Faculty Resources for Distance Learning

Distance Learning (DL) is the official designation for online and hybrid classes. Our AP 4105-Distance Learning defines  courses as  "distance learning" when "seat time" (time spent in the classroom) on campus is replaced with online activities. Online courses are defined as courses that take place 100% online with no in-person time.  Hybrid courses are defined as a combination of online activities and on-campus classroom time. There is no set proportions for hybrid courses: they vary in how much or how little time is spent in each modality, allowing professors to design courses that meet the needs of the subject matter.  

Distance Learning Information

To Teach Distance Learning Courses at Mt. SAC

SPOT1. Complete SPOT (Skills and Pedagogy for Online Teaching):

This online, self-paced course is facilitated by the Assistant Distance Learning Faculty Coordinator. It teaches the basics in online teaching practices.  This course is 100% online and self-paced. Professors begin to build an online course, generating materials they can use in their actual courses later.  This course does not explain how to use Canvas, the learning management system. Click the link  or the image to the right to learn more and sign up.

2. Get your course DL-approved 

Courses of record must be amended to show how seat time will be replaced. This process is approved through the Distance Learning Committee. The Distance Learning Faculty Coordinator can help you with any questions about completing this form and process. Many courses are already approved. To begin the process of getting your course DL-approved, visit our DL Amendment Forms webpage.

3. Get SPOT-recertified every 4 years

Professors who wish to keep their certification current must now complete 4 hours of ongoing education about teaching online every four years. Recertifications are due each year by July 31. Visit our SPOT Recertification webpage to learn what activities count toward SPOT recertification. Here you can also start the process of getting SPOT Recertified.

Check the POD calendar to sign up for POD or attend other locally scheduled workshops on Distance Learning.

You can find workshops and activities that qualify for SPOT Recertification on the webpage explaining the processLocal workshops can be found on the POD calendar.


Regular and Effective Contact

Regular & Effective Contact

attentionDL courses must meet specific college, state, and federal requirements that apply specifically to the online environment. The most important DL regulation is "regular and effective contact," which indicates that the instructor initiates communication with students on a regular basis that contains instructional content. Contact also includes responsiveness to student-initiated contact, and the promotion of contact between students to promote instruction. This instructive communication is a large component that differentiates distance learning from correspondence courses, and it is critically important because it helps to determine eligibility for students to receive financial aid to take the course! 


Distance Learning Evaluations

DL faculty need to know how to facilitate the evaluations process for DL courses.

For more information please contact

Related Links

Return to the DL home page