Instructor Policies

Distance Learning and Teaching Policies

This document outlines the responsibilities, processes, and resources for developing and offering hybrid and online courses and programs at the Real Estate Training Institute and supersedes any previous subject matter guidelines. The Real Estate Training Institute offers Online, Hybrid, and Classroom Courses Online and hybrid courses must meet the same standards as an equivalent face-to-face course.   Real Estate Training Institute is committed to complying with standards of ARELLO and rules and regulations of the Mississippi Real Estate Commission regarding the operation of education.  

Student Privacy

Online student privacy must be maintained at all times by keeping grades secure in the LMS. Grades must not be viewable to other members of the course. No student grades or information may be posted outside of secured systems any time during or after the semester. If external tools (wikis, blogs, etc.) are used, the faculty member must ensure that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements are met. In most cases, it is acceptable for faculty to assign students to create and comment on wikis and blogs. However, students should not be required to post information that is protected under FERPA (class schedule, for example). Faculty comments and grades on student work should never be made public. As a solution, the faculty should inform students that their work may be public and provide students with information on making their wikis and blogs private. Faculty cannot require students to reveal private information to the class and should respect students’ requests to not post information for class viewing. If a student requests to not share a personal photo or reveal one’s identity, for example, the faculty should provide an alternative assignment with similar weight.

Online Faculty

Instructors who teach online courses are appointed by the Real Estate Training Institute and credentialed by obtaining a CDEI.

Teaching Credits

Teaching a hybrid or online course accounts for the same portion of an instructor’s teaching credits as a face-to-face course. 

Course/Faculty Evaluation

Students evaluate online courses using the course evaluation procedures in effect for campus-based courses. Student evaluations are completed online for all courses.

Learning Management System

All hybrid and online courses must be delivered via the Real Estate Training Institute’s learning management system (LMS). 

Five Principles of Online Learning

  1. Establish and maintain Regular Effective Contact.

Regular active contact is an RETI requirement for distance learning, which states that instructors must keep in touch with students on a regular and timely basis both to ensure the quality of instruction and to verify performance and participation status. (Return student communication no longer than 24 hours of the first contact.)

  1. Create opportunities for student-centered learning.

In distance education, instead of being the sole source of content knowledge, the role of the instructor is as a facilitator. Students should be encouraged to interact not only with the content and instructor but also with each other to understand, research, and come to their conclusions about the course material.

  1. Create opportunities that have practical, real-world applications.

The activities in distance education courses should be authentic, that is, based on tasks that students would have to perform in various settings outside the classroom. Students should also have chances to enhance their knowledge about the world through critical thinking and reasoning skills.

  1. Provide support for each student’s learning process and autonomy.

Distance education instructors should engage all types of learners by providing content and assessments that respect and accommodate the different needs, learning styles, and strategies of each student.

  1. Ensure all course content is readily and easily accessible to all students.

Instructors should make sure that courses meet all the necessary accessibility requirements (508 compliance). They should also create course content and assessments that are user-friendly in terms of technology and provide alternate means of access to the course material should there be problems with the Learning Management System. 

Instructor Qualifications:

  1. Be certified by ARELLO and maintain the CDEI designation.
  2. Have a basic understanding of adult learners.
  3. Have Basic Computer Skills

Keyboarding

  1. Updating the operating system and managing security settings
  2. Audio recording (microphone) and webcam recording (video)

File Management

  1. Create and name files
  2. Understand file formats
  3. Understand file storage
  4. Organize and manage files
  5. Understand formats that are mobile device accessible

Email

  1. Send and receive email
  2. Attach documents and pictures (optimized for small file size)
  3. Participate in discussion groups/listservs
  4. Create and manage discussion groups

Word Processing

  1. Create, edit, and save documents in various formats (doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt, .pdf)
  2. Use structural formatting techniques (headings, sub-headings, lists, etc.)
  3. Insert accessible tables, graphs, and graphics into documents

Presentation Software

  1. Create, edit, and save presentations in various formats
  2. Add accessible media to a presentation
  3. Record audio narration for the presentation
  4. Link or embed accessible media from the web
  5. Create, edit, and save video
  6. Use simple captioning tools for media

Internet

  1. Understand and use different browser types
  2. Know how to do targeted searches
  3. Understand how to use online databases
  4. Be familiar with social networking tools (e.g., Facebook and Twitter), YouTube,
  5. podcasts, blogs, webinars u0026amp; wikis

Learning Management System

  1. Upload content
  2. Create, design, and edit course modules
  3. Make content accessible
  4. Create announcements, discussion forums, blogs, and wikis
  5. Create assessments, surveys, and polls/use the Grade Center
  6. Upload multimedia
  7. Use IM or chat

RESPONSE TIMES 

The ideal response time to learner communication is “immediately.” If an instructor is not available or cannot respond at that time, return student communication no longer than 72 hours after the first contact. 

Types of Interaction 

Instructor—Student Interaction:

  • Course announcements
  • Messaging via the LMS
  • Personalized feedback should be immediate
  • Discussion boards
  • Chat/IM/ Facebook should be immediate
  • Videoconferencing/Skype (live)
  • Phone/voicemail (live)

Student—Student Interaction:

  • Messaging via the LMS
  • Discussion boards
  • Chat/IM Facebook
  • Collaborative projects: group blogs, wikis

Examples of Content Interaction:

  • Modules on the LMS
  • Lectures (recorded/streaming)
  • Podcasts/webinars/screencasts
  • Videoconferencing/
  • Discussion boards

Netiquette 

The Golden Rule of Netiquette is ‘Remember the human.’ When communicating via computer, it’s all too easy to forget that those are real people out there with real feelings and egos. It’s OK to express your opinions, but be sensitive to the feelings of others.” By UNKNOWN

THE CORE RULES OF NETIQUETTE

The Core Rules of Netiquette are excerpted from the book Netiquette by Virginia Shea.

  • Rule 1: Remember the Human
  • Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life
  • Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace
  • Rule 4: Respect other people’s time
  • Rule 5: Make yourself look good online
  • Rule 6: Share expert knowledge
  • Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control
  • Rule 8: Respect other people’s privacy
  • Rule 9: Don’t abuse your power
  • Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes

Forums

Communicate clear guidelines in the prompt that establish your expectations for students’ contribution to the discussion. Instructors may choose to provide details about the writing style (e.g., formal/informal), number of posts, length (e.g., number of words), frequency, tone, and content (e.g., elements that constitute “value added”). 

Use threaded discussion responses to allow students to respond to one another multiple times in an organized way in each discussion board post. 

Be present in the discussion board by providing feedback and coaching to student responses.

Encourage students to participate in a variety of ways that work for the individual student, including text, audio, or video. 

Create questions and prompts that require complex thinking and application of ideas to avoid repetitive student responses.