Loyola University Chicago

Office of Online Learning

Online Course Guidelines

The Office of Online Learning endorses several policies and guidelines related to the delivery of online education. Developed in collaboration with offices across the university – including Academic Affairs, General Counsel, University Libraries, the Faculty Center for Ignatian PedagogyInstructional Technology and Research Support, and the Student Accessibility Center – these policies and guidelines represent efforts to make online courses more accessible and equitable for instructors and students. Read more on each below and contact OOL with any questions or information requests, including instructor or program consultations 

Accessibility Guidelines

An accessible course is one that ensures all course components can be accessed and used by any student, regardless of ability. Proper accessibility is crucial to extending educational opportunity to all student populations, a key component of the mission of Loyola University Chicago. Accessibility is also a legal requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. To learn more about how you can make your courses more accessible, visit our Accessibility Guidelines page.

Recording Guidelines

Instructors wanting to record students in online synchronous sessions must abide by several procedures to comply with Illinois law. Students must be notified beforehand in the class syllabus of any recording that will occur in the course, and instructors who want to use any recordings beyond the class where the recording occurred must get signed releases from students. Visit our Recording Guidelines page to learn more, view a sample syllabus statement, and get the Student Recording Release Form.    

Copyright Guidelines

The digital tools that enrich the online learning experience also make the sharing of copyrighted material much easier. While fair use guidelines of the U.S. Copyright Act make allowances for nonprofit educational use of some materials, how those materials are used and shared with students matters to whether or not copyright violations occur, even in educational settings. Faculty should add a copyright statement to their syllabus (found in the Online Syllabus Template) and should review the University Libraries copyright pages for more information. For specific questions or consultations, faculty should reach out to their subject specialists 

Online Contact Hours Guidelines

Classes offered at Loyola Chicago must meet federal credit hour requirements, which stipulate that for each credit hour of a course, the class must “reasonably approximate” an hour of direct classroom instruction (a “contact hour”) and two hours of out-of-class work for students. How can online classes, where instructors and students may never meet live or in person, approximate this "contact hour" requirement? Visit our Contact Hours page for suggested contact hour equivalencies for online courses.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR is an EU regulation on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. GDPR applies to any person living in or traveling to an EU member nation. Faculty that may have students studying abroad in the EU should make students aware of GDPR and may be contacted by Loyola Administration about data privacy requests. For more information, please visit the University’s GDPR site