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Due to the nature of online courses, students must be extremely self-motivated and self-directed. Basic computer skills, including word processing, as well as access to computer resources, are required.


Distance Learning Attendance/Participation Policy

Knoxville College believes that students must attend class in order to attain the course learning outcomes. Student attendance in online courses is defined as active and consistent participation in the course as described in the individual course syllabus. Online courses will, at a minimum, have weekly requirements for student participation which can be documented by any or all of the following methods: (1) completion of exams; (2) completion and submission of assignments as specified by the instructor; and (3) communication with the instructor concerning course contents.


Students who fail to maintain active participation in an online class will receive a “F” grade for the course.


Instructions and procedures for executing distance learning courses at Knoxville College will be provided to students upon their registration. Regular contact with the course instructor is required.


Some distance learning courses may require students to have one or more of their exams proctored. Students may contact the College and/or access the College's website for additional information.


Class Participation Requirement

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) guidance regarding class participation, Knoxville College requires that all students submit their required Week 1 assignments within each course(s) during the first 7 calendar days of the class. The first calendar day of class is the official start date of the course as posted on the Knoxville College academic calendar page. If students are granted an assignment extension during Week 1 of the course, they need to log in and participate, by posting to the discussion board forums or submitting work (even partial) to an assignment submission link, in the classroom within the first 7 days. Please note contacting the Instructor is not considered 33 participation in the course. If students do not demonstrate participation in the classroom by Day 7, they risk being withdrawn from the course/college.


Note: Assignments submitted prior to the official start date will not count toward participation. Any financial assistance cannot be released without class participation as defined above. Students who have already taken, and successfully completed, at least one or more class(es) with Knoxville College will be dropped ONLY from any class(es) in which they are not participating if they do not complete their assignments by the end of the 7th day.


Students who are taking their first class with Knoxville College, and do not complete their assignments by the end of the 7th day, will be administratively withdrawn from the College.


Note: Once students begin participating in class, they are considered active and are responsible for adhering to all college policies.


If students have any questions about their assignments, or they are unable to complete their assignments, they should contact their instructor.


Ongoing Attendance and Engagement

Knoxville College courses are not independent study courses. They involve a mixture of independent work outside the online course room and presence within the course room, with all work completed within schedules published in the course. Students are expected to engage in courses in an active and timely fashion. Logging into the online course does not alone demonstrate adequate engagement. Student engagement includes activities such as doing assigned readings, preparing and presenting quality assignments (which may include tests, quizzes, papers, and other assessments) and participating substantively in discussion. Time spent in reading, studying, and preparing written assignments is as important to learning as is participation in the discussion areas and submission of written assignments. However, student attendance can be documented only with presence in the online course.


Each student is expected to take full responsibility for his or her academic engagement and progress. A student who fails to demonstrate an adequate level of participation in his or her course(es) may receive lower grades, including an “Incomplete” or failing grade. Students who do not demonstrate an adequate level of participation in their courses as indicated by course requirements, fail to notify Knoxville College that they are no longer attending, and/or fail to pass at least one course in a term may be administratively withdrawn from Knoxville College. Further, lack of adequate 34 participation and/or administrative withdrawal can lead to the requirement for the return of financial aid previously awarded to the student.


Student Engagement via Participation in Online Discussion

Knoxville College courses are not independent study courses. Substantive student dialogue is an essential part of the learning process. Therefore, Knoxville College courses require consistent, substantive, and timely participation in and contributions to online discussion as described and required in each course syllabus. Students are expected to post online as described in syllabi and discussion prompts. Although the pedagogy may vary from week to week within a course, depending upon the instructional objectives, and from course to course depending upon the educational outcomes to be achieved, the university in general suggests that students’ discussion is enhanced and learning strengthened when postings and discussion are substantive and distributed throughout the week, with 2–4 days of participation per week as a minimum.


Failure to post with the expected timeliness, quantity, quality, and frequency of postings as stated in the syllabus, discussion descriptions, and other course materials may result in grade reduction for the discussion. Students should read each syllabus and discussion prompt carefully, as posting requirements may vary across and within courses to meet learning goals.


Student Attendance for Undergraduate Programs

While students are expected to schedule their personal and/or professional obligations and their course registrations so as to maintain continuous, regular attendance and any absence from class will impede learning, Knoxville College recognizes that circumstances may arise that cause students to be absent from active course participation.


An “absence” is defined as students not meeting their academic obligations. This includes not submitting assignments, on time, according to schedules published in the classroom (e.g., syllabi, schedule of assignments).


Students faced with life situations that impede regular course participation should contact their instructor immediately so the student can be advised on how to proceed. Should a student’s life situation require repeated absences from the classroom or result in multiple missed or late assignments, a withdrawal from the course prior to the withdrawal deadline or leave of absence may be warranted.


Emergency situations should be understood in the broadest sense and include not only natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes), but also any instance that causes a real and literal disruption in a student’s capacity to complete school work, including house fires, burglaries, domestic violence, medical emergencies, accidents, and any other occurrence that affects the student’s consistent and ongoing access to the technology required for course delivery.


A preplanned absence is one that students know about in advance, regardless of the reason. For a preplanned absence, students are to make arrangements with the instructor in advance of the absence and may be advised to work ahead and submit the assignment(s) earlier so as not to fall behind. If the instructor provides an alternative due date, the student is obligated to meet the deadline provided or the late policy will apply.


Privacy for Distance Learners

The College secures the privacy of student data by maintaining all official records on a secure virtual local area network with limited access, firewalls, and requirements for frequent password changes for access to that data. Furthermore, those requesting access to student records are granted that access only after a secure permission-granting process. These permissions are reviewed and re-approved semi-annually. Also, all users will be asked annually to sign a statement of understanding encompassing their individual responsibility in maintaining the confidentiality and the appropriate use of any data accessed.

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