Introduction to Online
The Trefny Innovative Instruction Center supports best practices for teaching and learning online. The following information is provided as a resources for faculty interested in teaching online at Mines.
Students interested in online courses at Mines can find more information at online.mines.edu
- Course Approval Process
- Engineering Online Learning (EOL) Course
- Course Design and Development Process
- Online Resources
All new programs and courses must go through the normal review and approval process (Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council, Faculty Senate, and the Board of Trustees in the case of new degree programs). Additionally, any course that is reducing contact hours (time spent in the physical classroom), must be approved for a change in delivery mode by the Department Head, Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council, Dean, and the Executive Committee. Approvals should be in place before advertising the course.
Any new online credit-earning/degree program must be approved through our regional accreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Online programs may not be promoted or advertised until HLC accreditation has been granted.
Departments requesting a change in course delivery mode need to complete the Executive Committe Change of Delivery Mode Approval form to start the review process with the Executive Committee. This form is submitted in conjunction with submitting the required documentation to Undergraduate or Graduate Council. Once a decision has been made, the Executive Committee notifies the Registrar, Trefny Center, Department Head, and submitter of status (approved or not approved).
After receiving approval, the faculty member developing the course is required to submit an application for approved programs or new/existing courses to the Trefny Center to begin the course development process.
The Trefny Center offers the paced, asynchronous EOL course for faculty to experience online learning from the perspective of a learner as they work through their initial course design. This five-week (10 hour per week commitment) online course for faculty is intended to support the development of the highest-quality online courses. Completion of this course is required before building or teaching any online course at Mines. Faculty must receive an average grade of 80% on assignments to “pass” the course. After completion of the course faculty work collaboratively with an Online Learning Experience Designer (OLED) to continue the design and building. The OLED will also coach the faculty as they teach the first section.
Multiple sections of the course will be offered across each academic year. Space is limited and priority will be given to faculty who are part of an approved fully online program. A commitment to complete the course will be expected from all enrolled faculty and graduate students. Please fill out this form to learn more about the course and to register.
You can also reach out to Sam Spiegel (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
The online course design and development process consists of five phases:
1. Pre-Course Build Phase: Faculty will take a self-paced Canvas 101 for Students course to get comfortable with the eLearning environment, complete the Engineering Online Learning course with the Trefny Center, and attend a kick off meeting with an Online Learning Experience Designer (OLED). If the faculty member has already gone through this training, they will need to submit the course development request for approved programs or new or existing online/hybrid courses.
2. Design/Development Phase (12 weeks) – course design schedule for faculty and OLED working collaboratively. The typical commitment from the faculty member is 8-10 hours each week for approximately 12 weeks to develop each online course.
3. Course Review and Revision Phase (2 weeks) – course submitted to the Online Standards Committee to check against Mines Online Program Course Standards. The committee will have one week to review the course using the Mines Online Course Review Rubric and faculty members will have one week to make revisions.
4. Coaching Phase (semester being taught) – Trefny Center will coach faculty during their first semester teaching the course. During this phase, the OLED will be actively observing interactions between the instructor and students and providing feedback. The faculty member and OLED will meet each week to discuss the course.
5. Continuous Improvement Phase (time varies depending on data) – once the course has concluded, data and feedback will be analyzed by the faculty member and Trefny Center staff to determine any revisions needed before the course is taught again and to support/monitor student success and retention.
Canvas Resources at Mines
Mines Online Student Support Website
The Mines Online website is a comprehensive source for online services and resources available to students enrolled in Colorado School of Mines online courses. Mines Online courses provide opportunities for students and alumni to retool, enhance, and advance their disciplinary skill sets. Explore this site to learn more about the courses offered at Mines, how to be an effective online student, and the support and services offered to students for online courses.