Resolution on Learning Mode Codes Must be Descriptive Rather than Prescriptive

Resolution Number: RS22-433
May, 2022
Whereas: 
RATIONALE: Learning mode codes should accurately record and describe learning mode implementation in course sections to communicate expectations to students, faculty, the institution, and other entities; they should not be used to limit sound pedagogical choices specific to a discipline. The current failure of CSU learning mode codes to accurately describe all SF State learning mode implementations results in inaccurate recording and communicating of course section learning modes and places inappropriate limitations on the choice of learning mode implementations within disciplines.
Whereas: 
learning mode codes come from the California State University Chancellor’s Office and are used to identify the learning mode of course sections ; however, even though they are a single set of definitions coming from the Chancellor’s Office, the definitions on campus websites are not uniform; and
Whereas: 
the current learning mode codes are not mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive, meaning that it is possible for HyFlex and hybrid courses not to be accurately represented using the current learning mode codes ; and
Whereas: 
gaps in the learning mode codes leads to errors in the coding process when learning mode codes are used that do not accurately describe the actual learning mode, and this leads to a failure to accurately communicate learning mode to students, an inability to identify course sections that need specific types of learning mode specific support, and leads to a decrease in the validity of institutional research focused on learning modes; and
Whereas: 
learning mode codes are used to inappropriately limit learning mode implementations, rather than relying on learning mode choice being directed by the process outlined in the online education policy, WASC accreditation guidelines, and administrative mandates; and
Whereas: 
the codes may fail to accurately describe the multiple ways the mode of current course sections may differ (e.g., meeting frequency, balance of online education and in-person instruction, student choice); and
Whereas: 
the codes may fail to be flexible enough to adequately describe other characteristics of mode that are not currently commonly considered but may be an important characteristic of mode in the future ; therefore, be it
Resolved: 
that in the short-term learning mode codes be applied in a good faith effort to accurately as possible describe the learning mode implementation for the benefit of communicating expectations to students, faculty, and the institution; and be it further
Resolved: 
that in the short-term, learning mode codes will not be used to limit learning mode choices and be it further
Resolved: 
that given the inaccuracy of the codes and resultant inaccuracy of any analysis of learning mode effectiveness based upon these codes, we caution against researchers utilizing these codes in studies of teaching effectiveness, policy recommendations, or resource allocation; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Chancellor’s Office is requested to seek input from faculty, staff, and administrators on all CSU campuses to facilitate a change from a limited number of learning mode codes to a series of class session characteristics (e.g., modes, frequency of meetings, pattern of meetings, sequential or simultaneous nature of learning modes) and shift away from learning mode codes.
Resolved: 
To be distributed to other CSU Senates, the Statewide CSU Senate (ASCSU), Senates within the Community College System, the California Faculty Association (through the SF State Chapter), and the Chancellor’s Office.