Friday, November 19, 2010

Online Withdrawal Process

The topic of student withdrawal from online classes was the subject of a recent KCTCS Distance Learning Peer Team meeting.  Here's the crux of the problem: the Home College is responsible for all student support needs, including adding and dropping students.  How do staff responsible for processing student withdrawals honor the withdrawal policies of the Delivering College?  Current practice is that students receive permission from an instructor and then forward that permission to the Home College.  There are some (limited) reports about falsification of instructor email.  But the bigger problem is that staff don't know if of when in the semester to check for that permission.  Consider this: at BCTC, we require Instructor permission after midterm.  Not all KCTCS colleges have the same policy nor do all colleges have the same midterm.

Some instructors have wondered why the Delivering College to process withdrawal.  There are a lot of problems with this centered around student information and other processes that must be handled by the Home College.  Financial Aid and lifting Financial Aid Holds are some of the reasons that I have seen mentioned.

So what are your thoughts on how best to resolve this?  Here are some of mine:
  • Create a shared document that to which Registrar's Offices have access.  Allow each college to edit their college's policies and deadlines for late registration.
  • Have faculty put their withdrawal requirements on their syllabus and require students to copy the syllabus along with their withdrawal request.

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