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Monitoring Attendance and Participation

A Note about Attendance in "Online" Courses

Federal regulations require that students enrolled in an online course establish attendance/participation each term to be eligible for federal financial aid. Sam Houston State University verifies student attendance in accordance with this regulation.

Logging into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate attendance by the student. Students must establish a record of participation in academically-related activities in order to comply with this requirement.

Academically related activities include, but are not limited to:

  • physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
  • submitting an academic assignment;
  • taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-¬assisted instruction;
  • attending a study group that is assigned by the school;
  • participating in an online discussion about academic matters or
  • initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Students who do not engage in academically related activities prior to the census date, may have their federal financial aid eligibility adjusted.

Academically related activities do NOT include activities where a student may be present, but not academically engaged, such as:

  • living in institutional housing;
  • participating in the school’s meal plan;
  • logging into an online class without active participation or
  • participating in academic counseling or advisement.

Optional Syllabus Statement to share with Students

Students enrolled in online courses are expected to maintain ongoing course engagement in order to uphold positive academic standing with the University and in order to comply with Federal Regulations. Maintain an ongoing online presence requires participating in course related activities that may include, but is not limited to reading announcements, taking exams online, participating in group work, posting to discussion forums, submitting assignments, watching lectures, and carrying out the requirements set forth by the instructor. It is a good practice to login to online courses several times a week to stay informed of news, announcements, grades, assignments, and other important course information.