Class Size and Scheduling
Even though academic departments determine seat limits for their online and hybrid courses, the MTSU Distance Education Committee recommends maximum enrollments (see below) for online and hybrid courses.
This section also covers scheduling restrictions for online and hybrid courses and the process for scheduling classrooms for distance courses requiring mandatory meetings (hybrid courses) or providing opportunities for optional on-campus meetings (for online course students).
Class Size Recommendations
It is recommended that consideration be given to a lower class size for first-time instruction of online/hybrid courses. After the first online/hybrid teaching experience, and depending upon the course, departments may wish to increase class enrollment.
Maximum Enrollment Recommendations
Undergraduate – 25
Graduate – 15
Minimum Enrollment Recommendations
(Based on the Faculty Workload I, G and Summer School Guidelines VI, 1)
|No. Students||Course Levels|
Permission of Department (POD) Form
Faculty are responsible for advising their academic department schedulers of all of their distance courses which require PODs for course registration and the name of the individual to whom the online request should be directed upon submission.
Distance Education Faculty Services (DEFS) provides on its website the semester list of courses which require PODs and a student request form. Directions for student completion and submission of the POD Request Form are provided in PipelineMT (by clicking on the CRN).
Scheduling Online and Hybrid Courses
Academic departments should use these guidelines to schedule MTSU online and hybrid courses and associated on-campus meetings.
- Academic departments are responsible for scheduling new MTSU online and hybrid courses (per Scheduling Center deadlines) for the semester of delivery noted in the Online or Hybrid Course Development Agreement. Course designers should contact DEFS if there is a change in the semester of delivery.
- To reserve on-campus facilities for mandatory and optional meetings, the Distance Education Scheduling Request Form must be completed and submitted to the Scheduling Center. (This form may not be submitted electronically.) Room assignments are confirmed with the departments.
- New online and hybrid courses are not listed in the distance learning section of the semester schedules until they have been peer reviewed, reviewed and approved for delivery by the department chair/school director.
- New online and hybrid courses may be added to the distance section of a semester schedule no later than four weeks prior to the start of the semester if the review/approval process has been completed. Exceptions must be approved by the University Provost's office.
- Room requests received for hybrid courses prior to the Scheduling Center deadline may be made for mandatory or optional meetings.
- Requests received for hybrid courses after the deadline may be for optional meetings only. An exception may be requested by completing the Late Scheduling Request Form which requires approval of the Department Chair, Dean and Vice Provost.
- The delivery method of a course cannot be changed after registration begins.
- The dates/times/locations of all optional and required on-campus meetings should be included in the semester schedule and course syllabus.
- Mandatory meetings may be scheduled (up to 15 hours per semester) for hybrid courses, and students may be penalized for non-attendance.
- Optional meetings only may be scheduled for online courses, and students cannot be penalized for non-attendance.
- Departments are responsible for reserving meeting space (by the Scheduling Center deadline) for distance courses which are not staffed when submitting the semester schedule.
- Submission of the Scheduling Request Form should occur as departments are building their semester schedules.
- Mandatory meetings create PipelineMT time conflicts preventing students from registering for other classes.
- Optional meetings do not create PipelineMT time conflicts and are listed as memo notes in PipelineMT. In order to view the notes, students must click on the CRN. It is recommended that professors email their classes regarding scheduling of optional meetings.
- Notes are made in PipelineMT so students have the information during registration.
- The Scheduling Center must be notified of meeting space reserved in the University Computer Labs by completing the Scheduling Request Form.
- Posted University holidays and breaks must be considered when scheduling exams, meetings and assignment due dates.
Academic departments are responsible for accurately scheduling approved online and hybrid courses developed by their faculty. Use of the meeting and instructional codes listed below are required by the Scheduling Center and will result in accurate enrollment reporting and department receipt of annual financial incentives from DEFS.
- Online Courses
- Meeting Type: ONLN
- Instructional Method Code: WEB
- Accelerated Online Courses
- Meeting Type - ONLN
- Instructional Method Code - WEB
- Synchronous Online Courses
- Meeting Type - SYNC
- Instructional Method Code - WEB
- Attribute - ASYN
- Hybrid Courses
- Meeting Type: HYBR
- Instructional Method Code: HYB
- Online Courses
Please refer to the Distance Course Definitions regarding delivery method descriptions.