Contract and Employment Questions

**UPDATED 4/10/2018**

What is required to meet the Instructor Standard of Embrace University Citizenship? This question comes to the Home Office on a regular basis. It is important, then, for us to clarify what is Required and what is Optional in Embracing Citizenship so instructors can meet the standard without feeling overburdened by it.

Embrace University Citizenship: Demonstrate citizenship by contributing to the mission of BYU-Idaho and Online Learning.


When you accept a contract to teach online for BYU-I each semester you are agreeing to the following citizenship requirements (as outlined in the section 7.4 Online Instructor Handbook):

  • Weekly Reflections: Reflecting weekly on course facilitation and submitting a reflection to the teaching group leader each Saturday by midnight.

  • Active participation in teaching group meetings held both synchronously (three per semester, one of which is an all-online-instructor event—Fall Forum, Winter Webinar, Live Q&A,etc.) and asynchronously (three per semester) in the Online Instruction Community. Every effort should be made to attend live meetings; if a meeting must be missed, the recording of the synchronous session should be reviewed with any follow-up questions or comments sent to the TGL.

  • Participation in an instructor review each semester, which includes completing a self-assessment and discussing your performance with your TGL.

  • Responding to administrative inquires within 24 business hours. You will receive communications from the Home Office, your Teaching Group Leader , and other administrators as needed. Such communication should be responded to promptly so as not to delay any pending processes.

These are required citizenship activities for every online instructor, without exception. Failing to meet this part of your contract may result in loss of future contracts.

Those who serve in additional capacities (TGL, AIM, OCR, Pilot instructor, etc) are contracted to attend some additional meetings to fulfill their responsibilities.


You have the opportunity to participate in additional citizenship activities that are designed to help support you as an online instructor. Some of these include:

  • Participating in additional teaching group discussions in your Online Community group.

  • Participating in general Online Community discussions, blogs, course groups, and forums.

  • Viewing campus broadcasts such as devotionals, firesides, university forums, and all-employee meetings.

  • Viewing or participating in department-specific meetings and trainings held by campus colleagues.

The university and Online Learning Department desire to provide valuable opportunities for instructors to further embrace university citizenship. We encourage you to participate in them whenever possible, but you should not feel obligated to do so as part of your employment.

TGLs can inform and invite instructors to attend optional meetings, but should never make instructors feel like they are required.

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  • Thanks Brian and Caleb!

  • Below seems to be the newest material, according to the latest version of the Online Instruction Policy Manual. I am including the link for where I found this at as well. The material seemed to be somewhat similar, so perhaps there are not that many changes overall. There is no reference to "university citenship," but I assume that it would be implied. I am still reading through it all, but am placing it here for all to view as well. Enjoy! : )

    Found at the following link:

    7.4. Online Instructor Expectations

    In order for BYU-Idaho Online to provide a high quality education for all students, BYU-Idaho Online Instructors (including those who teach PathwayConnect courses) are required to meet certain expectations and fulfill certain tasks throughout the semester. The following are task items that each instructor should be aware of and manage on a weekly basis:

    Course Facilitation

    • Log in to your course five out of six days (Monday through Saturday; you are not expected, or encouraged, to log in on Sunday).
    • Post at least one announcement per lesson prior to lesson start date. (Establish presence and prepare students for learning activities.)
    • Establish a presence in weekly discussions. (Make sure students know you are mindful of their thoughts and efforts in the course.)
    • Grade assignments within 7 days of due date (grading well ahead of the 7 day deadline is preferable).
    • Provide substantive feedback that moves the needle of learning for each student.
    • Respond to administrative and student emails within 24 hours (check junk mail folder too); respond to instant messages in I-Learn 3 within 24 hours (except Sundays).
    • Respond within 24 hours to student questions in the Questions & Conversations (Q&C) discussion board in your classroom (except Sundays).


    • Fulfill the Online Instructor Standards.
    • Submit a Weekly Reflection report at the end of each week (due by Saturday night, midnight). Your TGL will receive a copy of your Weekly Reflection, and you will use these reports to set your professional development goals.
    • Participate in the Online Instructor Community each week.
    • Participate in the 4-step Professional Learning Cycle:
      1. Set a professional development SMART goal (included in Week 3 Weekly Reflection report)
      2. Participate in some kind of professional learning (modules, courses, webinars, book studies, etc)
      3. Share what you learned and have experimented with in your own course with your Teaching Group
      4. Take a self assessment (Week 8 Weekly Reflection) to help you identify future SMART goals
    • Be an active participant and citizen of  BYU-Idaho 
      1. Attend live Teaching Group meetings (2 per semester)
      2. Participate in Teaching Group discussions in the community (2-3 per semester)
      3. Attend the Winter Webinar and Fall Forum hosted by the Home Office.
      4. Optional attendance at all-employee meetings, faculty conferences, and the Online Learning and Teaching Conference.  (May also view recorded events at a later date.)
    Section 7: Teaching Online at BYU-Idaho | Instructor Handbook | Online Instruction Library
    • Thank you Brian, I am sharing this with my TGL Group.

      Section 7: Teaching Online at BYU-Idaho | Instructor Handbook | Online Instruction Library
    • This is a great catch, Brian. Thanks for sharing. I will update right now. We actually want to circle back to this for the coming semester. 

      Section 7: Teaching Online at BYU-Idaho | Instructor Handbook | Online Instruction Library
  • Sure! I did find a link just now, which I believe is the correct web-page (below), but that will need to be adjusted by someone else...perhaps Kimball Benson? Of course, perhaps the Online Instruction Policy Manual has been updated in the past 3 and 1/2 years since this Post was posted (which is very likely since so many chhanges have taken place). Perhaps an updated Post concerning this topic would be good here.

    Instructor Handbook | Online Instruction Library
  • Thanks for the update and good reminder as we go into the Spring 2018 semester!

  • Just a note here...the link for the Online Instruction Policy Manual does not work. It needs to be updated.

  • Question: With TGLs now holding 2 mtgs per semester, and the 3rd live mtg being a winter webinar, fall forum, spring conference, etc . . . should this "optional" section be updated accordingly to reflect those Home Office sponsored events as being "required?"

    (Based on this TGL group discussion:

    • Good call, Alisha. I have updated your recommended suggestions. 

  • I realize that this is an older post but I wanted to thank you for posting this and clarifying these expectations. I just recently have been having a conversation with some of my fellow teachers in my teaching group and didn't realize how many of us had a different understanding of the standards for participation in these areas. I was glad to quickly find these items outlined in a clear way. Thanks again!

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