Online Course Policies and Procedures

Last updated 9/6/2018

Moodlemoodle graphic

As a student, you are expected to be familiar with the Moodle course management software. Materials, announcements, and assignments will be posted on Moodle, and you will need to refer to your course site often to check for new announcements and to meet all course requirements posted. For more information on how to use Moodle, go to http://libguides.viterbo.edu/moodleforstudents (from the Moodle login or home page, via “Student Resources”).

Technical Issues: Please check http://www.viterbo.edu/isitdown for system-wide issues. If you experience technical issues when attempting to submit work online, please report the problem to your instructor immediately. Instructors are able to verify submission attempts, but reporting must be done in a timely manner. For additional help, please contact helpdesk@viterbo.edu with the course name and section number, instructor name, and assignment name.

Online Etiquette*

  1. online conversationChoose your words carefully. The written word can be easily misinterpreted in discussion boards if you do not choose your words carefully. Avoid sarcasm and humor as it can be easily misinterpreted. Unlike a face to face course, students will not be able to see your facial expressions or hear the tone of your voice. Avoid frequent use of exclamation points and the use of strong language that may come across as being offensive.
  2. Write a rough draft and proof read before submitting! Write a rough draft of what you want to post first so that you can proof read it and remove any strong or offensive language before posting it. Also, proof read your post before submitting it. Misspelled words and poor grammar will reflect negatively on the credibility of your message you want to convey. It also appears unprofessional and sloppy.
  3. Avoid using acronyms and emoticons. DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS AS THIS IS REGARDED AS SHOUTING and is not acceptable in any classroom. Use of emoticons is regarded as less professional and should be limited or not used at all. Excessive use of acronyms may make the message difficult to read.
  4. Do not comment on another student’s post and the subsequent comments until you have read them thoroughly. After reading through the comments thoroughly and you have reflected on them, then post your response by adding something new to the discussion rather than just agreeing or disagreeing. Remember, you should further the discussion and your comments should reflect that you have read the assignment as well. Keep on topic and keep your thoughts organized and related to the week’s content.
  5. Be respectful. Be courteous. Be professional. The rules for etiquette in an online classroom are very similar to the etiquette for a face to face course.
  6. Report offensive behavior directly to the instructor via e-mail or telephone. Do not use the discussion board    for this purpose. Keep in mind that what you may find as offensive may have been unintended because other students may be new to the online format as well. The offensive behavior can be investigated and cleared up by the instructor.
  7. Discussion board should not be used for idle conversations, jokes, or other non-class related discussion. Stay on topic. You may use the Cyber Café (if available) for non-class related conversations.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is expected in all online courses. Student attendance in an online class is defined as active participation in the course as described in the course syllabus. For more details regarding the current online attendance policy at Viterbo University, please see the current year’s course catalog: http://www.viterbo.edu/registrar.

Guidelines for Online Attendance:

  • A student who has not logged into their online course during the first three days may be dropped from the course.
  • Instructors in online courses are responsible for providing students with clear instructions of the active participation requirements for the class. Instructors will state on the syllabus the specific expectations for active participation.
  • Completion of assignments is expected on a weekly basis. If a student has not logged into their online class for a period of seven days of longer, they may receive a failing grade or be administratively dropped from the course.
  • Faculty will report students who are not actively participating in their online course through the Starfish Early Alert System.
  • Students not able to participate in classes due to military obligations should refer to the Military Deployment policy.

Academic Integrity Policy

Maintaining a standard of academic honesty is a responsibility shared by the students, faculty and administration at Viterbo University. The faculty has the responsibility to create an atmosphere in which students may display their knowledge. This atmosphere includes sufficient safeguards to control dishonesty including an orderly testing room, restrictions on text messages, etc. Students have the responsibility to understand academic misconduct and to refrain from it.

Students may view details for the academic integrity policy at: http://www.thezonelive.com/SchoolStructure/WI_ViterboUniversity/handbook.pdf

Electronic Submissions Policy

View the course syllabus for online submission requirements. Assignment submissions and feedback should be done via Moodle for academic integrity.

Anti-plagiarism software: You may be required to submit some of your written work via an anti-plagiarism software package called Turnitin. Turnitin is an anti-plagiarism software package that checks your work against internet databases and an institutional database of other student papers. The work that you submit via Turnitin will automatically become part of the Viterbo institutional database. It will not be accessible to other students, however, if someone uses your work in the future, Turnitin will report there is a matching student paper in the database. If you have technical problems using this software, you will be required to provide your instructor with an electronic copy of your written work. If you do not agree to submit your work via the anti-plagiarism software if requested by your instructor, you will receive a score of zero for that assignment.

Course Support Services

Online learning assistance is available for all students from the Academic Resource Center (live or remote). Students may schedule online writing appointments with the Academic Resource Center by going to the ARC web page. You may also access student support services directly from your Moodle course page; go to the top bar for options.

Disability Statement

The Academic Resource Center provides services to students who have indicated that they have a disability. Students who have a diagnosed disability and require legitimate accommodations must complete an Application for Accommodations Based on Disability-Related Need and should contact the Academic Resource Center at 796-3190.

Syllabus Statement on Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct

Viterbo University seeks to ensure that campus community members learn and work in a hospitable and inclusive environment.  To this end, Viterbo policy and Title IX prohibit sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct including, but not limited to sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Faculty members are required to report incidents of sexual misconduct and thus cannot guarantee confidentiality. They must provide Viterbo University’s Title IX Coordinator with relevant details such as the names of those involved in the incident.  Viterbo is legally obligated to respond to reports of sexual misconduct, and therefore Viterbo University cannot guarantee the confidentiality of a report, unless made to a confidential resource. Although faculty members must report the situation, students still have options about how a case will be handled, including whether or not they wish to pursue a formal complaint. Viterbo’s goal is to make sure students are aware of the range of options available and that students have access to the resources needed.

Viterbo encourages anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct or relationship violence to get support and assistance from one of the confidential or non-confidential resources listed on Viterbo University’s Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct web site.

For the complete Viterbo University Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy with resources, procedures, and flowchart, please visit Viterbo University’s Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct web site.

Counseling Services

It is common for college students to struggle with stress or other emotional challenges, and you may feel a need or desire to seek professional help. If you would like to talk to someone, you are encouraged to contact Viterbo University’s Counseling Services: https://www.viterbo.edu/counseling-services; 608-796-3825. 

For assistance after normal business hours, you can call the Great Rivers 24-hour helpline: dial 211 from a campus phone or 800-362-8255. For emergencies, dial 911 or campus security (3911 from campus phone or 608-796-3911).

 

Viterbo University Credit Hour Definition

 

Viterbo defines one credit hour as 750 minutes over 15 weeks. In addition, each credit of a course requires that students spend two hours of work outside of class per week.

Regardless of format, all courses are required to meet the required credit hour standards by a combination of instructional time and outside work. Outside work could include additional outside reading, group work, service projects, field work, clinical rotations, among other learning activities.

Laboratory periods, clinical, internships, and practicums vary in length depending upon the requirements of the course. Normally one credit hour equals no less than 30 actual clock hours.

Minimum class and outside work time are calculated according to the following formula:

(750 + 1800) *

the number of credits of a course =

the minimum number of minutes of of instructional time and outside work required

For example, a three-credit course requires a minimum of 7,650 total minutes.

In the syllabus, please indicate the requirements for your course where requested. You may do so by copying the corresponding row for your course.

The following table illustrates how the instructional time and outside work time requirements should be met for a 3-credit course in each format:

**Requirements for a 3-credit Course**

Course Format

Instructional Time Requirements

Outside Work Time Requirements
(amount of time students will spend on outside activities per week)

Total Time per week times number of weeks

 

In Class (face-to-face) time per week

Online instructional activity time per week

15-week on-site course

150 minutes (or 2.5 hours)

0 minutes (or 0 hours)

360 minutes (or 6 hours)

(150+360)*15= 7650 minutes

15-week online course

0 minutes (or 0 hours)

150 minutes (or 2.5 hours)

360 minutes (or 6 hours)

(150+360)*15= 7650 minutes

8-week partially online course

Weeks 1-7: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

Week 8: 100 minutes (or 1.7 hours)

Weeks 1-7: 107 minutes (or 1.8 hours)

Week 8: 0 minutes

Weeks 1-7: 743 minutes (or 12.4 hours)

Week 8: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

[(200+107+743)*7] + [100+200] = 7650 minutes

8-week fully online course

Weeks 1-7: 0 minutes (or 0 hours)

Week 8: 0 minutes (or 0 hours)

Weeks 1-7: 307 minutes (or 5.1 hours)

Week 8: 100 minutes (or 1.7 hours)

Weeks 1-7: 743 minutes (or 12.4 hours)

Week 8: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

[(307+743)*7] + [100+200] = 7650 minutes

8-week blended course (will vary based on how many class sessions meet)

On-site weeks 1-7: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

Online weeks 1-7: 0 minutes (or 0 hours)

Week 8: 100 minutes (classroom OR online)

On-site weeks: 107 minutes (or 1.8 hours)

Online weeks: 307 minutes (or 5.1 hours)

Week 8: 100 minutes (classroom OR online)

Weeks 1-7: 743 minutes (or 12.4 hours)

Week 8: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

[(307+743)*7] +[100+200] = 7650 minutes

7-week partially online course (Summer only)

200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

121.5 minutes  (or 2 hours)

771.5 minutes (or 12.9 hours)

(200+121.5+771.5)*7 = 7651 minutes

7-week fully online course
(Summer only)

0 minutes
(or 0 hours)

321.5 minutes
(or 5.3 hours)

771.5 minutes
(or 12.9 hours)

(321.5 +771.5)*7= 7651 minutes

7-week blended course (will vary based on how many class sessions meet; Summer only)

On-site weeks: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

Online weeks: 0 minutes (or 0 hours)

On-site weeks: 121.5 minutes (or 2 hours)

Online weeks: 321.5 minutes (or 5.3 hours)

Every week: 771.5 minutes (or 12.9 hours)

(321.5+771.5)*7= 7651 minutes

A four-credit course requires a minimum of 10,200 total minutes, including 3,000 minutes of instructional time and 7,200 minutes of outside work. This standard for the total instructional and outside work time applies for all formats of instruction: 15-week on-site courses, 8-week partially online courses, 8-week fully-online or blended courses, and 7-week summer courses.

The following table illustrates how the instructional time and outside work time requirements should be met for a 4-credit course in each format:

 

***Requirements for a 4-credit Course***

Course Format

Instructional Time Requirements

Outside Work Time Requirements

(amount of time students will spend on outside activities per week)

Total Time per week times number of weeks

In Class (face-to-face) time per week

Online instructional activity time per week

15-week on-site course

200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

0 minutes (or 0 hours)

480 minutes (or 8 hours)

(200+480)*15 = 10,200 minutes

8-week partially online course

Weeks 1-7: 250 minutes (or 4.2 hours)

Week 8: 100 minutes (or 1.7 hours)

Weeks 1-7: 164.3 minutes (or 2.7 hours)

Week 8: 0 minutes

Weeks 1-7: 1000 minutes (or 16.7 hours)

Week 8: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

[(250+164.3+1000)*7] + [100+200]  = 10,200 minutes

8-week fully online course

Weeks 1-7: 0 minutes (or 0 hours)

Week 8: 0 minutes (or 0 hours)

Weeks 1-7: 414.5 minutes (or 6.9 hours)

Week 8: 100 minutes (or 1.7 hours)

Weeks 1-7: 1000 minutes (or 16.7 hours)

Week 8: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

[(414.5+1000)*7] + [100+200] = 10,202 minutes

8-week blended course (will vary based on how many class sessions meet)

On-site weeks 1-7: 250 minutes (or 4.2 hours)

Online weeks 1-7: 0 minutes (or 0 hours)

Week 8: 100 minutes (or 1.7 hours) on-site OR online

On-site weeks 1-7: 164.3 minutes (or 2.7 hours)

Online weeks 1-7: 414.5 minutes (or 6.9 hours)

Week 8: 100 minutes (or 1.7 hours) on-site OR online

Weeks 1-7: 1000 minutes (or 16.7 hours)

Week 8: 200 minutes (or 3.3 hours)

[(414.5+1000)*7] + [100+200] = 10,202 minutes

7-week partially online course (Summer only)

250 minutes
(or 4.2 hours)

178.5 minutes
(or 3 hours)

1028.5 minutes
(or 17.2 hours)

(250+178.5+1028.5)*7 = 10,199 minutes

7-week fully online course
(Summer only)

0 minutes
(or 0 hours)

428.5 minutes
(or 7.2 hours)

1028.5 minutes
(or 17.2 hours)

(428.5+1028.5)*7 = 10,199 minutes

7-week blended course (will vary based on how many class sessions meet; Summer only)

On-site weeks: 250 minutes
(or 4.2 hours)

Online weeks: 0 minutes (or 0 hours)

On-site weeks: 178.5 minutes (or 3 hours)

Online weeks: 428.5 minutes (or 7.2 hours)

Every week: 1028.5 minutes (or 17.2 hours)

(428.5+1028.5)*7= 10,199 minutes

*(adapted from University of Wisconsin Colleges online http://www.online.uwc.edu/technology/onletiquette.asp)