Connected Campus

4.8 Distance and Correspondence Education

 

An institution that offers distance or correspondence education documents each of the following: 

 

4.8.1 demonstrates that the student who registers in a distance or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the credit by verifying the identity of a student who participates in class or coursework by using, at the option of the institution, methods such as (a) a secure login and pass code, (b) proctored examinations, or (c) new or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) offers a quality distance education program for training in church-related vocations. It does not offer correspondence courses. The goal of the distance education program is to provide a quality educational experience through the Seminary’s portal used in distance education (www.midamericanondemand.org). Enrollment occurs through the normal registration process as each student is assigned a user name and a password by the Registrar. The password meets a high level of security as set by the course management system provider (Moodle/Remote-Learner.net). The Mid-America On Demand website screenshot demonstrates that a user name and password are required [1]. 

 

During the course, students are required to interact with one another and the professor weekly through assignments, chat rooms, and weekly student interactive forums. Usually, two proctored exams are given during each course, in addition to various quizzes and other assignments. Proctors must be approved by the professor and must sign the Proctor Agreement [2]. The professor emails the exams to the proctor and the student takes the exam in the presence of the proctor, or the professor uses the course management software to create online tests and quizzes. In either case, a proctor must enter an examination key for the test or quiz to be taken [3]. Upon completion, the student uploads the exam document into the online assignment upload block in view of the proctor or the proctor emails the exam in .pdf format to the professor of record. The exam is viewable and accessible only by the professor and the online course administrator.

 

4.8.2 has a written procedure for protecting the privacy of students enrolled in distance and correspondence education courses or programs.

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative

 

MABTS employs a Distance Education Privacy Policy [4], which speaks to the privacy of coursework, grades, online posts, and emails. It also addresses the grievance policy if a student feels his privacy has been violated. 

 

The MABTS Distance Education Privacy Policy is as follows:

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to protect the privacy of students enrolled in distance education courses through the following means: 1) A student’s coursework is viewable only by the course professor unless the student gives permission for specific papers to be shared with others. 2) A student’s grades are viewable only by the student, the professor, and the registrar’s office. 3) A student’s posts to online forums are considered part of the open class discussion and meet best practices expectations for student to student and student to professor interaction. Students should not have expectations of privacy for posts to these forums. 4) A student’s emails or instant messaging to the professor are considered private and should not be made available to other students. However, should a student’s communication violate seminary policies or include information that a professor is legally obligated to report, such communication does not have expectation of confidentiality. 5) Students who believe their privacy has been violated should contact the professor first. If no satisfactory result occurs, the student may appeal through the chain of authority: to the department chair, then the Chair of the academic program, then the Academic Vice-President [5].

 

4.8.3 has a written procedure distributed at the time of registration or enrollment that notifies students of any projected additional student charges associated with verification of student identity.

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

The institution does not levy additional student charges associated with the verification of student identity.

 

Documentation

 

1. Mid-America On Demand Website

2. MABTS Proctor Agreement

3. Online Access Key for Proctor

4. MABTS Distance Education Privacy Policy

5. Student Grievance Policy and Procedure

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