1.0 Purpose

Class attendance is an integral part of a sound academic program for most classes at Germanna. However, alternate teaching techniques, which may not require class attendance, may also be a part of a sound academic program. Germanna students are expected to be present and on time at all regularly scheduled classes and laboratory meetings.  Students enrolled in asynchronous classes should regularly participate in weekly activities.

This policy provides guidelines for faculty regarding attendance and administrative withdrawal.  It complies with VCCS Policy 5.6.0 and details what constitutes academic engagement.

2.0 Policy

In accordance with VCCS Policy 5.6.0 regarding credit courses, “… In order to receive any letter grade, a student must have attended (participated in) a minimum of one class meeting or the equivalent in the case of a distance learning course. … Students who enroll in a course but do not attend a minimum of one class meeting or the distance learning equivalent by the census date or earlier date as defined and published by the institution must be administratively deleted from the course by the college.”

A. Acceptable indications of engagement (attendance) for an online class as per the Federal Student Aid Handbook include: 

  1. Student submission of an academic assignment
  2. Student submission of an exam
  3. Documented student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction
  4. A posting by the student showing the student's participation in an online study group that is assigned by the institution
  5. A posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the student's participation in an online discussion about academic matters
  6. An email from the student or other documentation showing that the student-initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a question about an academic subject studied in the course.

B. Examples for engagement (attendance) for an in-person class include:

  1. Students who are enrolled in an in-person class are expected to be present
  2. Students are expected to be active participants in the class 

C. Attendance Guidelines. Below are guidelines for faculty on the maximum number of absence based upon the course length and weekly meetings:

Attendance Guidelines
Course Length Weekly class meetings Absences permitted
15 week 1 2
  2 6
  3 6
  4 8
12 week 1 2
  2 6
  3 6
  4 8
7 week 1 1
  2 3
  3 3
  4 4
5 week 1 1
  2 2
  3 3
  4 4


3.0 Procedures

1.0 Faculty will use the attendance guidelines set forth in this policy to detail the attendance standards for their class. This information is to be added to the syllabus.

2.0 Faculty will reach out to a student via email who has not participated in the class for a given week.

2.1 After two consecutive weeks of non-engagement for a 12- or 15-week class, faculty should raise an alert through Student Services.
2.2 For 5- or 7-week classes, faculty will raise an alert with Student Services after one week of non-engagement.

3.0 If a student has not engaged in class or contacted their instructor for a period of time representing 25% of the course semester, a faculty member can administratively withdrawal the student from the class. Please refer to Student Services Policy 80470 on Administrative Withdrawal.

4.0 Definitions

Academic Engagement: The Department of Education defines "academic engagement" as the “active participation by a student in an instructional activity related to the student's course of study."  

Distance Learning Modalities:

Distance learning courses will be considered distance learning if students and instructors are not physically present at least 50% of the course time. Due to the nature of this definition, Germanna offers the following course modalities that may fit this definition:

synchronous online, asynchronous online, hybrid (combination of campus lecture and online instruction), and hyflex.

Definitions from Faculty Senate:

Synchronous - Synchronous learning in a virtual environment is defined as a course having specific scheduled day and time offering for connecting through a shared video feed (e.g. Zoom). The students and instructors attend the scheduled time and day together. An attendance feature is used for these courses to ensure all students are present for the course at the specific date and time. The synchronous course will involve learning including but not limited to chats, videoconferencing, movies, case studies, web streams, and breakout rooms. The style of instruction should be inclusive of the students and instructors schedules and styles of learning.  

Asynchronous - Asynchronous learning in a virtual environment is defined as a course being offered in an online format with no specific time or day attached to the course. The instructor interacts with students through activities like but not limited to movies, case studies, discussions, and video. The students communicate with the instructor through email, with an understanding of a time lag response or scheduled face to face communication through media like SKYPE or Zoom. Asynchronous course instructors could require students “logging into” a course to be noted for a set amount of times per week. (i.e. must be present for discussion and review of material a minimum of twice a week.)

Hyflex -  A hybrid learning environment that allows students the option to attend class in person/face-to-face or online through synchronous (live) class sessions. Students are expected to be available for the entire scheduled class meeting time. This mode also requires asynchronous activities and attendance. Refer to synchronous and asynchronous definitions for class structure, delivery methods, and expectations.

5.0 References

6.0 Point of Contact

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Workforce Development

7.0 Approval and Revision Dates

Cabinet: May 18, 2022
Faculty Senate: May 20, 2022
Department Chairs: May 13, 2022
College Council: N/A
Leadership Council: August 25, 2022

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