Distance Education and NonTraditional Programs

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Getting Started

MTSU Online and Hybrid Course Development
Distance Education Faculty Services

Getting Started
Course Approval


This section provides instructions to begin the course development process. Before completing the Online/Hybrid Course Proposal Form, please confirm and/or keep the following in mind.

  • The course you wish to develop has not been previously developed for distance delivery. Contact Distance Education Faculty Services, at 904-8276, for a list of courses developed by faculty in your department. Development fees are paid only for courses which have not been previously designed for online or hybrid delivery.
  • The course you wish to develop is an existing MTSU on-ground offering and has been approved by the University Curriculum Committee or the Graduate Council.  Special Topics courses are the exception.
  • Determine your readiness for online instruction by asking yourself these questions:


Getting Started

Please follow the instructions below to begin the online or hybrid course development process.

  • Proposal Form
    • Complete an Online/Hybrid Course Development Proposal Form.  Submit the completed form to Distance Education Faculty Services.  The information is posted to course development database, and an email is also automatically sent to the course designer’s chair or school director for development approval.
  • Syllabus
  • Online Course Development Agreement
    • Sign the Online (or Hybrid) Course Development Agreement which is emailed to the course designer after the Course Proposal Form is received by Distance Education Faculty Services.  The agreement should be signed and sent to the department chair/school director as soon as possible upon receipt.  It outlines course development and instruction expectations as well as the terms for compensation.  Payment for course development cannot be made until this agreement is on file in the Distance Education Faculty Services Office.  Also, development fees cannot be paid if course development is completed prior to the approval of the agreement.
  • Online Faculty Mentor (OFM)
    • An Online Faculty Mentor is assigned to each course designer upon receipt of the Course Proposal Form.  The OFM should contact the course designer to introduce herself/himself and to schedule a meeting to discuss course design.  First-time course designers are required to meet (before course development) with their assigned OFMs to discuss course design.  The OFM serves as a course development resource and conducts a peer review of the course when it is complete.  The course designer may use the expertise of the assigned OFM as little or as much as needed during course development, the review/approval process, and initial course delivery.  The name of the assigned OFM is sent in the email with the course development agreement.
  • Online/Hybrid Course Guidelines
  • Peer Review Form
  • Required Training
    • Desire2Learn (D2L)
      • Desire2Learn (D2L) is the learning management system supported by MTSU and in which online and hybrid course content is housed.  To become familiar with development and instructional tools, first-time faculty course designers are required to complete the following training sessions:
      • Introduction to D2L;
      • Grading and Assessment;
      • Communication Tools I (dropbox, discussion forum; group);
      • Communication Tools II (rubrics, with a demonstration of the competencies tool);
      • Communication Tools III (email, calendar, chat, blog, LiveRoom, checklist, classlist, etc.).
    • A D2L shell in which to complete training and/or to begin course development is automatically established after registration for a D2L workshop or scheduling a one-on-one consultation.  Faculty may, however, complete training and/or begin course design using an existing development shell.  If a new D2L development shell is needed, faculty may request it by completing and submitting the Course Development Request Form http://www.mtsu.edu/d2lsupport/faculty/devcourserequest_d2l.php
    • D2L shells are created for every course every semester.  Semester shells must not be used for course development.  If a semester shell is deleted or cancelled, course content will be lost.
    • When training is complete, the FITC trainer will sign the FITC Training Confirmation Form, and the course designer will forward it to Distance Education Faculty Services (Box 54).
    • Even though training is not required of experienced course designers, they are encouraged to discuss the design or redesign of their courses with FITC staff due to constant innovations in software/hardware and multimedia used in online course development/instruction.
    • Instructional Design Specialist
  • Optional Training Provided by FITC Staff
    • Introduction to Turnitin Education Suite (an educational suite providing faculty assistance with evaluating student written works and is now accessed through the Desire2Learn (D2L) dropbox tool)


Course Approval

Instructions for course approval are included in the email with the online/hybrid course development agreement and OFM assignment.  Detailed information may be found in the Course Approval http://www.mtsu.edu/universitycollege/distance/faculty_course_approval.php section of this website.

Questions?  Contact distanceed@mtsu.edu.

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