A course that is certified by ATLAS TLT is typically referred to as an LAS Online-certified course, and it is deemed certified because it complies with the following laws and LAS policies:

  1. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Law (also referred to as accessibility)
  2. Copyright Law
  3. FERPA Law
  4. Identity Verification Policy
  5. Scheduling & Frequency Policy

Certification Process for Online Courses

LAS staff in ATLAS and experts in CITL review courses and collaborate with instructors to make sure LAS Online courses meet the above requirements and policies.

The LAS Online Certification process typically starts with a consultation with the ATLAS TLT team. Faculty members interested in certifying online courses should send an email to atlas-tlt@illinois.edu. Both online courses that already exist and newly developed ones can be certified.

ATLAS TLT reviews courses at the beginning and after the end of the Summer and Winter terms to determine their certification status. Once certified, a course is eligible to participate in the per-IU preferential revenue-sharing model. Only IUs for enrolled undergraduate students are used in the calculation of the revenue to be shared with departments.

ATLAS TLT can also initiate a certification review of an existing online course based on information we receive about the course from instructors, students, and instructional designers. More specifically, the review of a course may be triggered as follows:

  • The faculty member in charge of the course or a department administrative official may ask us to check a course.
  • Students provide feedback on the course.
  • The course is aging (online course standards).
  • The instructor makes significant changes to the course, such as adopting a new textbook (which may affect copyright), uploading new videos (which may affect accessibility), or transferring the instructional material from one learning management system to another.
  • While checking for the 20% ID verification and the scheduling and frequency requirements, which happens every Summer and Winter terms, ATLAS TLT or CITL staff members realize that the course may not meet other requirements.

ATLAS TLT will always work with instructors and departments to provide assistance and guidance so the necessary changes to courses can be made.


Existing Online Courses

The certification process for existing courses goes as follows:

  1. The faculty member (or department) reaches out to us with questions about how to certify an existing course. ATLAS TLT staff points the faculty member to our documents on this process [add links to the LAS Online website and CITL’s QA Checklist] and offers to meet if the faculty member has any questions.
  2. Based on their review of the documents (and the consultation), the faculty member makes any necessary changes to the course site. We recommend that such changes be made only to the course’s first content module (or first week) and information files such as syllabus and course information, and not to the whole course site. The reason for this is to provide faculty members with a road map (that is, the reports from CITL) before changes are made to the whole course site.
  3. The faculty member lets ATLAS TLT know that the first content module (or first week) and information files are ready for review.
  4. ATLAS TLT sends the course to CITL.
  5. CITL reviews the material and prepares reports with actionable feedback. ATLAS TLT then shares the reports with the faculty member.
  6. Once the faculty member has made any necessary changes to the whole course site, based on the feedback from CITL, they submit the course again for a final review. Ideally, this would happen before the term in which the course is being offered starts, but we know that oftentimes this is not possible. ATLAS TLT will work with faculty members on a case-by-case basis if courses are not ready by the first day of instruction.
  7. If the course meets all LAS Online requirements, it will be considered certified.
  8. At the end of the Summer and Winter terms, ATLAS TLT will check the course again for participation in the preferential revenue-sharing model. In this check, we just make sure that the course site submitted to us before the beginning of the term was indeed the one used to deliver the course. This became a necessity because we became aware that non-certified versions of courses were being offered and, despite that, departments were being paid for offering those courses. (ATLAS TLT will check all online courses for participation in the preferential revenue-sharing model at the end of Summer and Winter terms, not just those that have been recently certified.)
  9. Next time the course is scheduled to be offered, ATLAS TLT will ask the faculty member for the link to the actual course site that will be used to deliver the course. (Please see the Tips and Recommendations section below for the advantages of having a course template that can be cloned from the certified source course site every time a course is scheduled to be delivered.) At that point, if the course meets the requirements, ATLAS TLT will declare it as certified for delivery. At the end of the term, ATLAS TLT will check the course for participation in the preferential revenue-sharing model.


New Online Courses or Courses That Need to Be Revised

If a faculty member would like to develop a course from scratch or make substantial revisions to an existing course, they should fill out the LAS Online proposal form and submit it. ATLAS TLT and CITL will analyze the proposal and start a conversation with the faculty member about the project. Assistance with instructional design and other tasks related to online course development or revision will be provided on a case-by-case basis. Information on support for online course development.