MTSU Online Faculty Services

lightning mtsu mascot holding laptopMTSU Online is responsible for ensuring quality in the online and hybrid courses offered through our institution. Information found within this section is intended to support faculty interested in developing and teaching online courses as well as for administrators, chairs, directors, and other staff supporting online course initiatives, including marketing, coordinator, and assessment of distance education programs.

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How We Can Help  

MTSU Online has supported faculty in the development and design of online and hybrid courses for more than 20 years.  A variety of resources and services are available to support your efforts.      

Instructional Designers  

Instructional Designers (IDs) are available for individual consultations, department/program faculty development sessions, and responding to D2L integration concerns. We are student-focused and committed to promoting learning through authentic assessment, experiential learning, and creating engaging learning opportunities.  

To promote best practices in online education, we work with our distinguished faculty and other experts throughout the course development process to ensure student success.   

Instructional and Development Training  

Faculty new to online course development are required to complete training on the MTSU-supported learning management system, Desire2Learn (D2L), prior to course development.  Completion of the "MTSU Online Instructor Certification" is available through D2L self-registration.   

Information for Administrators

Below are frequently asked questions and information for administrators, deans, chairs / directors, and staff supporting faculty and students in the design, delivery, and engagement in online courses and programs. 

What is the process for getting a course approved for online delivery? 

See the Course Development and Approval Processes information in the Faculty Services section of the MTSU Online web site. 

Can we be certain our online courses have the same academic standards and accessibility as our on-campus courses? 

The development process used by MTSU Online integrates best practice standards from several online education professional organizations, including the Online Learning Consortium.  Elements from the Online Scorecard Quality Review (OSCQR) and Quality Matters rubrics are used throughout course design review to evaluate online course quality. 

How can our instructors receive training and teach online courses? 

In addition to consultation with trained Instructional Designers, MTSU Online offers the Online Instructor Certification (OIC) course for faculty new to online teaching.  In addition, faculty have access to resources and training from ITD’s Academic and Instructional Technology Services unit. 

What is MTSU Online’s role in managing our distance education program? 

  • Initial program planning discussions 
  • Continual communication with the academic department chair, the academic advisor, and the academic staff member responsible for scheduling courses
  • Market research
  • Developing and implementing a program marketing plan
  • Providing inquirers and students with program information through marketing materials and at our distance education website
  • Serving as a student services contact
  • Distance education program enrollment management
  • Annual formal evaluation of distance education programs as required by SACS 

What is the department responsible for after the program is initiated? 

  • Providing distance education advising
  • Including distance education courses in their departmental course scheduling so these courses are available to distance education students in the sequence communicated in marketing materials and on the distance education website
  • Communicating any distance education program changes to the Senior Program Manager 

What resources are available to help us meet ADA requirements? 

MTSU Online expects instructors developing and teaching online courses to develop the courses and prepare online content to meet minimum ADA accommodation requirements even if no disabled students are currently enrolled.  The Disability & Access Center can determine if your course meets these minimum standards. The Faculty Instructional Technology Center (FITC) is also a valuable resource to assist in adapting courses to meet accessibility requirements. 

Who is responsible for SACS approvals? 

The academic department is actively involved in providing documentation for SACS and MTSU distance education approval. 

Who owns the online course product? 

MTSU's Intellectual Property policy (140 | Middle Tennessee State University (mtsu.edu)) provides guidance as to who owns the online course product. In general, MTSU retains the right to use the online course in its delivery of instruction.  The faculty member who developed the course will also retain the right to use the course package. 

Who pays our faculty to develop the program’s online courses? 

The academic department and MTSU Online will discuss the resources available to fund the program’s course development as well as the program’s course sequence and course development timeline.