Online Course Policy

Authority: Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management
Date Enacted or Revised: February 18, 2013; Revised January 6, 2016; March 21, 2022


McNeese State University requires faculty who teach online courses to have appropriate training for the delivery of online instruction and administration of online courses.

Faculty who wish to deliver online courses must adhere to the most current version of this and any other related policies.

Credential Requirement for Teaching Online Courses

Prior to offering their first online course, a faculty member must complete an approved training related to online instruction. Such trainings are offered through the Office of Electronic Learning; other appropriate certificates of training may be accepted upon approval by the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management. Documented evidence of appropriate training or experience must be provided for the personnel file maintained in the Office of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Online Course Components

Requests for online curriculum or course additions, deletions, and revisions must adhere to the guidelines established in the Curriculum and Course Development Policy.

The following standard components for online courses (independent of course content) must be included in the course and the course syllabus:

  • Course syllabus in compliance with the University Syllabus Policy;
  • Breadth and scope of the course;
  • A detailed description of how to submit assignments;
  • Technical support resources; instructors should reference or;
  • Academic support resources (e.g., Library, Write to Excellence Center, etc.);
  • Instructor contact information (including student support hours, telephone number, email address, fax number, and mailing address);
  • Student participation tools and expectations (e.g., online discussions and engagement requirements);
  • Calendar of assignments and exams including due dates, times, and submission methods; grading scale and grade components; and
  • Instructions on how to complete Student Evaluations of Instruction (SEIs) as provided by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.

Online Course Exams

Online courses requiring exams must adhere to the Exams or Student Learning Assessment Policy.

Faculty are encouraged to use web-based monitoring services, such as ProctorU, when exams are administered face-to-face as a requirement of online courses. Such monitoring services are likely fee-based, and the student is responsible for incurring any costs associated with the monitoring service; however, faculty must stipulate in course syllabi whether monitoring services for exams will be required, what costs (if any) students will incur, and provide information on how to arrange for monitoring appointments.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

McNeese State University has established policies concerning the confidentiality of student records based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) Public Law 93-390. The educational record of each student is considered confidential. These rights can be found in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy.


This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council and the University Policies webpage.