CTL (or otherwise approved equivalent training) focusing on general proficiency
with current university-supported:

  1. Synchronous conferencing solution
  2. LMS
  3. Video platform

Alternative Credentials
Instructors who believe they have achieved the qualifications (detailed above) for online or
remote instruction can submit their credentials to the provost’s office. Final determination of
qualifications will be completed by the provost’s office in consultation with the CTL. A list of
approved equivalent trainings/courses that meet the requirements of this policy (no further
review required) will be available on the CTL website. The provost’s office will maintain a list of
instructors approved to teach an online course at Michigan Tech. 

2. Review of Online Courses

Online Course review is intended to be an iterative, continuous improvement process. Reviews
are intended to help faculty move their courses towards what is considered best practice and
the initial review may indicate the course does not meet minimum standards. As long as faculty
are engaged in the process and are working towards review completion (see 2.4) initiating the
review before the deadlines specified is sufficient to meet the requirements outlined below.

2.1 Faculty Support 

Upon request, direct assistance with course development or modification will be available from
the CTL and trained peer reviewers. A rubric outlining the adopted standards will also be made
available to assist with online course development. 

2.2 Review Timing

Peer review for new and existing online courses will occur as outlined below: 

  • NEW online courses (those developed or transitioned to online delivery after the
    approval of this policy and procedure) will submit a plan for review to the provost’s office
    as part of the course creation process or as soon as it is known a traditional course will
    be transitioned to online. Course review should be initiated before the course is
    offered a second time.
  • For EXISTING online courses (those where development and initial offering predate the
    approval of this policy and procedure) the academic unit will submit a plan for getting all
    online courses reviewed to the provost’s office for approval before the start of Fall
    Semester 2020. Course review within the unit should be initiated within 18 months of
    policy approval.

Once a course review is completed (see 2.4 below), the course should be reviewed again
every three years or if substantial changes have been made.

Reviews may be initiated at any time at the request of the instructor.

2.3 Peer Reviewer Selection

Reviews will be conducted, in cooperation with the course instructor and/or designer, by two
peer reviewers appointed by the department chair or dean with input from the
instructor/designer. A list of eligible reviewers will be available on the CTL website.

2.4 Review Completion 

Reviews are intended to be iterative with open dialog between the instructor/designer and
review team, especially after the initial standards rubric evaluation and as modifications are

Online course review will be considered complete when standards have been met as
determined by peer reviewers. 

In the case where the instructor declines to implement the recommended revisions needed to
meet the minimum standards, the review will be considered finished but the course will be
determined to have not met minimum standards. 

3. Use of Online Course Reviews 

Peer reviews are conducted to provide feedback on how course design can be improved for
online delivery. Copies of the review rubric, in addition to any written comments from the peer
reviewers, will be provided to the instructor/designer (whoever is most directly responsible for
course design) of the course being reviewed. 

Upon completion of the review (when either the minimum standards have been met or the
instructor declines to implement the recommended revisions to meet minimum standards), the
review team will report whether the course met, or did not meet, minimum standards to the
provost’s office and to the department chair or school dean. 

In the case that a review finishes and the course does not meet minimum standards, copies of
the review rubric and written comments will additionally be provided by the review team to the
provost’s office so materials can be used to inform the next review. Materials will not be
collected nor kept by the provost’s office when courses are determined to meet or surpass

Any review conducted under this policy is strictly about the course and is not about assessing
faculty. Results of course peer review as outlined in this policy and supporting procedure must
not be used in an attempt to evaluate teaching effectiveness, nor be used in any part of the
promotion and tenure process.