Online Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty who teach any course as fully online at Foothill College have the following responsibilities:

Regular and Effective Contact

The Foothill College Academic Senate has formulated the following best practices and guidelines for Regular, Timely and Effective Student/Faculty Contact in online/distance education courses:

"Faculty must provide substantive feedback within a reasonable time as outlined in the course syllabus. Faculty/Student Communication Process including the timeframe for faculty response to student communications. A response time of 24-48 hours, Monday through Friday is desirable but may vary based on course requirements and extenuating circumstances. It must be clear whether or not the instructor will be available after hours or on weekends and holidays."

Attendance Documentation

The 2010 Resolution by Foothill College Faculty Academic Senate states (See Foothill Senate Definition of Attendance for Online Courses):

"In compliance with federal requirements to document student attendance in online classes, faculty must record a weekly academically related activity such as discussion forum posting, online quiz, reflection, assignment, exam, email, field trip, telephone call or electronic communication at least through week 7 or the drop with W deadline for each student in an online class. This is in line with our commitment to best practices of Regular, Timely and Effective Student/Faculty Contact as approved by the Faculty Senate and submitted by faculty on the "Course Approval Application for Online/Distance Learning Delivery" and vital to students receiving financial aid."

The 2011 Faculty Handbook states:

"It is the student's responsibility to officially drop a class after notifying the instructor. Students should be reminded of this early in the quarter. If, however, a student does not officially drop a class, the instructor should drop the student when, in the judgment of the instructor, the student has ceased to attend class or when the number of absences prevent the student from meeting the objectives of the course. For financial aid and international visa status purposes, students must be attending the course regularly, as well as contributing in an academically appropriate manner, to remain in a course. Note: The date of last attendance should be the date the instructor decides to drop a student in accordance with the instructor's attendance policy and not the date the student last attended class."

Hybrid Hours

Hybrid courses have one or more hours taught online as well as hours taught on campus each week. They are designated with a "Y" at the end of the section number. Participation in weekly hybrid hours MUST be documented.

The Syllabus must indicate:

  • The number of hours that are "hybrid" per week
  • Whether the "hybrid" hour(s) is/are lecture or lab, as indicated in the Course Outline of Record.
  • Student attendance/participation during the "hybrid" hour(s) is mandatory.

The Foothill College Faculty Academic Senate supports "Guidelines for Documentation of Hybrid Hours." See below for information about Hybrid Hours. All these materials were developed by the Committee on Online Learning (COOL) between Dec 2011 - March 2012. "Guidelines for Documentation of Hybrid Hours" were updated by the Foothill College Academic Senate in October 2015 to remove any reference to "lecture-lab" hours.

Accessibility Compliance

The 2011 Resolution by Foothill College Faculty Academic Senate strongly encourages faculty to familiarize themselves with the requirements specified in the Distance Education Accessibility Guidelines for Students with Disabilities and to take immediate steps to ensure that their online courses and materials are in compliance with these guidelines.

See Foothill Senate Resolution Distance Education Accessibility. All online courses must comply with 2011 Distance Education Accessibility Requirement Guidelines for Students with Disabilities.

Get Started with Accessibility

Copyright and Fair Use

Under District Board Policy 3250, publishing copyrighted material without the consent of the owner on District websites (including Etudes) in violation of copyright laws is prohibited. Illegal reproduction of material protected by U.S. Copyright Law is subject to civil damages and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment. For more information and guidelines, see:

Textbook Adoption

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) law took effect on July 1, 2010. Under this law, if an instructor is requiring a textbook, it MUST to be posted on our Bookstore website. This is so that when a student registers, he/she knows what book is used (by ISBN), price, and if it has any components. Also, it is IMPERATIVE that you respond in a timely and accurate manner when the Bookstore asks for your textbook adoptions each quarter. Accurate information about required textbooks should also be included in your Course Summary wikipage. Also, find out what to ask publishers BEFORE you adopt their textbooks or require your students to use their websites.

Census Verification

Verifying Census is a state requirement for which the college is audited annually. It is very important that instructors first drop any students who have not attended the class before the Census Date, and then click on the "Sign Census" button on that date.
  • Detailed instructions can be found at Reporting Census.
  • For a twelve week class the Census Date is the third Monday of the quarter.

Proctored Testing

Scheduled Exams on Campus

If you have an online class that will have a scheduled exam on campus, it is up to you to handle:
  • booking the room
  • informing your students of place and time
  • proctoring the exam

Proctored Exams at the Testing Center

If a student cannot attend your scheduled on-campus exam due a conflict with another class, then you need to send an email to the Testing Center ( with the "Foothill Online Learning Faculty Request Form for Proctoring Services" along with your exam (.pdf formatting preferred) three (3) days in advance of the requested exam date.

There is no charge to students for this service.

The Testing Center will NOT proctor any "make-up" final exams for students who miss scheduled on-campus final exams. Make-up testing is considered the instructor's responsibility.

Remote Proctored Exams

If any of your online students cannot attend your scheduled on-campus final exam due to distance or transportation challenges, please provide them with information about remote proctoring arrangements that are acceptable to you.

Documents and Forms

FERPA - Student Privacy

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended provides for the rights of students and their families with respect to student educational records maintained by the institution. The act provides the students with the right to (l) inspect and review their educational records, (2) restrict the disclosure of their record, and (3) seek to amend their record. Students have the right to expect that information in their educational records will be kept confidential and will be disclosed only with their permission or under provision of the law.

Keep Student Educational Records confidential - Clear “History” (cache) before closing browser.

For more details, download FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff.

Last Updated December 21, 2016
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