The UW-Madison Online Undergraduate Degree Programs are intended to reach and serve new student audiences. It is anticipated that these students will attend part-time, balancing learning, career, and family commitments.
To serve these students, it is imperative that courses offered as part of the UW-Madison Online Undergraduate Degree Program are intentionally designed to meet their needs. This policy presumes that courses will facilitate rich and engaging interaction that is the core of the L&S experience; however, that interaction will need to take place asynchronously. That is, to serve the scheduling needs of these students, all required and graded elements of the course (including any midterm or final exams), must be asynchronous, and synchronous sessions may not be mandatory.
Synchronous sessions may be used to supplement the core educational experience; however, instructors should be mindful of issues of equity and fairness for all students, including those who may not or cannot participate in synchronous activities.
Different strategies for achieving equity may include, but are not limited to:
- Polling students at the start of a term to help schedule sessions to maximize potential participation.
- Offering multiple synchronous sessions at different times and days during a given week.
- Recording synchronous sessions and making those recordings available after a meeting.
- Providing opportunities for students to submit questions before and after a synchronous session.