AP 4105 Distance Education Please see the AP4105 document provided. The last revision of these regulations were approved by the Chancellor on May 25, 2023. AP4105 holds all instructors teaching online to the requirements included if they are providing instruction through the Canvas LMS or another online teaching platform. 



  1. Definition
  • Per Title 5 Section 55200,
    • a) Distance education means education that uses one or more of the technologies listed below to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor(s) either synchronously or asynchronously. Technologies may be used to offer distance education include:
      • 1- The internet;
      • 2- One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;
      • 3- Audio conference; or 
      • 4- Other media used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subdivision.
    • b) The definition of “distance education” does not include correspondence courses. All distance education is subject to the requirements of Title 5 as well as the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S. Code Sections 12100 et seq.) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S. Code Section 794 d). “Accessible” means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability. Although this might not result in identical ease of use compared to that of persons without disabilities, it still must ensure equal opportunity to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of such technology.


  1. Course Approval
  • A. Each proposed or existing course offered by distance education shall be reviewed and approved separately by the local College Curriculum Committee. Separate approval is mandatory if any portion of the instruction in a course or a course section is designed to be provided through distance education.
  • B. The review and approval of new and existing distance education courses shall follow the curriculum approval procedures outlined in AP 4020 Program and Curriculum Development. Distance education courses shall be approved under the same conditions and criteria as all other courses.
  • C. Distance education proposals are sent to the Council on Instruction, Planning, and Development (CIPD) for district-level review.
  • D. Distance education portion of any new or existing course outlines or/and an addendum to the official course outline of record shall be made if any portion of the instruction of a new or existing course is provided through distance education. The addendum must be approved according to the district’s curriculum approval procedures. The addendum must address the following:
    • (1) How course outcomes will be achieved in a distance education mode;
    • (2) How the portion of instruction delivered via distance education provides regular and substantive interaction specified in 55204; and
    • (3) How the course design and course materials of instruction delivered via distance education are accessible to every student, including students with disabilities.
    • (4) All other information required by Publication of Course Standards stated in Section IV


III. Certification


When approving distance education courses, the department forwarding the course to the College Curriculum Committee and the College Curriculum Committee will certify the following:

  • A. Course Quality Standards: The same standards of course quality is applied to the distance education courses as are applied to in person classes.
  • B. Course Quality Determinations: Determinations and judgments about the quality of the distance education course were made with the full involvement of the College Curriculum Committee approval procedures.
  • C. Instructor Contact: Each section of the course that is delivered through distance education will include regular effective contact between instructor and students.
  • D. Duration of Approval: All distance education courses approved under this procedure will continue to be in effect unless there are substantive changes of the course outline.


Note: Distance Education Status in no way infringes on the right of the Faculty assigned the course to present it in the modality they deem most appropriate, per Title 5, section 53200. 


  1. Publication of Course Standards


  1. Any course that are available for students in the PCCD catalog and class schedule shall include the

following information:

  • 1- Whether the course is designated as a degree-applicable credit course, a non-degree- applicable credit course, a noncredit course, or a community services offering.
  • 2- Whether the course is transferable to baccalaureate institutions.
  • 3- Whether the course fulfills a major/area of emphasis or general education requirement.
  • 4- Whether the course is offered on the “pass-no pass” basis.
  • 5- Whether the course is offered in a distance education format, and if so, include the following information:
    • a) All online and in-person synchronous meeting days/dates and times.
    • b) Any required asynchronous in-person activities.
    • c) Any required technology platforms, devices, and applications.
    • d) Any test or assessment proctoring requirements.


  1. Student Authentication


  • A. Students who enroll in online courses are authenticated by being provided a specific login ID and an initial password to access the online Learning Management System (LMS).
  • B. Students are encouraged to change their password. New passwords must be sufficiently complex so that they cannot be easily decoded.
  • C. The district policies/procedures regarding academic honesty and acceptable use of Information Technology Services include penalties for unauthorized use of another individual’s name and password, cheating on examinations, and other types of academic dishonesty. Students must agree to these policies/procedures the first time they log in to the district LMS. This approach promotes a pedagogical focus rather than a punitive approach to academic honesty. This is an approach to educate students as to the consequences of academic dishonesty.
  • D. Complete information about “Academic Dishonesty, Due Process, and Conduct” is posted on the district distance education site, on the distance education sites for each of the colleges, as well as on the LMS at the following link: https://www.peralta.edu/admissions/student-campus-solutions/ 
  • E. Students are also authenticated through sufficient interaction between students and instructors which contributes to verifying a student’s identity.
  • F. Instructors also can require a proctored examination which can serve as another method of authentication. 
  • G. The district Office of Educational Services, working collaboratively with representatives from the four colleges, Distance Education Coordinators, and Information Technology staff, assumes responsibility for monitoring the changing distance education requirements for institutions of higher education, as well as options available for meeting the expectations of assuring a student’s identity.


  1. Federal Financial Aid Eligibility: Consistent with federal regulations pertaining to federal financial aid eligibility, the District/Colleges authenticate or verify that the student who registers in a distance education is the same student who participates in and completes the course of program and receives the academic credit.
  • A. The District/College will provide to each student at the time of registration, a statement of the process in place to protect student privacy and estimated additional charges associated with verification of student identity, if any.
  • B. The colleges shall utilize one or more of these methods to authenticate or verify the student’s identity:
    • 1. Secure credentialing/login and password
    • 2. Proctored examinations
    • 3. New or other technologies and practices which are effective in verifying student identification


  1. Creating Accountability within Distance Education Courses:
  • A. The instructor must use or commit to using the recognized Peralta Community College District CMS/LMS (Course or Learning Management System) to deliver course content, which adheres to the following standards:
    • 1. Welcome/Orientation
    • 2. Organizational components
    • 3. Instructional modalities
    • 4. Assessment practices and expectations
    • 5. Gradebook
  • B. Instructors who are teaching any portion of a course offered through distance education shall provide regular and substantive interaction between: a) The instructor(s) and students and b) among students as described in the course outline of record either synchronously or asynchronously through some or all of the following;
  1. Group or individual meetings
  2. Orientation and review sessions
  3. Supplemental seminar or study sessions
  4. Field trips
  5. Library workshops
  6. Telephone contact
  7. Voice mail
  8. Email
  9. Course messaging
  10. Discussion Forums
  11. Announcements
  12. Home page updates
  13. Or other activities.


Title 5 55204 defines “Substantive Interaction” as “engaging students in teaching, learning, and assessment, consistent with the content under discussion, and also includes at least two of the following:

  • 1- Providing direct instruction
  • 2- Assessing or providing feedback on a student’s coursework;
  • 3- Providing information or responding to questions about the content of a course or competence
  • 4- Facilitating a group discussion regarding the content of a course or competency; or
  • 5- Other instructional activities approved by the institution’s or program’s accrediting agency.


Title 5 55204 defines “Regular Interaction” between a student and instructor(s) prior to the student’s

completion of a course or competency:

  • 1- Providing the opportunity for substantive interactions with the student on a predictable and scheduled basis commensurate with the length of time and the amount of content in the course or competency; and 
  • 2- Monitoring the students’ academic engagement and success and ensuring that an instructor is responsible for promptly and proactively engaging in substantive interaction with the student when needed on the basis of such monitoring, or upon request by the student.


VII. Faculty Selection

  • A. Prior to making instructor assignments to online or hybrid classes, college administration verifies successful completion of trainings related to accessibility and regular and substantive interaction stated in VI B above.
  • B. The instructor must have the following three elements in place prior to being assigned an online course:
    • 1. Has received training in the use of at least one course management system (such as WebCT, Blackboard, ETUDES-NG, MOODLE, Canvas)
    • 2. Has successfully completed a course in how to teach online, such as “Teaching an Online Course” (offered by PCCD/Merritt College, @One, another community college, another appropriate external entity or UC extension course)
    • 3. Uses the Peralta email system (with a peralta.edu email address) and has a Peralta webpage on the college website that hosts the online course. This webpage will provide a link to the CMS/LMS (course/learning management system) website.


  • C. Recommended preparation includes that the Instructor:
    • 1. Has enrolled in an online course of some kind
    • 2. Has worked with a mentor who is an experienced online instructor


  • D. Recommended ongoing instructor preparation should include maintaining currency in online education such as:
    • 1. Technologies
    • 2. Pedagogy
    • 3. Collaborating with other online instructors
    • 4. Ongoing assessment of student learning outcomes
    • 5. Complete a certificate in online education (at least 3 and as many as 8 courses in online education for certification as an online instructor


Note: In keeping with Section IV, Student Authentication, it is to be noted that Federal Regulations require districts to have processes in place to ensure that the student who registers in a distance education or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the program and receives academic credit. Section IV shows that the district meets this requirement.



Title 5 Sections 55200 et seq.;

42 U.S. Code Sections 12100 et seq.;

29 U.S. Code Section 794d;

34 CFR, part 602.17 (U.S. Department of Education regulations on the Integrity of Federal

Student Financial Aid Programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as


ACCJC Guide to Evaluating Distance Education and Correspondence Education;

ACCJC Accreditation Standard II.A.1

Approved by the Chancellor: January 31, 2012

Revised and approved by the Chancellor: February 24, 2014

Revised and approved by the Chancellor: August 13, 2015

Revised and approved by the Chancellor: June 13, 2017

Revised and approved by the Chancellor: May 25, 2023