Request to offer an online undergraduate course during the academic year

Departments must request approval before offering an undergraduate course an online format for the first time during the academic year. This policy goes in effect Fall 2020.

Departments must request permission to teach a course in an online format when it meets all these conditions:

  • It is designed as online-only or mostly online (75% of more of the instructional contact is happening online); AND
  • It is designed for undergraduates (departments do not need permission to teach graduate courses in an online format); AND
  • It will be offered in a fall or spring term (departments do not need permission to teach summer term courses in an online format); AND
  • It will be offered in a fall/spring semester for the first time. (Courses already offered online in the fall/spring semester have provisional approval to continue to be offered until Fall 2023).

Request permission to offer undergraduate online course 

To see the approval status of a course, see L&S undergraduate courses approved to be offered online in Fall or Spring semesters

To request permission to offer an undergraduate course online during the fall/spring semester, departments must:

(1) Gather proposal materials:
    • a syllabus that reflects the online instructional mode and meets campus syllabus guidelines
    • a link to the online CANVAS course if it has already been taught online; otherwise departments may provide documentation of the course design, digital materials, and student experience by providing a completed course map and rhythm document.
    • submit a Lumen Course proposal to add course learning outcomes to our systems (if this has not yet been done).
(2) The proposal materials must be reviewed and approved by:
    • the department's curriculum committee
    • the department's chair/director
(3) The chair/director should submit materials, with their recommendation for the course to be taught online to: Kimbrin Cornelius at kimbrin.cornelius@wisc.edu

Special Note-1: Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) online courses shared with CIC institutions will receive expedited review; contact Kimbrin Cornelius for additional information.

Special Note-2: Given the variable nature of topics courses, they cannot be permanently approved to be offered online. However, departments may request permission to teach any individual topic title online through this process. Approval will be specific to the term and topic title.

Special Note-3: L&S Learning Support Services (LSS) can advise on successful practices that support interactive and engaged online learning. Proposers are encouraged to request a no-cost consultation from LSS while preparing documentation of the course design, digital materials and student experience. Upon approval, LSS provides course development assistance on a fee-for-use basis.

Review of proposals

As is practice for current course proposals, requests to offer courses online will be administratively reviewed before they are forwarded to the L&S Curriculum Committee. In this case, administrative review will include LSS staff and have the additional focus of:
  • Whether the student enrollments are likely to include first and second year student
  • If students are required to take the online version to complete a requirement
  • Review of the instructional design of the course, to ensure it is aligned with current practices in online education
The L&S Curriculum Committee will review proposals as they would any other course change or new course proposal, with the additional consideration of the quality of the online instructional design, justification for offering an online version during the academic year, and potential impact on the freshman/sophomore student experience.

Generally speaking, an approval to offer a course online rolls forward automatically each semester. However, if a course’s content, design, enrollment or audience changes substantially, or if an issue is identified through regular L&S Admin monitoring, the L&S Curriculum Committee may require another review.

Deadlines

Departments must request permission to teach a course online in Fall 2020 by February 1, 2020. We recommend earlier submission in case the proposal needs revisions before it can be approved. If the deadline is not met, or the course is not approved to be offered online, the department must teach the course in another format.

Provisional approval for courses that have been previously offered online

The list of L&S undergraduate courses approved to be offered online in Fall or Spring semesters includes all L&S courses with provisional or permanent approval.

Courses recently offered online in a fall/spring semester (Fall 2017 or later, and before Fall 2020) were automatically given provisional to be offered until Fall 2023 and are on the list above. They must go the regular review process by Fall 2023 for permanent approval. Review of provisionally approved courses may be initiated by the department (by submitting the form) or by L&S Teaching and Learning Administration.

For additional questions, please contact Shirin Malekpour, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning (L&S) at shirin.malekpour@wisc.edu.

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