Designing Your Blended Learning Programs to be Compliant, Efficient, and Effective
Changes to distance learning regulations are coming into effect on July 1. Ensure your career college’s blended clock-to-credit hour programs remain compliant.
In March of 2020, many career colleges implemented distance learning programs for the first time. As in-person instruction grew safer, schools shifted from distance education to blended learning programs, with learning split into synchronous in-person and asynchronous online components.
Now, institutions are choosing to continue blended learning programs after seeing a positive impact on student success and their bottom line.
For all its benefits, blended learning comes with challenges like ensuring compliance and tracking student time and progress. With new regulations around distance education going into effect on July 1, maintaining compliance is even more critical.
In a presentation at the Career Education Colleges and Universities annual convention, our CEO Luke Sophinos discussed how to design a blended learning program that is effective, efficient, and compliant with new Department of Education regulations coming into effect on July 1. Read on to find key takeaways from the presentation to implement in your school.
Ensure your blended learning program is compliant with new regulations
To follow the rules, schools must first understand the rules. If you’ve ever spent time looking through federal code, you know this is easier said than done. After about a year of lenient regulations to accommodate emergency distance education, new regulations by the ED are going into effect on July 1, including:
- Defining credit and clock hours in distance education
- Defining and requiring regular and substantive interaction in distance education
- Establishing the difference between distance education and correspondence courses
As part of the blended learning requirements, the Department of Education also requires that schools document the time a student spent learning synchronously versus asynchronously.
We went through the code so you don’t have to. Read our in-depth guide to the July 1 regulations to ensure your blended learning programs remain compliant.
Bridge the visibility gap between your SIS and LMS and reduce manual data entry
When implementing compliant blended learning programs, instructors and administrators are confronted with three key problems:
- How do we get visibility into what students are doing during asynchronous, online learning?
- How do we make sure students are on track to graduate?
- How can we streamline operations and data management?
Without technology to bridge the gap between the LMS and SIS, schools running blended clock-to-credit hour programs must take each asynchronous activity for every student, convert the activity into clock-hour time, then upload that time into the SIS. This process takes hours of work that could be spent ensuring student success. Additionally, administrators lack visibility into online, asynchronous activities. As a result, they cannot see when students fall behind until an activity is uploaded, which could be days after the last activity occurred, opening up schools to compliance issues.
Fortunately, new technology solves these problems and helps automate compliance requirements by bridging the gap between the SIS and the LMS.
Gain visibility into asynchronous activities and help students graduate on time
Using technology that integrates with your SIS and LMS, administrators for clock-to-credit hour programs can see a student’s last activity recorded and intervene with students who have not completed activities in several days. Administrators can also easily access audit-ready reports summarizing how much time a student completed synchronously and how much time a student completed asynchronously—an ED requirement for distance learning courses. Having a record of completed activities also helps schools comply with the updated definition of “academic engagement” in distance learning courses.
With a bridge between the LMS and SIS, instructors in blended clock-to-credit hour programs simply input the number of asynchronous activities in the course and let the technology take it from there, giving them more time to focus on student success.
Design your program with students in mind
Schools with successful blended learning programs design them around the student experience. Leveraging technology that gives students a clear view into their synchronous and asynchronous time empowers them with the information they need to take responsibility for meeting graduation requirements. When students hold themselves accountable for their educational journey, they learn soft skills critical for their future careers.
Maintaining compliance in blended learning programs doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Leveraging the right technology is key to supporting your staff and administering compliant, effective, and efficient blended learning programs.
If you’d like to learn more about how CourseKey helps schools streamline their blended clock-to-credit hour programs, request a demo today.