Distance Learning: Definition
In a distance learning environment, the instructor and the student are separated geographically so that face-to-face/in-person communication is not possible. Distance learning is defined as a form of education that uses technology to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor. Through the use of technology, the instructor is able to support regular and substantive interaction between the students (distance learning and face-to-face) and the instructor. Courses that are taught via distance learning occur in real time and allows the instructor to communicate with remote students of the class via video conferencing, while also communicating with face-to-face students. Instructors and students hear and see each other and interact with one another live from multiple sites (e.g., personal home, campus, private office, etc.). The geographic separation between teacher and student may be considerable (i.e. other states), or the distance may be slight. Therefore, distance learning accessibility is available to multiple locations and distances.
Distance learning in the department of psychology is by petition/application only. Depending on the program of study, specific application requirements are applied, and are described below.
Distance learning for the Department of Psychology is conducted through livestream only, using Zoom video conferencing and will not be recorded for later viewing, unless explicitly stated otherwise, usually for specific purposes (e.g. exam review sessions). Students must attend class virtually at the time of the course offering through the distance technology outlined above. Students that are not present during the assigned class time and do not turn on their camera (Unless pre-approved by the instructor for a limited time), will be counted as absent in the class.
If a distance learning student is unable to obtain the proper technology required to keep up with the content of the course or does not abide by the policy listed in this document, they will be asked to meet the policy standards or risk being dropped from the course.
Distance Learning Degree Requirements
Distance learning course requirements are the same as face-to-face students. These requirements will be found in the current academic year graduate and professional catalog.
Non-Department Courses and Optional Concentrations
If distance learning students are interested in taking courses outside their program of study (e.g. optional concentration, general education) please contact the department in which the course(s) are embedded to inquire about distance learning modality options.
Application to Distance Learning
The department of psychology is home to several graduate and undergraduate programs. Each program has distinct standards for distance learning application processing. Please find the program in which you are enrolled to see the expectations/requirements for application to Distance Learning Modality.
MS in Counseling Psychology. The MS in counseling psychology program is primarily an in-person program. Students interested in joining the program as a distance learning student will need to complete the Distance Learning application supplement form (https://forms.gle/XF2EK7CF6XFyzLzG9), and will need to meet the following criteria: Student demonstrates that they reside more than 50 miles from the Azusa campus location. The number of students allowed to join the program in the distance learning format is capped, and priority is given to those students that reside furthest from the Azusa campus. Other factors, such as where one works, when one works, and challenges with coverage for other life responsibilities may be considered as a secondary factor when residential distance is insufficient to determine which students will be approved for distance learning. When approved for distance learning, the approval is for one semester. Students approved for distance learning will attend all their enrolled courses in the distance learning format for the approved semester. Re-application for each subsequent semester is required.
MS in Child Life.
The MS in Child Life program is primarily an in-person program. Unless students are admitted into Advanced Standing MS in Child Life program, (see https://www.apu.edu/bas/programs/masters-in-child-life/format/ for Advanced Standing description), students interested in joining the program as a distance learning student will need to complete the Distance Learning application supplement form (https://forms.gle/GkMFsKPgt5SjDxHTA) and will need to meet the following criteria: Student demonstrates that they reside more than 50 miles from the Azusa campus location. The number of students allowed to join the program in the distance learning format is capped, and priority is given to those students that reside furthest from the Azusa campus. Other factors, such as health risk, where one works, when one works, and challenges with coverage for other life responsibilities may be considered as a secondary factor when residential distance is insufficient to determine which students will be approved for distance learning. When approved for distance learning, the approval is for one semester. Students approved for distance learning will attend all their enrolled courses in the distance learning format for the approved semester. Re-application for each subsequent semester is required.
MS in Research Psychology.
The MS in Research Psychology program is designed to have a limited number of distance learning students. When applying to the program, students should apply as a distance learning student to ensure proper placement as a distance learning student in their classrooms. However, if a student has applied to the program and would like to change permanently to a distance learning student, he or she may do so by meeting with the program director. The program only admits a handful of students as distance learning so it may not be possible to switch if more than 20% of students are already distance learning. There is no specific criteria for being identified as a distance learning student, but priority will be given to those students that applied to be a distance learning student when submitting their application.
Additionally, there may be semesters where a non-distance learning student may want to complete the course as a distance learning student. If a student is not identified as a distance learning student in the program, he or she will need to complete the Distance
Learning application supplement form to be approve to take any course as distance learning (https://forms.gle/TWq1y6H2g2J2DUYS8).
The number of students allowed to take courses in the distance learning format is capped, and priority is given to those students that have applied as a distance learning student, or changed their status after meeting with the program director. Students wishing to complete the program via distance learning on a semester to semester basis, will need to complete the Distance learning application. Approval for non-distance learning students to be approved to take courses in the distance learning modality will be based on: residing furthest from the Azusa campus. Other factors, such as health risk, where one works, when one works, and challenges with coverage for other life responsibilities may be considered as a secondary factor when residential distance is insufficient to determine which students will be approved for distance learning. When approved for distance learning, the approval is for one semester. Students approved for distance learning will attend all their enrolled courses in the distance learning format for the approved semester. Re-application for each subsequent semester is required.
Undergraduate Psychology Regional Campus Programs (PRPS). The regional campus psychology program offers in-person courses at 6 regional locations across Southern California as well as online. Students interested in joining the program as a distance learning student will need to complete the Regional Campus Distance Learning Application supplement form and will need to meet the following criteria: Attending campus presents added health risks for the student and/or family member within their care. Employment conflicts with the class time. The number of students allowed to join the program in the distance learning format is capped, and priority is given to those students with specified criteria. Other factors, such as graduation requirements and scheduling conflicts will be used to determine which students will be approved for distance learning. Approval is granted each semester for specific courses. Students will request what course(s) they would like to engage as a distance learner, and if approved, they will attend all class sessions via distance learning. For classes that are not approved, students will participate live-in person on the assigned campus. Re-application for each subsequent semester is required.
Azusa Campus Undergraduate Psychology. The Undergraduate psychology program on the Azusa campus is not approved for Distance learning in Hyflex or Hybrid options. Courses are either fully online (Asynchronous) or they are fully face to face (In person). During the COVID pandemic, the university has been granted permission to offer
classes in distance learning formats. The permission to continue to do so is subject to change at anytime, and is beyond the control of the department of psychology to determine. Therefore, any student enrolled in Undergraduate psychology classes in the Azusa campus who wishes to attend live classes in distance learning (e.g. zoom) format for any given course or any given semester, will need to seek approval from the university office of disability accommodations (ADA office). You may initiate such a request by clicking on the link below. All students should also attend to and conform with the student illness or COVID exposure policy below as well.
Military students interested in applying to the distance learning options in the department of psychology are encouraged to contact the Office of Military and Veteran Education Benefits; (626) 815-3837. The distance learning option is considered an online program and therefore may have an impact on your educational and housing benefits.
Student illness or COVID exposure policy
Students who are enrolled in face-to-face program options, but are ill or have been exposed to COVID and have not received results of COVID testing will need to contact their professor for permission to join the class via zoom for each specific class period in which they are not planning on attending live class due to illness or COVID exposure. Faculty, at their discretion, may ask for documentation of your illness from your doctor (a doctor's note) or proof of having taken a COVID test before approving you to attend remotely. Failure to receive faculty permission prior to attending class via zoom may result in an unexcused absence, and the grading implications associated with it (Described in the faculty’s syllabus) may be applied.
Minimum Technology Required for Distance Learning
Students are expected to possess a computer throughout the duration of their distance learning course. Chromebooks are not compatible. Student computers must be able to run a supported browser and handle additional plug-ins as identified by the instructor of the course. These programs may include but are not limited to, Zoom, SPSS, JMP, R,
Google, Canvas, LockDown Browser etc. Additionally, the student computer must have a video camera and mic that is compatible with Zoom. If necessary, the student may need to purchase a web camera if their computer does not have a web camera built in, or is broken. For more information about up-to-date requirements for zoom, select here. The student computer must also be able to produce, send, and receive documents that are compatible within the two most recent offerings of Microsoft Office to complete most of the assignments. Computer and Internet connection must be fast enough (e.g., 100 MB/Sec) to watch streaming videos, participate in live meetings, upload large files, install software, and listen to audio lectures.
If a distance learning student is unable to obtain the proper technology required to keep up with the content of the course, they will be asked to update their technology or risk being dropped from the course.
Required Student Orientation
All distance learning students are required to attend orientation events via online or face-to-face. Contact the department for more information about student orientation. This orientation will allow all students to understand the distance learning format, and how to use Zoom. Before orientation, it is recommended that you test Zoom and preview the distance learning procedure, select here.
The University schedule of classes indicates what courses are being offered via distance learning and the delivery format (remote). All courses being offered through a distance learning format will be clearly defined and identified prior to open enrollment to clearly inform students before the course start date. When enrolling into a hyflex class (location is a classroom, class notes will say Hyflex) that indicates that you are enrolling in a class in which students will be physically in class as well as distance learning students zooming in. When enrolling in a Synchronous Online class (location CANVAS, class notes will say Synchronous), that indicates that you are enrolled in a class in which all students are in zoom and no students will be in the physical classroom. When enrolling in an Asynchronous Online class (Z), that indicates that there are no face-to-face or live zoom sessions. All work is done in canvas following the canvas learning plan. In any format, faculty are available to meet with live in person or on zoom for office hours and consultation needs.
Currently, all courses operate in a traditional 8-week session, and courses are offered during all 8-week terms. Students are encouraged to review APU’s graduate academic calendar for the exact dates of each term.
Hyflex distance learning course instruction will be held in a live face-to-face format at APU campuses on designated days and times. During these courses, students who are participating via distance learning will be required to log into the Zoom meeting before class begins. By logging into the Zoom meeting, distance learning students will be able to view the live lecture and to follow along and participate with the instructor and students in real time. Students will be provided with full opportunity to ask questions, contribute to class discussions, and participate in in-class projects/assignments alongside classmates (face-to-face and distance learning) throughout real-time course delivery. It is also important to note that although you may be a distance learning student, you are expected to participate just as if you were attending the live classroom session. If participation is part of the grade, you will be graded at the same standard as face-to-face students.
Expectations During Lecture
Any deviation from this policy could result in being removed from the class, and consistent abuse of this policy will result in being removed from the course entirely (2 infractions for an 8-week term). See the classroom environment section for classroom student expectations.
Distraction Free Environment
Students are required to attend class from a distraction-free environment where they can actively participate in ongoing class discussions, raise questions, and contribute to the learning environment. Distraction free environments may include but are not limited to, private office and personal home. In your distraction-free environment, you are to not be distracted by any person (children included) or pets during the course time. Public spaces such as coffee shops, libraries, and busy work environments are not allowed for distance learning participation.
During the course time, students must leave their computer camera on at all times and mic muted unless asking a question or are involved in the discussion to ensure active engagement with the course. Students may only turn their camera off during breaks indicated by the professor and must be back with their camera turned on when the break is complete. Students are not allowed to leave the lecture or turn off their computer camera at any time except for emergency purposes.
Students and faculty are required to behave and dress professionally just as you would if you were attending class in person. Distance learning students are held to the same professional standards as the face-to-face student. This includes dressing in such a way that your face can be clearly seen (no hats that shield your face), and your clothing is such that you would wear in a face-to-face classroom environment (e.g. no swimsuits, no pajamas, etc). Any distance learning student that is not behaving or dressed professionally may be removed from class, and will not be able to return until the next class meeting time.
All exams taken in distance learning courses are designed to ensure academic integrity is maintained (See APU academic integrity policies:
https://www.apu.edu/provost/integrity/). Students are expected to maintain integrity in such a way that when given a closed resource exam, students do not access any information to assist them in the exam. To support student academic integrity, faculty may limit times for test completion, or may ask you to provide them with direct video observation (e.g. screen share in zoom). In the event academic integrity is violated, in addition to the violation policy application (See website and faculty syllabus for details), violators may be required to take future exams at the nearest campus in person under faculty or staff supervision.
As with traditional courses, Azusa Pacific University faculty assumes primary responsibility for and exercises oversight over distance learning instruction, ensuring both the rigor of courses, curriculum, and the quality of instruction.
● Office Hours: as indicated in APU’s Office Hours Policy, each faculty member is expected to maintain a minimum of 3 office hours a week during a regular term to accommodate student consultations. These hours are posted on the syllabus, the learning management system (Canvas), the faculty member’s door, and kept by the department head. For online/distance learning office hours, the faculty must be available via some mode of synchronous online communication (e.g., online chat, instant messaging, FaceTime, Skype, email, etc.). This information will be communicated with all students during the first class, and outlined in the syllabus.
● Response Time: Faculty engaged in distance learning courses shall maintain a 24-hour maximum response time (excluding weekends, holidays, or extenuating circumstances) for returning student emails.
● Grading: as indicated in APU’s Department of Psychology grading policy, all faculty must have assignments graded and returned to students within two weeks of the assignment due.
If the faculty member is not meeting these expectations, students are encouraged to discuss this with the faculty member first. If your concerns are not resolved, please contact the director of your enrolled program or the department chair.
Distance Learning Standards
In order to develop and maintain quality distance learning courses, the following standards will be applied.
● All Distance Learning courses will follow the approved course outline of record. ● Distance learning students will be given advance information about course requirements, expectations regarding course work standards, equipment needs, and techniques for succeeding in a distance learning environment, as well as technical training and support throughout the course via the Canvas portal, Online Learning web site, and within individual courses (syllabi, etc.). ● Students will be required to be active learners in presenting, organizing, applying, and constructing information, ideas, and knowledge. They are prepared and expected to participate in collaborative activities throughout the length of their course of study.
● All course objectives, Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and requirements are clearly presented in each course syllabus.
● Courses will maximize the opportunities for regular and ongoing interaction between teacher and students, among students, and between students and the learning environment.
● Students are held accountable for the communication activities within courses. Instructors will initiate contact with all students.
● All student assignments and their due dates, as well as tests and test dates, will be explained and posted at the beginning of the course, or in a way to give reasonable preparation time for the student.
● Any special testing (i.e., proctoring) and laboratory situations and/or arrangements will be clearly described to the student in the syllabus and announcements area of the course.
● Instructor feedback to student assignments and questions will be constructive and provided in a timely manner. Instructors will clearly define feedback response time, and must meet the Department of Psychology minimum standards.
● Instructors will keep back-up copies of their digital grade books on a monthly basis.
● A policy for due date leniency due to institution-inflicted technical difficulties and disaster/emergency plan will be communicated in the syllabus or overview of the course.
● Faculty will post academic integrity policies in the online syllabus. ● Course Media and Materials Standards will be posted in the syllabus. ● All external links and internal functionality of DL courses will be available and operational when the class starts.
Ownership of Materials and educational privacy statement:
Students will be asked to agree to the following statement in their canvas shell:
As a student of higher education, the importance of free and open dialog regarding a wide range of topics, concepts, and ideas is critical. In order to ensure the necessary academic freedom for all parties, the following statement will need to be endorsed by all students prior to gaining access to the course CANVAS shell. By clicking “I agree” below, you agree to the following:
● I agree to refrain from sharing with anyone outside the enrolled members of this specific class any and all information, including, without limitation, technical, developmental, performance, lecture, lesson plans, handouts, teaching materials, and process information in any and all formats, including written or recorded information from faculty or fellow students (e.g. syllabi, handouts, test review or test material, written instructions, power points, video, electronic chat materials)
● I agree to respect the privacy of each person enrolled in this class and agree to refrain from downloading or saving any communications made by fellow students in any format, including written or recorded materials.
● I agree to respect the integrity of faculty copyright/ownership of their educational materials and will not share any faculty material of any type with any other individual(s) including direct sharing with individuals, posting/reposting on media or websites any of the following: lecture, lesson plans, handouts, teaching materials, and process information in any and all formats, including written or recorded information (e.g. syllabi, handouts, test review or test material, written instructions, power points, video, electronic chat materials). I understand that if I do share any faculty materials, I am violating the copyright of faculty intellectual property, which is an ethical violation that can result in referral to the office of academic integrity for consideration of an academic integrity violation.
● I agree to refrain from photo or video recording with any device any materials or activities in this course that involve the presence or contribution of any other student or faculty without prior explicit written consent to do so.
● I agree that if I violate this agreement, I am violating this educational privacy agreement and will consent to the department policy of disciplinary consequences up to and including course failure as a result of violation of this agreement.