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School of Design + Construction Policies + Procedures

9.5 Distance Learning Guidelines


In a remote learning format, the opportunity to engage wider audiences in our course content and extra-curricular activities is possible.  However, opening up virtual platforms also requires care in order that student privacy is protected.  The following guidelines are meant to provide direction for faculty and students in the virtual format in order to provide consistency in our distance learning methods and to ensure that our practices are protecting students in accordance with FERPA. As distance learning will fluctuate between entirely remote, hybrid and face to face with some distance, this document is intended to be adaptable to the format of teaching as directed by the university at any given time.

Course Management

All classes in the SDC must use the WSU approved learning management platforms of Blackboard or Canvas (starting 2021).  Facebook, Conceptboard, Google Drive, Dropbox, and other communications and file sharing software may be used to augment the course. However, the syllabus, turning in assignments, rubrics, grades, and communication should occur through the WSU approved Blackboard and Canvas platforms or other WSU approved communications channels like WSU Email, MS Teams, or One Drive.  Further, all course related sessions and meetings are to occur in authenticated WSU approved Zoom or MS Teams platform. Post the Zoom session link to students on Blackboard or Canvas only. You may occasionally share such a link via WSU Email (e.g. when a student has difficulty accessing the meeting session. This is for privacy protection of students according to FERPA and for consistency across the university system for the benefit of the students.

Guest Reviewers and Speakers

Instructors may invite faculty colleagues, students from other classes and guests to join their virtual classroom. Faculty may invite guests external to WSU to their class by sending the guest an authenticated Zoom link.  Further, if faculty would like to make the guest lecture available to students and faculty not affiliated with the class, the faculty member should send the authenticated Zoom link to the relevant faculty member, school director/department chair, who will make it available to the appropriate student cohorts to attend the lecture. Advertising for said guest lectures with the authenticated Zoom link will be made through the university email system. Avoid publishing the Zoom link in a public webpage or social media platform.

Guest lectures may be recorded, as with any class session, however the instructor should seek for verbal permission from the guest prior to recording.  Recordings are to be shared on WSU approved platforms including Blackboard or Canvas, NOT social media.

Face to Face Exception Request

Faculty may request an exception to offer a course, session or extra-curricular experience face to face by following the procedures outlined by the Provost:

Club Lectures and Meetings

Student clubs may decide to host a guest lecture outside of the curriculum via Zoom using the university Zoom system.  In such cases, students may advertise the guest lecture via the SDC social media channels.  Contact Jaime Rice for social media advertising. Student clubs may use MS Teams or Zoom if they desire, to hold club meetings, however it is not required. Student clubs should coordinate with their respective faculty advisor for access to schedule such meetings on Zoom or MS Teams as needed.

Clubs should remain aware of social distancing protocols from WSU that discourage face to face meeting. Clubs may seek permission to meet face to face for special projects such as service learning or competitions on rare occasion. Clubs should coordinate with their assigned faculty advisor to submit an exception request to offer a face to face engagement.

Copyright Permissions

In remote learning format, SDC policies 9.1 Copyright License Best Practices, 9.2 Best Practices Regarding Human Subjects, 10.2 Copyright License Form for a Course, and 10.3 Copyright License Form for Any and All Courses are still in effect.  Therefore, faculty members must receive permission to publish or post to social media student work from any curricular activity or assignment. Further, after obtaining permission, faculty must acknowledge the student as the author of the work.

Faculty may use the following survey link to administer copyright permissions for their classes.  Using this form, each class will need to have a unique survey filled out by the students.

 Synchronous and Asynchronous Activities in Distance Learning

In order to meet the requirements from the NWCCU accreditor of the university, instructors must provide regular and synchronous learning opportunities for students. WSU recognizes that many students taking courses remotely have access issues or obligations that make meeting a full synchronous pattern of five courses very difficult if not impossible. Not all scheduled hours of a distance course need be conducted synchronously if at least some are. In other words, the course might meet synchronously one or two times a week, with the other time structured in asynchronous activities. The expectation is that faculty are engaging with students in the course space as frequently as they would be meeting with students in classrooms, even though it may not all be happening in real-time interaction.

The synchronous component of a course must take place during the meeting pattern stated in the Schedule of Classes. While the specific nature of synchronous opportunities will necessarily vary, merely offering open office hours is not sufficient to meet the regulation.

Synchronous activities can be recorded (Zoom, Panopto) for students who are quarantining or ill.

Additional Resources During Distance Learning:

DRAFT 11.04.2020