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Wisconsin Technical College System

Distance Learning Guidelines

December 2003

These guidelines have been created to provide a framework for Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) districts to use when developing their distance learning organizational philosophies and programming. Distance learning, with respect to these guidelines, refers to instructional delivery modes in which the instructor and student are separated by distance or time or both and technology is used to bridge these differences. Six aspects of distance learning are addressed in these guidelines: 1) student support, 2) course selection and curriculum development, 3) teaching and learning, 4) faculty support, 5) college support, and 6) evaluation and assessment.

The Programming Team of the Wisconsin Technical College Network (WTCN) and the Instructional Subcommittee of the WTCS Instructional Technology Consortium (ITC) collaboratively developed these guidelines over the course of the 2002-2003 academic year. Persons involved in the research and development of major sections include: Barb Cummings, Northcentral Technical College; Beth Dailey, Nicolet Area Technical College; Doug Gossen, Lakeshore Technical College; Marge Jeffers, WTCN/Fox Valley Technical College; Jack Jennerjahn, Western Wisconsin Technical College; Jeff Larson, Wisconsin Technical College System Board; Paul Meske, Madison Area Technical College; and Lois Reis Slattery, Mid-State Technical College.

1) Student Support

Student services support for distance learning students is no less than for traditional students. Colleges are expected to identify and to deal with additional considerations for distance learning students.

Creating a Sense of Community. The college recognizes that a sense of community is important to the success of many distance students and that an ongoing, long-term relationship is beneficial to both students and the college. The design and administration of support services for students enrolled in distance learning takes this factor into account.


Commitment to program completion. The college is committed to continuing programs for a period sufficient for all admitted students to complete the degree or certificate.

WTCS Distance Learning Guidelines

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