The Course Development and Support Team for University Computing and Telecommunications manages the Online Course Development Calendar and Quality Assurance process for University of Houston-Clear Lake.
The information on this page applies only to fully online courses. Web-supported and hybrid courses are not subject to course request deadlines or Quality Assurance review.
For calendar year 2017 courses, we are continuing to accept any requests for new or delegated web-supported and partially online master courses. The only fully online requests that will be accepted for 2017 are those based upon a temporary/limited delegation of an existing fully online-approved master course.
All of the dates below apply to new, fully online courses under development. This could be a course you created from scratch, adapted from a permanent (full delegation) copy of your own existing course, or permanently borrowed (full delegation) from another instructor’s existing course.
Once the course deadline for a given semester has passed, any further requests for new online course for that term may only be approved if the request is based upon the temporary use (limited delegation) of another instructor’s existing online-approved Blackboard course. The contents of your requested course must contain the same rubric and catalog number combination as the requested source contents.
For information about the deadlines for course requests and Quality Assurance submissions, please feel free to watch our short video presentation.
Spring 2018 Course Delivery
May 4, 2017 - Deadline for new online course requests to have been submitted via OPALS. Only limited delegation requests for Spring 2018 delivery will be accepted after this date.
September 22, 2017 - Deadline to submit new online master courses for Spring 2018 for Quality Assurance review. NOTE: The due date had been set for September 15, 2017. However, due to the university's unanticipated closure at the start of the FA17 term, the deadline was pushed back one week.
Summer and Fall 2018 Course Delivery
November 10, 2017 - Deadline for new online course requests to be submitted via OPALS. Only limited delegation requests for Summer and Fall 2018 delivery will be accepted after this date.
February 9, 2018 - Deadline to submit new online master courses for Summer or Fall 2018 for Quality Assurance review.
The Quality Assurance process exists to ensure that all new fully online courses meet or exceed minimal standards in design, navigability and student engagement. This is to reflect the expectations of the university and its accrediting entities (The Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). The following documents from SACS and THECB provide details regarding guidelines from those entities:
- THECB Institutional Plan for Distance Education (PDF)
- THECB Guide for Incorporating the Principles of Good Practice Into Electronically-Based Courses (PDF)
- THECB Principles of Good Practice for Academic Degree and Certificate Programs and Credit Courses Offered Electronically (PDF)
- SACS Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs (PDF)
The Course Development and Support Team for University Computing and Telecommunications currently utilizes two Quality Assurance checklists, depending on the nature of the fully online course:
1) Full QA checklist with tips/examples – used for all fully online non-internship/practicum courses. There are four (4) sections in the full checklist, each of which address a particular design element of the online course:
- Syllabus Section: The first thirteen (13) items (one of which applies ONLY to courses in the College of Business) covers information that must be included in a Syllabus as standards of best practice.
- Syllabus/University Policies Section: the next three (3) items cover the requirements to have in the syllabus the academic honesty policy, last drop date and a disabilities accommodation statement.
- Course Structure Section: The next thirteen (13) items (two of which apply ONLY to courses in the College of Business) are the course structure items relate to the design and navigability of the course.
- Assignments Section: The final three (3) items concern clarity of course assignments and directions, course policies, and communication of grades and student feedback.
2) Internship/Practicum Course QA Checklist with tips and examples – used for online internship/practicum courses that may be less robust in terms of instructional content and more flexible in structure to suit students’ individual internship/practicum experiences.
If you elect to work with a member of our Instructional Design team when developing your new online course, your Instructional Designer will conduct a post-development review of your course and work with you to resolve any potential issues before your course is submitted to Quality Assurance.
To avoid unnecessary delays during Quality Assurance, instructors who develop courses without Instructional Design assistance are advised to conduct a self-review of the course before submitting their course for Quality Assurance review.
Quality Assurance and Limited Delegation Course Requests
For a variety of reasons, instructors may need to teach a fully online course that is a temporary copy (limited delegation) of another instructor’s online-approved master course contents. Although the source master course has already passed Quality Assurance, a review of the current master is conducted for the following reasons:
- To ensure that the source master course (especially if it has been significantly edited over time) is still in compliance with the university’s Quality Assurance expectations;
- To advise the borrower of instructor-specific features (e.g., instructor introduction, contact information) that they will need to change as soon as they provision their offering; and
- To ensure that all links (in the syllabus, on the course menu, and throughout the course) and multimedia contents are functioning as intended. This is especially important when an instructor borrows content from another instructor who has been separated from the university or from a course that has not been taught for several semesters.
If you have any questions about the information or resources provided on this page, please contact the designated Instructional Designer for your college. If you aren’t sure how to reach your designated Instructional Designer, you may contact the Support Center either by email at SupportCenter@uhcl.edu or by telephone at 281-283-2828. The Support Center staff will create a help ticket for your inquiry and it will be routed to the appropriate member of our team.