Course Online Presence Policy

Custodian of Policy: Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Effective Date: May 2016

Last Review: Spring 2022

Next Review: Spring 2029


All courses with student enrollments shall have an online presence in the campus LMS. Students shall have, at a minimum, access to the latest version of the syllabus, the instructor’s contact information (available via the online classlist), and office hours with location (physical or virtual).


LMS: Learning Management System (i.e., D2L Brightspace).


Students use the LMS as their primary resource for course content and activities. It is used as a consistent resource point for students. Students want and expect to see all of their courses listed in the LMS. They become confused when they do not see all of their courses listed.

Instructors can choose to use the online classlist in the LMS to send messages and an early copy of syllabi to their students before class begins. The online classlist provides a means for students to contact their instructors and other students enrolled in their courses. Student enrollments are processed multiple times per day. Instructors would still have the choice to set up a listserv for each course or use the online classlist in the LMS to e-mail students.

Making all syllabi available from the LMS allows students to have access from any location with Internet/Wi-Fi access once classes begin. It also allows a student access to the syllabus if they enroll late in the class and did not receive the initial email with syllabus. This frees instructors to focus on student engagement and learning (no need to e-mail copies to individual students during the semester). Syllabi can either be uploaded to the LMS or linked to an outside source such as the instructor’s web site.

Instructors still have the choice to use outside sources for course materials and assignments such as syllabi, faculty web site, textbook publisher or lab site (such as MyMathLab), and so on. Though not a requirement, instructors using outside sources can choose to add links in their course on the LMS to guide students to the appropriate information.

Having all courses available on the LMS aids in the continuance of instruction in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. The course would be available for posting information and assignments in the event students and faculty were unable to make it to campus for an extended period of time.

Office of Online Learning would expedite auto-creation of courses, removing the requirement for instructors to request courses each semester (unless when merging sections).

Auto-creation would aid newly hired faculty as courses would be created for them automatically, saving them from a delay during onboarding and semester start-up.

Background Information

  1. All Faculty/Staff are required to take courses in the LMS upon hire.
  2. All incoming freshmen are added to the Sexual Violence Prevention Training (SVPT) course (so they all need to access the LMS already).
  3. All incoming freshmen are required to enroll in FYE 101, which is hosted on the LMS.
  4. 72% of our faculty used the LMS for at least 1 of their courses Summer 14-Spring 15.
Total Faculty Sum14, Fall14, Sp15 468
Total Faculty on D2L Sum14, F14, Sp15 338

A large portion of courses already have a D2L presence:


Basic Course & D2L Stats
Term # of Courses # Using D2L % Courses Using D2L
Summer 14 354 274 77%
Fall 15 1456 938 64%
Spring 15 1380 849 62%