R354, Statewide Open Broadcast Courses and Programs

R354, Statewide Open Broadcast Courses and Programs

R354-1.Purpose: To provide guidelines for the development and offering of a number of high quality, departmentally approved, open broadcast courses and programs: (1) made up of carefully selected telecourses and simulclasses employing master teachers of superior ability; (2) broadcast statewide over KULC-TV Channel 9 or KUED-TV Channel 7; (3) using Utah Education Network personnel and the EDNET microwave system to transmit courses from originating institutions; (4) enabling Utah students to select classes and design programs of study that will help them meet degree requirements at USHE institutions and/or achieve other educational goals; and (5) requiring interaction with faculty and complete evaluations as components of each course offered through telecommunications.


 2.1. 53B-17-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953

 2.2. Policy and Procedures R353, Telecommunications for Off-campus Learning


 3.1. Cooperation in development of the telecommunications capabilities: Utah colleges and universities have cooperated extremely well in developing the Utah Education Network to operate KULC-TV Channel 9, KUED-TV Channel 7, and the EDNET microwave system in behalf of Utah System of Higher Education institutions; and

 3.2. Funding of statewide coverage: The Utah Education Network, in close cooperation with USHE institutions, has been effective in obtaining Federal NTIA grants and state matching monies to extend the EDNET microwave system and Channel 9 television coverage nearly statewide (Channel 7 broadcasts statewide as well as into surrounding states); and

 3.3. Master teachers available: Each college and university in the USHE employs many well qualified master teachers with unique subject matter expertise and outstanding instructional skills; and

 3.4. Educational equity and increased access to high quality instruction through the Utah Education Network: More effective use of the Utah Education Network resources by superior faculty members at Utah colleges and universities would provide greater educational equity in the state as well as increased access to high quality instruction for the state’s rapidly growing collegiate student population;

 3.5. State Board of Regents support: The Utah State Board of Regents applauds the successful efforts of USHE institutions to cooperate in developing the telecommunications capabilities of the Utah Education Network to the mutual benefit of all System institutions, their students, and other constituencies and the Regents enthusiastically support efforts of the Utah Education Network Advisory Committee, working closely with the USHE Council of Presidents and Chief Academic Officers, to more effectively and efficiently draw upon institutional faculty expertise and the Utah Education Network resources to provide greater equity and access to Utah residents across the state seeking the benefits of higher education.

 3.6. Exceptions to the geographic service area concept: In order for Utah colleges and universities to provide high quality instruction to greater numbers of students with marginal new costs, to more effectively and efficiently utilize the state’s investment in higher education, including faculty expertise and the Utah Education Network resources (Channel 9, Channel 7, and EDNET), and to provide greater educational equity and extend access to underserved students in both rural and urban locations, open broadcast telecourses offered statewide by USHE institutions, in accordance with the quality controls and guiding principles provided in this policy, are exceptions to the geographic service area concept for off-campus programs described in the Utah Higher Education Master Plan.

 3.7. Commissioner to coordinate: The Commissioner of Higher Education shall retain responsibility to coordinate open broadcast telecourses and programs, avoid unnecessary duplication, encourage efficiency, and maintain quality, and the Commissioner shall periodically report to the Board of Regents concerning the progress made.


R354-4.Principles and Guidelines

 4.1. Departmental/Institutional Quality Controls: It is envisioned that numerous Utah students and all USHE institutions will benefit from participation in a system wide telecommunications-based program of instruction. Outstanding faculty members will be identified at each college and university, and with departmental and institutional approval, will be invited to teach these courses. Each course designated by an institution to be taught statewide will be reviewed in advance by the Chief Academic Officers and scheduled for broadcast time by the Utah Education Network Advisory Committee. Thus, each course will have departmental and institutional approval as well as system wide coordination prior to being offered.

 4.2. Remedial/Developmental Courses: In addition to credit and degree-oriented telecourses, a number of introductory non-credit remedial/developmental courses may also be offered to increase learning skills and better prepare students for success in college.

 4.3.  Guiding Principles: Some guiding principles for offering telecommunications courses statewide include the following:

 4.3.1. Institutional prerogatives: Student enrollments shall accrue to and tuition be collected by those institutions producing and offering telecommunications courses. Geographic service delivery areas of participating institutions will be extended statewide and beyond; these courses will be exceptions to the service area concept described in the recently adopted Utah Higher Education Master Plan.

 4.3.2. Teacher incentives: Appropriate stipends, adjusted teaching loads, and other incentives will be arranged by participating institutions to attract superior and distinguished master teachers to offer telecommunications courses and to recognize their teaching expertise and extra efforts expended to develop and deliver courses of high quality.

 4.3.3. Faculty-student interaction: Each course will require interaction with faculty members through one or more of the following: (1) telephone call-in during actual instruction times, (2) special seminars hosted over the EDNET system at prearranged hours, (3) individual phone contacts with faculty during posted office hours, (4) other arrangements.

 4.3.4. Effectiveness evaluations: Each course will be carefully evaluated for both learning effectiveness and cost effectiveness; the goals will be to measure student success in achieving course objectives at satisfactory levels, and to be certain that course costs and revenues are balanced to provide efficient use of state and institutional resources.

 4.3.5. Transferability of credit: All departmentally approved courses offered statewide through open broadcast television (excluding designated remedial courses that may be offered) shall transfer fully to USHE institutions on the same basis as traditional courses now offered on the various campuses.

 4.3.6. Concurrent enrollment: Some telecommunications courses, when closely monitored, proctored, and articulated with public school districts, may serve as concurrent enrollment classes for both high school and college students.

 4.3.7. Special training: Special training will be offered to faculty members teaching telecommunications courses, providing them first-hand experience in developing the skills and techniques for delivery of high quality distance learning; special tips will also be given to students taking courses, enhancing their ability to learn via telecommunications.

 4.3.8. Promotion and advertising: The Utah Education Network will assist in promoting, marketing, and registering students in telecommunications courses. Advertising spots will be broadcast on KUED and KULC, an 800 information phone number will be established to respond to inquiries, and direct mail and other adverting will be introduced.

 4.3.9. Listings in catalogs and class schedules: Course descriptions for telecommunications courses will be listed in institutional catalogs and class schedules as an educational option for full-time and nontraditional students, though it is assumed that the vast majority of students taking telecommunications courses would be atypical students who would not otherwise be able to enroll in on-campus programs.

 4.3.10. Tuition and fees: Tuition and fees for telecourse enrollment shall not be greater than tuition and fees paid by traditional students (and may be reduced as less-labor-intensive advantages and economies-of-scale will permit).

 4.3.11. Rotation of offering institutions: If more than one institution seeks to offer the same course, a rotating schedule can be arranged to facilitate the sharing of courses and faculty expertise among institutions. However, institutions producing courses should have the opportunity to offer those courses at least twice consecutively, for evaluation and refinement purposes, before a rotation process begins.

R354-5.Advantages and Benefits: Statewide open broadcast telecommunications courses will have numerous advantages and benefits for Utahns, namely:

5.1. To Enrollees

 5.1.1. Broadened access: Telecommunications courses will be available to all learners, rural and urban, who may otherwise not attend college on Utah campuses. These include older persons who may initially be reluctant to enroll on campus, former students who haven’t enrolled in formal education for years, those seeking needed introductory remedial education, talented high school students who would like to challenge their abilities by enrolling in collegiate level courses, capable and self-motivated adult learners who may prefer a convenient and independent mode of study, swing shift workers and others whose lifestyle won’t permit regular on-campus attendance, shut-ins, handicapped/disabled persons, and parents with young children in the home concerned about child care.

 5.1.2. Convenience of viewing times: Using the state’s multiple-option telecommunications system, classes can be broadcast and repeated often enough and in enough locations to assure feasible and convenient viewing times (or classes can be videotaped and viewed and reviewed anytime by students) despite unusual work schedules, family responsibilities, concerns about relocation/commuting/parking, and other conflicts that often stand in the way of persons obtaining the benefits of higher education.

 5.1.3. Transferable college credit: Students now inclined to view telecourses primarily for personal enrichment will be able to establish educational goals and earn college credit that is fully transferable. Students will be able to complete many courses through telecommunications that will transfer to the USHE institution of their choice and apply toward meeting the requirements of that institution for an associate and/or baccalaureate degree.

 5.1.4. Benefits to general population: The general population that might tune in to part or all of these courses, even though they do not formally enroll, will benefit from the instruction provided.

5.2. To Institutions

5.2.1. Increased productivity: Instruction via telecommunications will lead to increased productivity for the Utah System and provide greater access to courses, enabling state institutions to handle more students at marginal new costs and relieve many attendant pressures of increased enrollments.

 5.2.2. Improved efficiency: This program can reduce scheduling difficulties on some campuses, promote better utilization of facilities and faculty resources, and make needed courses more widely available.

 5.2.3. Enhanced public image: High quality instruction provided by superior faculty would enhance the public image of participating institutions and would extend their outreach capabilities.

 5.3. To Utah Taxpayers and the General Population

 5.3.1. Improved access, opportunity, and equity: Telecourses will extend educational benefits to those areas of the state not directly served by a college or university, improving educational access, opportunity, and equity.

 5.3.2. Raised level of education: More telecourses will have potential for raising the level of education in the state’s general population, providing greater personal fulfillment and satisfaction as well as a better prepared work force.

 5.3.3. Minimal new state expense: A greater proportion of the state population can receive direct benefits from higher education with minimal new state expense.

[1] Approved March 25, 1988, amended December 14, 1990.