Welcome to the Office of Distance Education
Welcome Division Deans and other campus administrators.The resources on this page are primarily here for you, your administrative assistants, and other campus leadership. The Office of Distance Education at El Camino is here to support you and your faculty and staff in the following areas:
- Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) course site creation and maintenance.
- Training and certifying faculty for teaching online and hybrid courses.
- Support for online and hybrid curriculum proposals and course development.
- The online administration of course evaluations.
- Answering questions and offering support related to El Camino's participation in the California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative.
The Office of Distance Education cannot offer direct support with the Student Information System except as it related directly to the Canvas LMS. Technical support needs outside of Canvas should be directed to the Technical Services Help Desk. Likewise, the Distance Education Office can offer limited information around online course accessibility, but you will want to contact the Special Resource Center for questions beyond basic course accessibility concerns.
If you have questions or require clarification about any of the material presented here, please contact Dr. Moses Wolfenstein.
Assigning Faculty to Teach Online
If you have faculty who you want to teach online, they need to be certified to do so at El Camino. There are two paths for certifying faculty who are not already cleared to teach online here:
- Successful completion of the 6 week Online Teaching & Learning with Canvas (OLTC) and passing the final course walkthrough.
- Approval through the Distance Education Waiver process.
At current there is no re-certification process for faculty teaching online at El Camino. However, some other California Community Colleges (CCCs) do have such a process and the Distance Education Office is exploring that possibility. If you have thoughts on re-certification, please let us know.
Online Learning & Teaching with Canvas
OLTC is an intensive 6 week course that includes up to 2 additional weeks for course development before faculty present a final course walkthrough to demonstrate their competency at building a basic online course in Canvas, and their plan for effectively delivering the course. 8 weeks is nowhere near enough time to develop a full 3+ credit course.
It typically takes an experienced instructional designer upwards of 100 hours to develop a high quality course that includes rich media, rigorous authentic and standardized assessments, and professional original video content. Bear in mind that instructional design is its own discipline, and high quality instructional designers have years of experience doing course development, an advanced degree in instructional design, or both.
Courses that heavily leverage publisher content can take less time to develop, but even then it will take your average faculty member at least 30 hours to get a brand new course set up with materials they've customized to make their own. Faculty using publisher materials that they haven't adapted or at minimum framed with their own introductions, annotations, and opportunities for interaction are generally not teaching a quality course. In particular, a course must have regular and substantive interaction between the faculty members and the students in order to qualify as a distance education course according to state and federal policy guidelines which dictate Title IV financial aid.
All of this is to say, unless you have additional support for course development, your faculty can be certified but will not be ready to teach immediately after completing OLTC. A faculty member who is teaching a full course load will typically need an additional 12 to 18 months to do course development on the side before they are ready to teach that course online. That number can be radically reduced if they are already teaching a heavily technology enhanced face-to-face course that they can build out as a purely online experience.
The Distance Education Waiver Process
Faculty who have taught online previously and have training with the Canvas LMS, or who have equivalent training for teaching online with Canvas from another CCC are eligible for the waiver process here at El Camino. In order to complete the waiver process, the faculty member simply needs to fill out this form, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Wolfenstein for a course walkthrough of an existing online, hybrid, or heavily technology supported course.
Distance Education Policies
- AP 4105: The administrative procedure governing distance education at El Camino. This AP is currently in the revision process in order to update it and align it with changes in state policy language.
Essential CVC-OEI Resources
- The FinishFaster Search Tool: You can look up the courses El Camino and other partner California Community Colleges offer online on the CVC-OEI home page.
- The CVC-OEI Ecosystem: A link to the different tools provided by the state.
- The OEI Course Design Rubric: We use this rubric here at El Camino as a tool for guiding and evaluating course development so as to maintain the best possible alignment with state standards. This rubric is used by state reviewers to certify courses for the quality badge in the FinishFaster course search tool.