Chicago State University

Online and Hybrid Course Approval Process

The Distance Education Committee approves any course that will be taught either online or hybrid. Please note that in order to be approved the instructor must have successfully completed the Online Certification Training (OCT), or comparable training course. Certification training information can be found at the Office of Online Instruction  or by emailing

The Approval Process:

1. Review your department's Distance Education Policy (see 'Distance Education Policies' on navigation bar).

2. After gaining approval from your Department/Dean as specified in your policy, submit a DEC Moodle Course Shell Request form to the Office of Online Instruction.  Click here

3. The DEC Chair will contact you to confirm availability of a presentation date (the committee meets the third Tuesday of each month). At least one week prior to the presentation date your Moodle course shell must be completed. These are the dates for the 2018/2019 academic year:

Meeting Date Moodle Course Shell Completed by
August 21, 2018 August 14, 2018
September 18, 2018 September 11, 2018
October 16, 2018 October 9, 2018
November 20, 2018 November 13, 2018
December 18, 2018 *Intercession will reschedule December 11, 2018
 January 15, 2019  January 8, 2019
February 19, 2019  February 12, 2019
 March 18, 2019 * Spring Break will reschedule  March 11, 2019
 April 16, 2019  April 9, 2019
 May 21, 2019  May 14, 2019

4. The Moodle course shell should include the following (see example below):

  • At least two weekly modules including or in addition to an 'Introduction/Orientation' module.
  • An 'Introduction/Orientation' module containing the syllabus, essential course resources, and communication details (e.g. how to contact instructor, office hours both virtual and in person).
  • The syllabus should be specifically designed for an online/hybrid course.
  • Course activities designed to engage students and help build a community of learners (e.g. discussion boards, chat rooms, collaborative projects).

5. On the day of your course presentation if not sooner please submit to the DEC Chair the Curriculum Change Request Forms 1 and 2 (effective January 1, 2019 the expedited DEC Change Request Form for existing courses is no longer accepted). Be sure the forms have signatures from your Department Chair and College Dean and a well supported rationale.

Curriculum Form 1 (new course)

Curriculum Form 2 (new course)

6. The presentation at the meeting typically lasts 10-15 minutes to give you opportunity to present your course after which the committee will vote to Approve, Approve with Conditions, or Not Approve. Courses that are not approved cannot be presented again before meeting with the Office of Online Instruction.  Faculty whose courses are approved with conditions must inform the DEC Chair when the conditions have been met so the approval process can move forward. Please complete this process as soon as possible.

7. The DEC Chair will verify conditions have been met if needed, sign and forward the appropriate form to the University Curriculum Committee or Academic Affairs, and list newly approved courses on the DEC website.

For a blank course shell in moodle that can be used as a guide for your course click here

*Below is an example Moodle Course Shell that is well designed for online delivery. Note that the orientation module is separate from the first discipline-specific module in this example. You are required to have at least one module that is discipline specific.

Online Courses