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Faculty FAQs

Getting Started in Online Course Delivery

Teaching TN eCampus Courses

Course Development Process

Answers

What qualifications must an online professor possess?

All faculty must be certified by the regional accreditation commission and verified before they will be considered for online teaching assignments. Additionally, all instructors are required to attend training on the online delivery platform, have an understanding of online teaching principles and learning methods, and adhere to high-quality teaching standards.

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What is expected from online faculty?

All TN eCampus faculty members are given clear direction and expectations on how they will communicate and interact with their students, how they will manage their courses and how they can provide quality instruction and service to students. Online faculty members tend to have more success when they exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Encourage contact between students and faculty
  • Develop reciprocity and cooperation among students
  • Encourage active learning
  • Give prompt feedback
  • Emphasize time on task
  • Communicate high expectations
  • Respect diverse talents and ways of learning

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What are the technical requirements and knowledge/skills needed to teach an online course?

Many faculty members work from home. Therefore, a computer and DSL or cable Internet connection is critical for accessing Desire2Learn, the Learning Management System. Faculty should possess the following knowledge/skill sets:

  • Good PC skills
  • Familiarity with e-mail since this is the most common means of communication with students 
  • Familiarity with Internet browsers
  • A good understanding of bandwidth and dial-up connections. This will allow faculty members to understand limits on the amount of information (words, pictures, video and sound) that can be transmitted via the Internet and pulled down by students.

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If I decide to teach online courses, who needs to be involved from my campus?

Teaching online requires the assistance and support of a number of people throughout the institution. Get to know them so they can help you with your project.

  • Department Chair - Faculty should contact their department chair first. They will need to approve the course before it can be offered online.
  • Division Dean - The division dean will also have to provide approval for the course.
  • Office of Distance Learning - The distance learning staff will need to know that you are planning on going "online" in order to coordinate account and course information, to support you in your endeavor and to market your course through the publications of the college.

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Is training required to teach an online course?

Training is required for all new faculty members. Faculty must complete orientation training designed to prepare instructors for teaching in an online learning environment and to use the various tools available in the web-based Learning Management System (LMS). This training must be successfully completed prior to the beginning of the semester in which the instructor will begin teaching.

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How do I sign up for training?

Faculty members will be enrolled in training after their campus leadership completes this registration form (cannot be completed by the instructor/course developer). Questions about faculty training can be emailed to training@tnecampus.info or referred to 888-223-0023. Alternately, a support request ticket can be submitted at tnecampus-support@D2L.com.

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Now that I've begun teaching, how do I learn more about policies and protocols?

Seek out one of these professionals:
  • Your Faculty Mentor
  • Your institution's TN eCampus Contact
  • The department head of the subject you are teaching
  • Your distance education dean

All of these individuals can answer questions about assignment and compensation at your institution.

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Where do I look for answers to general questions about TN eCampus?​

Ask your Faculty Mentor or become familiar with the information on this website.

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Where do I find training on the D2L Learning Management System?

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Where do I find training in the pedagogy of online teaching and learning?

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Who is my Faculty Mentor and how do I contact him/her?

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What types of questions can the Faculty Mentor answer for me?

Your mentor is your first point of contact for all issues. If your mentor doesn't know, he/she will find out or connect you with someone who knows!  Your mentor can help you find answers to questions about:

  • TN eCampus program policies
  • Login issues
  • Personalizing your section
  • Student issues (difficult students, etc.)
  • D2L tools
  • Pedagogy of online teaching and learning
  •  Training sessions
  • Maestro Student Information Site
  • Maintain profile (keep your personal contact information current)
  • Faculty login (see your students' home institutions , external contact information, withdrawal status)
  • Faux student account (allows you to enter your course as a student)
  • Course content
  • Course policies
  • Course developer issues (cloning, dates, access, etc.)

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Who is my TN eCampus contact and how can they assist me?

Locate your TN eCampus Contact here. Your Campus Contact is your point of contact for most administrative issues. Your Campus Contact can assist you with:

  • Instructor contracts and payments
  • Section assignments
  • Incompletes, transcripts and grade changes
  • Exam proctoring
  • Other student administrative issues
  • Serious student issues (misconduct, plagiarism, threats, etc.) that you cannot resolve

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How do I acquire a textbook for the course?

Contact the publisher's website for a desk copy. If you are not sure how to acquire your textbooks, start with your Mentor.

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How do students acquire textbooks?

Students obtain textbooks from the TN eCampus Bookstore. If you are trying to resolve a bookstore issue for a student, contact Sara Hamlett

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How do students find online tutoring?

Students can select the Smarthinking link located under Bookmarks within the Learning Management System. 

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How do students find proctors for their exams?

Visit the Student Services section of this website.

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Where do I get technical assistance?

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How do I submit a grade change?

Follow your institution's policy for submitting a grade change form when acquiring signatures. Please note that the deadline depends upon the student's home school rather than the delivery institution. To change a student's grade, follow the instructions and submit the form found on this page

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How do I handle faculty-student or student-faculty complaints?

Students and instructors should do their best to resolve any difficulties one-on-one. The procedures below apply only if the instructor and student have not been able to reach a resolution.

If an instructor has a complaint regarding a student, the instructor should contact the student for resolution by email. If the problem persists, the instructor should contact his/her home TN eCampus Contact in writing via email. The instructor's Campus Contact will notify the Campus Contact at the student's home institution. The Policy Statement can be viewed here.  

If a student has a complaint regarding an instructor, the student should contact the instructor for resolution by email. If the problem persists, the student should contact his/her home TN eCampus Contact in writing via email. The student's Campus Contact will notify the Campus Contact at the instructor's home institution. The Policy Statement can be viewed here. 

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Describe the course development model used.

TN eCampus works from a Master Course model in which a single course is developed and then taught by multiple instructors from multiple institutions. A course is approved for development by a Curriculum Committee, developed by a subject matter expert, and sent through a Quality Review process for final approval. Once approved, the developed course becomes the Master Course Copy of that specific course. The Master Course Copy is never taught from, nor does it ever have students enrolled into it. It is used simply as an original version of the course which is kept updated as the most recent and relevant copy of the course.

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How do I submit a course for online development purposes?

TN eCampus is continuously adding new courses to its inventory of online offerings. Any proposed course must already be an approved course in one of the Tennessee Board of Regents institutions. Proposals are not accepted for courses which have not gone through a local institution's curriculum committee and approval process. Additionally, courses which have prerequisites will not be approved unless the prerequisite courses are already in the TN eCampus course inventory. When a course is proposed, it is assumed that the program which that course falls into is already an approved program.

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Is a formal proposal necessary when submitting a course for consideration?

Yes. A course proposal must be completed and submitted for each course development. The proposal provides information to the Curriculum Committee which assists them in making decisions regarding your course. Each proposal is reviewed by an appropriate subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee and is then submitted to the full committee for review. The subcommittee or the full committee can return the proposal to you if either has questions or concerns about any part of your proposal.

In order to consider a proposal received, you must:

  • Submit the completed proposal with all necessary campus signatures
  • Submit a current resume/vita
  • Submit a one-page example of what you think a representative module within the course will look like.  Example must follow the TN eCampus Sample module format, and list the types of files, content, assessments, etc.

Proposals will not be considered official or complete until the printed copy with all required signatures is received at the address below:

TN eCampus Course Proposals
ATTN: Dr. Nicola Wayer
Tennessee Board of Regents
1 Bridgestone Park
Nashville, TN 37214

Proposals which are submitted with incomplete information will be returned to the sender. To submit a proposal, use the Course Development Proposal Form (downloadable Word document). 

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What should I consider before I develop an online course?

You should answer "yes" to all of the questions below when deciding whether or not to build an online course. If you answer "No" to any of the questions, contact a campus faculty trainer to determine steps you need to take.

  • Do I have a computer (preferably a PC) in my office that is at least a Pentium III with a minimum of 64 MB of RAM?
  • Am I familiar with basic PC skills (file structure, copying, moving files, keyboard and mouse functions, screen and windows features, etc.)?
  • Can I create and manipulate documents (formatting, copying, pasting, attaching and retrieving them)?
  • Am I willing to learn new software applications needed to teach on the Web? 
  • Have I taken an online course?
  • Have I looked at online courses of other faculty teaching at the college?
  • Am I prepared to invest the effort and time needed to deliver a course online?
  • Will using this technology help me reach the students I teach more effectively?
  • Updating the course prior to the beginning of each semester to make sure that it is ready to be cloned for sections taught during a specific semester.
  • Make continual modifications and improvements to the course through a collaborative process with faculty members who are actually teaching the course and suggestions from students who have taken/are taking the course.
  • Continually look for additional content and resources which might be added to the course to further enrich students’ learning experiences.

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Approximately how long does it take to build an online course?

It takes about a semester to build your first online course. 

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What design-related issues must I consider when developing a course?

There are numerous considerations that need to taken into account before you begin your course development. These are typically design-related issues that may not relate directly to course content, but can create troublesome issues within an online course if they are not considered during the development of your course.

  • Fonts
  • Modules
  • Consistency of Naming Schemes
  • Instructions
  • Assessments
  • Due Dates
  • Grades
  • Images
  • File Formats

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How is quality built into the course development process?

A Quality Review takes place on two different occasions. Initially, your course is reviewed approximately 30-45 days after you begin development. This first review looks at your initial development to make sure you're on the right path. Your Homepage, Getting Started module and your first module of course content are reviewed to determine if any adjustments are needed early in development process. This review eliminates the need for repetitious rework in future modules.

After you have completed your development, the Quality Review committee looks at the entire course one more time and uses a tool to review it against accepted program standard, guidelines and practices. You receive formal communication concerning any modifications needed prior to formal course approval and acceptance. 

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What are my responsibilities after I’ve finished developing a course?

Once the development process is completed for a course and the course has passed the Quality Review process, the course is placed into course inventory and is offered through the campus registration systems. Continuing responsibilities for course developers include:

  • Updating the course prior to the beginning of each semester to make sure that it is ready to be cloned for sections taught during a specific semester.
  • Make continual modifications and improvements to the course through a collaborative process with faculty members who are actually teaching the course and suggestions from students who have taken/are taking the course.
  • Continually look for additional content and resources which might be added to the course to further enrich students’ learning experiences.

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Is training required to develop an online course?

The traditional face-to-face Course Developer Training (CDT) has been revised into an all-online model of performance support called the Course Developer Program (CDP). The CDP provides direct learning support, instruction and resources, as well as an incremental course development process to keep faculty developers on track and on time with their course development or redevelopment projects.

With the new CDP, TN eCampus embraces the performance support model of professional development. This approach has been shown to be more effective in providing the just-in-time support that our elearning professionals need day-to-day in a fast-paced and dynamic teaching and learning environment.

The CDP provides a holistic approach to performance support for course developers and includes:

  • An asynchronous, fully-online course, focused on the course development process. The course will coincide with the commencement of work on the course development or redevelopment project. This will provide additional support for course developers while they work.
  • Mandatory Accessibility Training (online and in person in the regions)
  • Access to an online community of practice that provides networking, camaraderie, peer learning and support, and a centralized communication hub for TN eCampus and TBR elearning professionals, and
  • Attendance at the TN eCampus annual Summer Academy and 3-D Course Developer Conference for face-to-face networking, learning opportunities, and support.

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