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ROCC Course Development


Getting Started
Course Development
ROCC Course Approval
ROCC Course Development Fees
ROCC Enrollment Data Access Instructions
Faculty Hiring and Required Training
Instructional Resources
Instructional Best Practices


MTSU faculty may propose development of online courses for the Regents Online Campus Collaborative (ROCC) which is a strategic planning effort by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) to offer online undergraduate and graduate programs using courses developed by the system’s thirteen two-year community colleges and six universities.

ROCC courses are entirely online and transferable among all the participating institutions. Students may choose the college or university (home school) through which the admission and registration processes are completed and from which their degrees are awarded.

“The Regents Online Campus Collaborative (ROCC) 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 faculty member (a subject matter expert) from a participating institution 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 used for instruction. 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.” (ROCC website)

MTSU’s ROCC course definition:

  • TBR/ROCC Curriculum Committee approves courses for development
  • All class instruction takes place in an online environment
  • ROCC determines number of course sections offered each semester
  • Instructors can require that students take two ed exams
  • R50 is the course section number
  • Banner only displays the R50 section of ROCC courses
  • Students from all TBR institutions may register for courses
  • Course access for faculty and students is through the ROCC elearn website and not through Pipeline or MTSU’s elearn site
  • Courses are developed using the ROCC template and are housed on the ROCC server
  • Courses are developed per ROCC Standards
  • ROCC course tuition/fees are higher
  • Courses are reviewed and approved by the ROCC
  • Development and redesign fees apply

Faculty wishing to participate in the ROCC may find information at the ROCC website , or they may call the MTSU Distance Education Faculty Services Office at 615/904-8276 or email distanceed@mtsu.edu.


Faculty Course Developer

    • Sign/submit required proposal
    • Review/sign/submit contract for development and delivery of course after ROCC Curriculum Committee approval
    • Submit faculty credentials to the Provost’s Office, if needed.
    • Complete required training in preparation for course development
    • Complete course development per ROCC standards and submit for review/approval.
    • Notify D. E. Faculty Services at distanceed@mtsu.edu when course is approved for delivery.
    • Update the course prior to the beginning of each semester, by ROCC deadlines, to prepare for course cloning
    • Continually make course improvements by collaborating with sectional instructors and considering student suggestions.
    • Search for relevant content and resources to enhance the course and enrich student learning experiences.
    • Recruit and prepare colleagues and/or adjunct faculty for course instruction, especially when enrollment increases create additional course sections.
    • Teach course per ROCC instructional standards discussed during training

Department Chair/School Director

    • Approve course proposal form
    • Approve TBR contract when course is approved for development.
    • Plan to staff at least the first six course sections, if necessary. (If a developing institution cannot staff a course, it is offered to qualified instructors at all other four-year TBR universities.)

Distance Education Faculty Services

    • Direct faculty who wish to develop ROCC courses to the ROCC website  and Course Proposal Form and assist with the proposal and contract approval processes.
    • Attend ROCC Curriculum Committee Meetings to monitor proposal status.
    • Send faculty member TBR contract when course has been approved for development.
    • Retain original contract on file in D. E. Faculty Services office.
    • Provide course developer with ROCC training information.
    • Reimburse course developer for travel to ROCC development training.
    • Complete and submit pay document to compensate course developer when the course is approved for delivery.
    • Assist the department in scheduling ROCC courses.
    • Monitor enrollments during registration and assist departments in staffing additional sections.
    • Financially support offering of each ROCC course/section at the faculty extra-comp or adjunct rate of pay.
    • Monitor and ensure that all ROCC instructors have entered final grades by semester deadlines.
    • Serve as a liaison between the MTSU academic departments and the ROCC.


    • Provide faculty course developers with development and instructional resources (development template, development standards, development/redesign fees, technical support, mentors)
    • Coordinate ROCC Curriculum Committee for the review and approval of all courses for development
    • Provide review/approval process for course delivery
    • Clone courses to be offered each semester
    • Provide every course instructor with a Faculty Mentor
    • Provide development and instructional training for every course developer and instructor

Getting Started

Course Proposal Process

    • Faculty who wish to propose development of an online course for the Regents Online Course Collaborative (ROCC) course should:
      • Check the existing ROCC courses and programs (ROCC Courses and Programs) to determine if the course has been developed and to determine for what program the course should be designed.
      • Confirm that the course for proposal has been approved by the MTSU Curriculum Committee or the MTSU Graduate Council, as appropriate.
      • Complete the ROCC Course Proposal Form and Syllabus (using required template) and follow the instructions for submission*.
      • Email a copy of the proposal to the Distance Education Faculty Services Office
      • Proposals are not accepted for courses which require a prerequisite unless the prerequisite is already in the ROCC course inventory.
      • Proposals are only accepted from universities for 3000- and 4000-level courses. Community colleges have first choice of 1000- and 2000-level course development.
      • *Submission of a Course Proposal to the ROCC does not guarantee course development approval.

Course Completion Deadlines

    • Two semesters, minimum, should be allotted for course approval, development, review/approval, and scheduling. Please review the course completion deadlines below in order to plan course development.
      • November 1 - Spring Semester
      • March 1 - Summer Semester
      • July 1 - Fall Semester

Course Proposal Review

    • Each proposal is reviewed by the appropriate subcommittee of the ROCC Curriculum Committee;
    • A recommendation for acceptance or rejection is made to the ROCC Curriculum Committee by the subcommittee;
    • The faculty member is notified, via email, of the committee’s decision.
    • Course developer should forward the email to D.E. Faculty Services at distanceed@mtsu.edu.

Accepted for Course Development

    • If the proposal is accepted, the course developer will complete required training conducted by the ROCC;
    • A course development contract will be emailed to the course developer by Distance Education Faculty Services.
    • The course designer is given two compensation options (see Development Fees below):
      • Payment only;
      • Payment and laptop computer.

Rejected Proposal

    • If the proposal is rejected, reasons will be given to the course developer (one example is that course content may have overlapped with or been too similar to an existing course).
    • If revisions are requested, a re-review by the subcommittee is necessary before submission to the full committee for review/approval.

Course Development Agreement

    • After a course is accepted for development, the course designer is forwarded a contract by D.E. Faculty Services
    • Course developer signs the contract which outlines development and instruction expectations as well as the terms for compensation.
    • When the contract has been signed by all parties, the original is kept on file in the Distance Education Faculty Services Office.
    • A copy of the approved document is provided to the course developer upon request by contacting Distance Education Faculty Services at 615/904-8276 or distanceed@mtsu.edu.
    • The approved contract must be on file in Distance Education Faculty Services prior to completion of course development in order to receive compensation.

Course Development

Online courses being developed for the ROCC must adhere to the ROCC Standardsand Template Guidelines (adhering to TBR Quality Matters for Online Teaching and Learning), and the New Guidelines for Addressing Online Retention.

  • Desire2Learn (D2L) Course Development Training/Course Shell and Access
    • Before course development begins, all faculty developing or redesigning online courses for the ROCC are required to complete developer training
    • Course developer training consists of a two-day training session at the TBR and covers ROCC Standards and D2L Tools.
    • A Desire2Learn (D2L) course development shell is provided by the ROCC during required training.
    • ROCC courses are maintained on the TBR D2L server and are accessed through the ROCC website (not through MTSU elearn or PipelineMT).

ROCC Course Approval

When development and redesigns are complete, the courses are reviewed by ROCC Instructional Designers. Course developers receive approval emails or emails requesting revisions. When course developers receive the approval emails, they should forward them to Distance Education Faculty Services at distanceed@mtsu.edu in order to receive compensation for their work.

ROCC Course Development Fees

Following the review/approval process, the course developer should forward the course delivery approval email from the ROCC to Distance Education Faculty Services at distanceed@mtsu.edu. A pay document is then prepared to compensate the course developer according to the amount noted on the development contract and selected from the chart below. Fees are paid usually within eight (8) weeks of course approval notification.

Effective June 1, 2005
New Fee - No laptop Fee - with laptop
Undergraduate $4,500 $3,000
Graduate $5,000 $3,500
Fee – no laptop Fee – with laptop
Undergraduate $3,000 $2,250
Graduate $3,500 $2,750


    • Unless a developing institution has received ROCC approval to offer a course on a rotation basis, the institution is expected to offer it every semester.
    • The ROCC determines the number of course sections offered each semester (based on course history). The developing institution is eligible to staff the first six sections.
    • If MTSU cannot staff a course it developed, the course is offered to qualified instructors at the other four-year institutions.
    • Course scheduling is coordinated by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) through the Distance Education Faculty Services Office and the MTSU Scheduling Center.
    • ROCC and MTSU courses share a common academic calendar with one exception: ROCC summer courses are taught in a single session which lasts from early June to mid-August.
    • Course Enrollments
      • As students register for ROCC courses, enrollment numbers on the MTSU Banner system reflect only the students who claim MTSU as their home school even though students from other institutions may have registered for the courses.
      • The MTSU Banner system only displays the R50 sections regardless of the total number of additional sections that have made.
      • The ROCC administrative website reflects all student enrollments. There is a 24-hour delay in the data shown on this site. Instructions for access are below.
    • Course Balancing
      • As students register for ROCC courses, they are enrolled in the first, or R50, section until it fills. The enrollment caps are 25 students (undergraduate) and 15 students (graduate). Students then fill the second, or R51, section, third (R52), etc. sections.
      • Shortly before the semester begins, the course sections are balanced equally dividing the enrollments among the course sections.
      • The ROCC rarely allows cancellation of a course, due to low enrollment, prior to a week before classes begin.

ROCC Enrollment Data Website and Access Instructions


Access Instructions

    • Select MTSU as the "institution" - the password is mtsu2402;
    • Select semester and year from the drop-down menu and hit "go".
    • To view MTSU courses only, select "Course Offering by Institution" from the drop-down menu and MTSU as the "institution" and then hit "go";


    • Select “View All Course Offerings” which lists all courses offered by all the TBR schools for that semester (this selection may not be available until the beginning of the semester).
    • These instructions should take you to the enrollment data for the semester selected. This site also links you to various other ROCC student, course and enrollment reports.

Faculty Hiring/Required Training


    • If additional faculty are required to teach sections of ROCC courses, academic departments are responsible for hiring them.
    • The MTSU Provost’s Office is responsible for sharing MTSU faculty credentials with the TBR per SACS requirements.

Required Instructional Training

Instructional Support

    • Distance Education Faculty Services funds the instruction of all ROCC courses in the Fall and Spring Semesters.
    • Departments receive funds at the extra-comp/adjunct rate of pay, depending upon faculty rank, for full-time faculty teaching ROCC courses within their loads.
    • Adjunct Faculty are paid according to the adjunct pay criteria guidelines or their rank within their academic departments (see chart below).
    • The pay dates for adjunct faculty during Spring and Fall Semesters are as follows:
      • Spring Semester: 1/3 February 28; 1/3 March 31; 1/3 April 30;
      • Fall Semester: 1/3 October 31; 1/3 November 30; 1/3 December 31.
Faculty Rank Rate Per Credit Hour
Full Professor $700
Associate Professor $650
Assistant Professor $600
Instructor $550
    • Full-time faculty teaching ROCC courses out-of-load receive two payments per each Spring and Fall Semester.

Instructional Resources

  • Faculty Mentors are located at each institution to assist faculty teaching ROCC courses. More information, and the name of the MTSU mentor, is located at the ROCC Faculty Mentors website 
  • Distance Education Student Services Manager, Rodney Robbins, serves as MTSU’s ROCC Campus Contact and may be reached at rodney.robbins@mtsu.edu or at 898-5060.

Instructional Best Practices

According to the ROCC website, faculty are more successful when they:

    • "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”.

First Day of Class

    • (Based on Best Practices for Student Success and ROCC Policies & Guidelines)
    • Send an email and post a message on the Discussion Board to students welcoming them to class and encouraging them to actively communicate with their classmates. Encourage them to email you regarding any learning problems or issues.
    • Direct students to review the course syllabus and any “Getting Started” information. This will help students to understand the organization and requirements of the course.
    • In an effort to establish a positive and respectful classroom environment, encourage your students to review your course expectations and remind them of appropriate behavior in an online environment.

First Week of Class

    • (Based on Best Practices for Student Success and ROCC Policies & Guidelines)
    • Be prepared for registration adjustments during the first week of class.
    • Students on financial aid may be delayed in obtaining their textbooks due the processing of the materials. Therefore, please provide some alternative options for students without books to access the information for the first week (Internet, etc.).
    • Make students aware of support services that may enhance their success online (free tutoring, virtual library, ADA services, etc.) Share with them that within their class are links to all of the services.
    • “Be sure to help students practice any tools they will need later on, such as a special quizzing browser, an online writing or math lab with a code required to get in, a certain type of file or program, a media player, an audio recorder, a video camera, etc. Get problems solved during the first week so that students can focus on learning content – not technology – later on.”
    • If your students will require a proctor, urge them to schedule this during the first week or two of class. Most testing centers are not heavily staffed, and trying to accommodate latecomers can become a nightmare for them.
    • Especially during the first week of class, try to be online every day. This will help students by:Studies have shown that instructors who are available online every day during the first week have a significantly higher retention rate, increased communication and bonding, and fewer classroom problems.
      • reducing concerns;
      • addressing questions;
      • establishing bonding;
      • assisting students in preparing for the class;
      • assisting students in learning to navigate the course.

After the Second Week of Class

    • (Based on Best Practices for Student Success and ROCC Policies & Guidelines)
    • Identify students who have not participated in the course and contact Teresa Umphrey, Distance Education Faculty Services, at teresa.umphrey@mtsu.edu. Teresa will try to contact the students to confirm that they are still enrolled and to offer assistance.
    • When it is evident that a student is falling behind in his/her work, email them immediately to try to get back on track.
    • Make sure that your policies on accepting late work are clear. If no late work is allowed, communicate this at the start of the semester.
    • Quickly contact students who miss an assignment in an effort to assist them before the next assignment is due.

Semester Instructional Tips

    • (Based on Best Practices for Student Success and RODP Policies & Guidelines)
    • Log into class at least three times per week to initiate communication with your students in an effort to serve as “facilitators of learning” and “motivators”.
    • Respond to student e-mails and discussion postings within 48 hours, unless the students have been notified of any change beyond the required 48 hours.
    • Grade assignments, discussions, quizzes, etc., and post the grades within two weeks of the assignment’s posted due date.
    • MTSU online courses are to be taught asynchronously, and professors cannot require synchronous student interaction or assignments where students must be online at the same time as other students or with the instructor.

Discussion Board Examples

    • The discussion board is a useful teaching tool and allows for student-to-student interaction. If you intend to grade discussion, provide students with guidelines.
    • All students will post a response to each of the discussion questions. In addition each student will respond to the comments left by at least one of the other students. You may only respond once to any particular student and that student must respond to your comments. You may however respond to as many students as you like, and they may respond once to you.

General criteria used to assess class discussions include:

    • Content Mastery: Students must evidence an understanding of the fact, concepts, and theories presented in the assigned readings and lectures. This ability is the basis for all higher-level skills and must be made evident by comments and/or response to questions.
    • Communication Skills: Students must be able to inform others in an intelligent manner what he/she knows. Ideas must be communicated clearly and persuasively. Communication skills include listening to others and understanding what they have said, responding appropriately, asking questions in a clear manner, avoiding rambling discourses or class domination, using proper vocabulary pertinent to the discussion, building on the ideas of others, etc.
    • Synthesis/Integration: Students must be able to illuminate the connections between the material under consideration and other bodies of knowledge. For example, one could take several ideas from the reading or class discussions and combine them to produce a new perspective on an issue, or one could take outside materials (from other classes, personal experiences, etc.) and combine them to create novel insights. Students who probe the interdisciplinary roots of the theories presented or who are able to view the author or the materials from several viewpoints demonstrate this skill.
    • Creativity: Students must demonstrate that they have mastered the basic materials and have gone on to produce their own insights. A simple repetition of ideas from the articles will not suffice, nor will simply commenting on what others have said. Students must go beyond the obvious by bringing their own beliefs and imagination to bear. Creativity may be displayed by showing further implications of the material, by applying it to a new field, or by finding new ways of articulating the materials, which produce significant insights.
    • Valuing: Students should be able to identify the value inherent in the material studied. Furthermore, students should be able to articulate their own positions by reference to basic underlying values. Students must not simply feel something is wrong or incorrect; she or he must be able to state why, based on some hierarchy of values. In either accepting or rejecting a position, the operative values must be explicit.
    • General Enthusiasm and Interest in the Class: This can be shown by regularity of discussion and bringing in outside, ancillary materials that you read or have passed along to you. The more substance that you bring to the discussion, the higher your grade.


    • Test Proctoring Information
    • Students are responsible for identifying appropriate proctors and for scheduling their tests according to the noted ROCC guidelines.
    • ROCC instructors review and approve all potential exam proctors.