Definitions of Online & Hybrid Courses

For the purposes of coding by the Registrar and so that the nature of the course (and the expectation for face-to-face time) is clear to students, LMU has adopted the following definitions for online and hybrid courses:

  • Full Online course: A course that takes place 100% online and that requires no face to face meetings.
  • Online course: A course that takes place between 90% and 99% online and has less than 10% regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings at an LMU site.
  • Hybrid course: A course that takes place between 30% and 89% online and has between 11% and 70% of regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings. 

These definitions will also be used to determine what is a fully online program and what is an online or hybrid program.  A fully online program must have 100% fully online courses.

Approval of Online & Hybrid Courses

All online and hybrid courses – any course with 30% or more of the course online – are required to go through the course approvals and review processes which have been developed by the College and Schools. While other courses may make use of blended tools that have a significant impact on the learning experience, if the technology changes the face-to-face schedule by less than 30%, the course is not required to go through the course approvals and review process.  A faculty member interested in proposing an online or hybrid course should refer to their College or School’s course approval and review protocol document. 

Definitions of Online & Hybrid Programs

Following TELIG’s recommendation, online or hybrid programs will be limited to graduate studies.  While undergraduate programs may teach online or hybrid courses, no online or hybrid undergraduate programs will be permitted.  Online and hybrid programs will be categorized as follows:

  • Full Online program: 0% of the units in the program require face-to-face time at LMU. All program components are online.
  • Online program: Up to 25% of the units in the program are in courses that require some face-to-face meetings. It is understood that these will include a mix of online and hybrid courses, and no traditional courses.
  • Hybrid program: Between 16 and 75% of the units in the program require some face-to-face meetings. It is understood that these will include a mix of online and hybrid courses, with no more than 25% of the units in traditional courses.

Faculty and administrators responsible for programs advertised according to these categories will be responsible for ensuring that sufficient “seats” are provided in the relevant categories of online or hybrid courses to meet the needs of students enrolled in the program.  The Registrar will ensure compliance with these guidelines for public advertising of online and hybrid programs.

Approval of Online & Hybrid Programs

A detailed protocol for the review of online and hybrid programs can be found below.  This protocol governs both the public advertising of LMU programs as online or hybrid and the conditions under which programs migrating partly or fully online must seek review by the Academic Planning and Review Committee (APRC).  While closely related, these two definitions of “online” learning are distinct insofar as the public advertising of programs should accurately reflect the online or hybrid nature of a program, while the trigger for internal review should be sensitive enough to prevent programs from moving substantially online without undergoing any process of review and to limit “online creep” of programs from traditional to electronic formats.  This protocol is also designed to ensure that LMU remains compliant with Title IV of the Federal Higher Education Act, which concerns the distance education environment.

Review Protocol

  1. All new online or hybrid programs will be subject to APRC review.
  2. The APRC will be notified by a College or School whenever a program or department offers an online or hybrid course and will keep a record of such.
  3. Existing programs which transition from a traditional format to an online or hybrid format must undergo the APRC review and approval process when:

a. More than 25% of the TOTAL course offerings for more than one semester in a row are online (in hybrid, online, or fully online format).  “Course offerings” here means unique courses on a program’s schedule in PROWL.

A course taught in multiple sections will be considered to be online if more than 50% of the seats for that course are offered in hybrid, online, or fully online format.

If a program moves more than 25% of its course offerings online in a single semester, it must notify the APRC. If it plans to do so again in the following semester, the program must submit to the APRC a Query to Modify an Existing Program.

OR

b. More than 50% of the "seats" in any required program component are in sections taught in hybrid, online, or fully online format.

Groups of faculty who have well-developed ideas for online or hybrid programs, either new programs or modifications of existing ones, should consider applying for an Online/Hybrid Program Development Grant (http://academics.lmu.edu/tel/onlinehybridprogramdevelopmentgrants/).  The grants are intended to support such faculty teams as they work towards the development of a formal program proposal and implementation plan during the summer, which will be submitted to the APRC by January of the following year.