Distance Education


In addition to offering high quality, traditional face-to-face classroom learning, courses across the University use various learning technologies in different ways. 

Distance education is a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction (interaction between students and instructors and among students) in the course occurs when the students and instructors are not in the same place.

Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. A distance education course may use the internet; one-way or two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; or video cassettes, DVD’s and CD-ROMS if used as part of the distance learning course or program.

The University offers two types of Distance Education courses:

·         Blended Course

      A Blended Course has significant portions of the course delivered both online and face-to-face. The face-to-face meetings may include but are not limited to lectures, active learning sessions, learner centered discussions, group work projects, presentations, posters, demonstrations, performance art, movies, laboratory experiences and assessments. Portions of the blended course are mediated by technology.

·         Online Course

      An Online Course has few face-to-face meetings, if any, and the face-to-face meetings are typically limited to orientations or capstone events. The course may include face-to-face proctored exams. Learners of an online course have little or no expectation of meeting the instructor face-to-face. The entire course is mediated by technology.

Testing Policy

In the administration of all examinations, the test-takers and the University have rights, responsibilities and duties.

Test-takers have a responsibility to:   

  • Begin the test on time.

  • Demonstrate academic integrity during the testing session. Cheating behavior on a test includes, but is not limited to: talking during a test administration, looking on someone else’s paper, using notes or resources of any kind, unauthorized access to the test, duplicating or sharing test content in any format, or going back to a previous test section after time has been called.

Test-takers have a right to:

  •  Receive the results of their test.

  •  Review their test results with an academic counselor, advisor, or faculty.

The University has a duty to:

  •  Assure that results of a test are used in a manner appropriate to the intended purpose.

  •  Assure confidentiality of an individual(s) test results.  Access will be limited to University officials authorized to review scores.

  •  Provide a clock. 

The procedures associated with violation of academic integrity are found within the Academic Honesty section of the Student Handbook. 

Notification of Proctored Examinations in Distance Education Courses 

Distance education is a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction in the course occurs when the students and faculty are not in the same place. The University offers distance education courses and programs to provide students with additional flexibility to choose instructional environments that meet their needs. Distance education courses at the University are designated blended or online. A blended course has significant portions of the course delivered both online and face-to-face. An online course has few face-to-face meetings, if any, and the face-to-face meetings are typically limited to orientations or capstone events. Any distance education course requiring the use of proctored examinations will be labeled either Blended, Proctored or Online, Proctored within the “Instructional Method” field in WebServices. This information will also be clearly stated in the course section syllabus.   

Proctoring Policy for Distance Education Courses

In addition to existing academic policies concerning academic integrity, students attending a distance learning course need to follow policies and procedures that apply to distance learning courses. This may include the need to complete online exam(s) in a proctored setting. The student is responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary computer hardware, software, and Internet connectivity necessary for the completion of the examination. Students must check the course site within the Learning Management System (LMS) to determine if any special software is needed.

Faculty will provide advance online exercises to determine that students do have appropriate access to and the technical capacity for completing the examination.

Students should check both WebServices and the course syllabus within the LMS for information regarding the need to take proctored exams. If the faculty member requires proctored exams, it should be clearly stated.  Proctoring options are as follows:

Option One: The faculty member may establish a specific date, time, and classroom for students to come to the University and complete the exam with the faculty member or a designated employee within their Academic Unit. This information should be conveyed to students clearly and well before the exam date. 

Option Two: The student may secure suitable proctoring for the exam in accordance with the University’s exam proctoring protocol for online courses (See below). 

Finding a Qualified Proctor: When a proctor is required, the student is responsible for securing a qualified proctor to administer each exam and submitting the proctored exam form. The proctor must be a teacher, professor, or administrator in a nearby high school, college, university, library or testing center. Any fees incurred are the student’s responsibility. Family members, friends or co-workers may not proctor exams for students.

Submitting the Proctored Exam Form: Before submitting the form, students must secure a qualified proctor with whom they have arranged the date, time, and location for their exam. Students must complete and submit a proctored exam form (available in myPortal) for each exam (even if they use the same proctor). The form must be submitted to the faculty member via University email or as specified in the course syllabus no later than one week prior to the exam date. Students who do not submit proctored exam forms or who submit their forms late may forfeit the opportunity to take their exam and will be subject to faculty or departmental make-up policies. Students and proctors will receive an email confirmation from the faculty member upon acceptance of the proctored exam form. If confirmation is not received within 24 hours of the exam, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the faculty member for clarification or confirmation.

Proctored exam approval and procedures: Exam materials will be made available to proctors via a password-protected, secure website from noon Central Standard Time (CST) the day before the exam until midnight CST on the exam day. The faculty member is responsible for providing this access. Students must complete exams no later than the date and time specified within the course syllabus. In the case of paper and pencil examinations, proctors are responsible for returning all exam materials by fax or email immediately following completion of the exam. Detailed instructions including the secure web address, fax number, and return e-mail address will be included in the email sent to proctors shortly before the date of the exam. If students or proctors do not follow the exam procedures, the exam may be forfeited.

Option Three: The student may take the exam online and proctored by ProctorU at designated dates and times specified by the faculty. 

Requirements and Cost: Online exams taken via ProctorU require a computer with a webcam and microphone for visual and audio proctoring by a trained proctor and will involve a cost to the student which must be paid online via credit/debit card at the time of the exam. 

The Proctoring Policy for Distance Education Courses and Proctored Exam form are available within the Educational Technology Documents and Forms in myPortal.