Distance Education Policies

CALS AgOnline Lecture Capture Policy

Approved 2-1-16

Lectures captured by the Brenton Center will be packaged, published, and made available for on demand viewing within 24 business hours after the classroom recording has ended. All lecture capture files will be reviewed twice a year (February and September) to determine their status of use and the age of the lecture capture files.  This is being done to ensure instructors are using the most recent information in their courses and lecture capture format is still viable for playback based on current computer operating systems. Read or print full policy.

CALS Online Distance Policy (Summer 2013 - Spring 2015) Revised September 2014

It is the goal of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) to build a nationally and internationally recognized online distance education (DE) program. The college will continue to return a significant portion of the revenues to participating departments so they may continue to invest in online courses, certificates, and programs. The college will continue to cover the “Allocated Costs” for students during the duration of this policy. The college will seek comments from departments annually on this policy. This policy replaces all previous CALS DE Revenue Policies.

CALS has reviewed online distance policies in other colleges in preparing this new policy. Anticipated online DE revenue will be provided annually to departments in a special allocation at the beginning of fall semester. This modified process will provide access to funds early in the fiscal year and departments will be expected to utilize these funds to manage and grow online SCH with the addition of new courses, certificates, or programs. Departments will report these investments during their annual review (see Addendum below).

The special allocation is a projection based on the previous year Student Credit Hours (SCH) from “true distance students”. Records will be kept for the current fiscal year to determine if a department increases or decreases their online SCH from “true distance students”. This data will determine any increase or decrease in departmental special allocations for the next fiscal year. A “true distance student” is one that is not enrolled in any face-to-face courses at ISU during the active semester.

The college recommends that future position descriptions and PRS for new faculty who will be engaged in teaching contain online teaching responsibilities so they are part of in load expectation. 

Departmental delivery fees (AGEDS, MSAGRON, FS HN, STB) and differential tuition (STB) will be paid at the end of each semester after bad debt has been removed.

Table 1: CALS Online Distance Tuition Policy (True Distance Students)
Graduate Online "True Distance" SCH
Current Policy
as of Fall 2014*
Degree Program Core Courses
Certificate Core Courses
Individual Courses
Undergraduate Online "True Distance" SCH
Certificate Core Courses
Individual Courses

*Addendum to CALS 2013-2015 Policy on Online Distance Education

1) Last year we proposed a policy by which we would return distance education tuition dollars earned by departments MINUS $25 per credit hour. To encourage departments to reinvest at least $25 per credit hour in distance education we anticipated that departments would then apply to a central college fund to obtain grants to reinvest in distance education. At that time we felt this would be the best way to stimulate growth in distance education in CALS.

After further examination of the data and through consultations with chairs we have decided not to implement this policy. It is more efficient for you if we simply return tuition revenue to departments as we have done in the past with the expectation that each department chair will invest at least $25/SCH in expanding or strengthening distance education offerings and will submit a report of these investments on an annual basis. Appropriate investments could include development of new courses/programs or revisions of existing courses/programs offered to distance education audiences, investments in online education for flipped classrooms, and similar investments.

All distance education balances carried over from June 30, 2014 must be spent by June 30, 2015 (because these are Advanced Commitment Funds). For tuition funds returned to you this fall you should aim to spend a minimum of 50% of those funds by June 30, 2015.

2) Several inquiries from departments have prompted the development of this addendum to the current policy on distribution of revenue associated with online distance education in CALS. It aims to simplify the reporting process for departments.

Reporting Requirements:
The CALS online distance education policy is designed to support continued growth in online distance education offerings (courses, certificates, and programs). The policy states that departments will report on investments to grow their programs during their annual reviews. The level of reporting expected is:
1) a listing of objectives that the department pursued to grow their offerings, and
2) a short narrative on achievements relative to these objectives.
It is not expected that a separate accounting be established for tracking these investments, nor is it expected that the summary of investments will include specific cost data. The college is only interested in the objectives and outcomes of these investments.

Previous policy.

University Delivery Fees (03-31-2010)

The following is a summary of the policy. Read or print the full policy.

Some ISU departments and colleges charge delivery fee in addition to tuition. Delivery fees support the additional people and infrastructure for some distance education programs. Applicable fees are listed with the course section in the online schedule of classes.

Costs of offering a course are expected to be borne by the department offering the course, including materials related to the mechanics of teaching the course, such as course outlines, syllabi, exams, and similar handouts, and the purchase and replacement costs of instructional equipment with a typically expected usable life of more than five years. The department is also
expected to bear the costs of staffing courses, including personnel employed to aid in the course such as teaching assistants and guest speakers. Exceptions to this basic principle arise when there are unusual and/or extraordinary costs associated with offering a course.

For credit courses offered via distance technology there may be additional costs associated with preparation of course materials and the technology required for effective distance delivery. In addition, there may be instances in which distance delivery of a course, group of courses, certificate, or degree program is mutually beneficial for ISU and a specific client or group of clients for which a contractual agreement has been developed.

University Special Course & Delivery Fee Assessment Protocols (01-12-2011)

The following is a summary of the policy. Read or print the full policy.

The implementation of the revised special course fee guidelines and the new delivery fee guidelines for distance courses has revealed elements of the assessment protocols associated with these fees that are in need of revision or refinement. The revisions contained in this document are intended to address increasing demands to better inform students and parents about costs of attendance, as well as to reduce the complexity of the fee assessment and revenue distribution processes. No changes are proposed in the recently revised and approved special course and delivery fee guidelines (including allowable categories of costs). The effective date for Fee assessment Protocol Revisions is February1, 2011 for fees to be assessed summer and thereafter.

CALS Delivery Fee Policy (08-30-2011)

The following is a summary of this policy. Read or print the full policy.

Departments may charge delivery fees on individual courses or courses within a degree program. Departmental delivery fees must be submitted to the college for approval. The request must include an explanation for their need. Departmental delivery fees are approved by the Director of Distance Education and the Associate Dean of Academic & Global Programs. College delivery fees are determined by the Director of Distance Education and approved by the Associate Dean of Academic & Global Programs. Delivery fees are returned to the departments after semester end and place into departmental distance education accounts.