Distance Learning Policies



Grand Rapids Community College has been accredited continuously since 1917 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

More information can be found on GRCC's Accreditation web page.

Blackboard and the Starfish Early Alert system can be used as a system to track attendance.  Some faculty use the Grade Center to record campus attendance dates.  The policy states that: "Each faculty member shall maintain an accurate daily record of the attendance of each student enrolled in each of the faculty member's classes." Online a and Hybrid course faculty members should record in person attendance at campus meetings (according to policy) while also defining "online attendance" in their distance learning courses. [See GRCC Policy: 8.8.A]

The Financial Aid Attendance Confirmation process has changed as of Fall 2012.  Faculty have received email correspondance around this new process. An excerpt is provided here for reference: (Please check your email for up-to-date information or access the School of Arts and Sciences Announcements web page.)

For Face to Face Classes:  Faculty will confirm attendance if the student has EVER attended class.    If the student did not ever attend, faculty will not confirm attendance.

For Online Classes:  Excluding just logging in, did this student EVER participate in ANYTHING for the course within the time frame of the first day of class and the date of confirmation?  If they completed ANY assignment, discussion board, quiz, etc., then confirm attendance.  If they have not done any of these things, then faculty are not to confirm attendance. ("Just logging‐in or trivial discussions (Hi, there. ) are not enough.")

For a Hybrid Classes: If the student has ever attended a classroom session OR completed an online activity per the above, faculty would confirm the student's attendance.  If neither of these things have occurred, faculty would not confirm the student's attendance.

Here is a video tutorial on the attendance confirmation process in Peoplesoft.

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
Online and Hybrid courses must adhere and conform to ADA requirements.  GRCC's Disability Support Services provides student services and faculty resources regarding academic support for students with documented disabilities.  For more information, contact the Disability Support Services Department.

"GRCC Commitment to the Use of Blackboard

Rationale:  Grand Rapids Community College recognizes that effective communication and timely feedback on performance contribute to student learning and success. Therefore, GRCC makes the following commitments:

Faculty Commitment:  By no later than the second semester of teaching, each faculty member will, at a minimum, use Blackboard to provide students with the course syllabus and faculty contact information. Use of the Blackboard Grade Center to provide regular feedback (where appropriate) is strongly encouraged.  

Institutional Commitment:  To support this Faculty Commitment, GRCC will provide each teaching faculty member with access to appropriate technology, training for its use, adequate system capacity, and timely technical trouble-shooting." [See: Provost Faculty Resources]

Online courses must adhere and conform to copyright laws.  Copyright information is available on GRCC's Copyright page. [See GRCC Policy: 3.0]

By GRCC Faculty Contract definition, an online course is delivered via the web using the College's designated course management system.  A hybrid course is an online course that includes scheduled classroom instruction.  Scheduled classroom instruction shall not exceed fifty percent of the contact hours for the course.

Courses that are not currently offered online must follow the Online Course Request Process.  This process includes 2 key approvals, 1) Deans Council Sub-Committee approval to develop, and 2) ISIS Dean Approval through a recommendation submitted by the Online Course Review Committee.  More information about this process is available here.  Also, by GRCC Faculty Contract faculty members may be compensated for the creation of a new online course.  Additional details can be found in the contract.

By GRCC Faculty Contract enrollment for online classes will be no greater than 22 students per section.

The GRCC Faculty Contract specifies that faculty members must be qualified to teach with the appropriate technology before they are assigned or select online or hybrid courses.  The College shall provide training opportunities to faculty members wanting to each a class using these delivery systems.  The qualifications for teaching theses courses may be met by completing the College's distance learning training (Online and Hybrid Certification Course).

By GRCC Faculty Contract specifies that the Board recognizes the traditional rights of a faculty member to maintain full ownership of and benefits from any works produced on her/her own unless the College compensates the faculty member for such development or College resources are used.

Effective winter 2011, the enrollment policy for students provides that students can enroll in an online course up through the second day of class.

For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar.