This position paper of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges further elaborates the Academic Senate's existing positions on distance education and the effective use of technology in instruction. In particular it examines the implications of a 1998 change in the Title 5 regulations governing distance education in California community colleges, especially with regard to instructor-student contact. The paper begins with a review of good practices in technology mediated instruction and proceeds to consider and make recommendations on effective instructor-student contact. Many of the recommendations apply equally to courses offered in any mode of instruction, but the paper specifically addresses local curriculum committees as they decide how to apply these recommendations in their review of distance education course proposals. The paper briefly mentions some unresolved issues in the area of faculty collective bargaining. Finally the paper makes recommendations for action by local academic senates to ensure that the curriculum review process for distance education courses separately documents effective instructor-student contact, technical support, accessibility and provision of support services to students.