Policy on Undergraduate Online and Hybrid Courses: Student Engagement

Policy Proposal
Date of Notice:
Current Status:


Academic Council


Section I

1.1 WHEREAS, in the 1990s, the UO Senate voted to require undergraduate four-credit courses to follow the general structure of:

1.1.1 Most undergraduate courses at the 1xx and 2xx level must have one classroom contact hour and two hours of out-of-class work per week for each credit hour earned. Each classroom contact hour will consist of a minimum of fifty minutes to allow students time to change classes. For example, a four-credit course will meet in class for a minimum of 200 minutes per week;

1.1.2 Undergraduate courses at the 3xx and 4xx level and certain agreed upon courses at the 1xx and 2xx must have a minimum of three classroom contact hours per week for a four-credit class, with sufficient demonstrated lab or activities outside of class to warrant the additional credit hour beyond contact; and,

1.2 WHEREAS; undergraduate online and hybrid courses differ from other courses in having fewer than three hours of classroom meeting time per week and use pedagogical methods other than classroom meetings to engage students. One of the instruments that the University of Oregon Committee on Courses (UOCC) uses to evaluate the integrity of student engagement in undergraduate online and hybrid classes during the course approval process is the Student Engagement Inventory (attached). Undergraduate online and hybrid courses may be classes that were originally regularized with classroom time or new classes that are proposed for regularization as online or hybrid only; and

1.3 WHEREAS; there is no current policy that stipulates criteria for the approval of undergraduate online and hybrid courses; and,

1.4 WHEREAS; the UOCC has asked the Academic Council to develop criteria for the approval of undergraduate online and hybrid courses to ensure the academic integrity of said courses and to guide faculty who are proposing new online or hybrid courses or developing existing courses; and,

1.5 WHEREAS; many existing undergraduate courses have been converted to an online or hybrid format without being submitted for approval by the UOCC (a process required for any major change in course format); therefore,

Section II:

2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that approval by the UOCC of a new undergraduate online or hybrid class will require a description from the proposer of how classroom time will be replaced with alternative forms of engagement of students with the academic content and engagement between the students and the instructor, and perhaps engagement among the students, as appropriate to the instructional context. Providing students with class presentations (e.g. PowerPoint materials with associated recorded audio lecture) may be included in this category but will not be sufficient to account for all engagement; and

2.2 Already existing undergraduate online and hybrid classes will also be required to follow this model and will be reviewed by the UOCC for equivalence and appropriate assignment of credit hours within the next 3 years.

Financial Impact

Cost Neutral

Motion History

  • Notice Given

  • Approved