ROCC Course Development

Getting Started
Course Development
Course Approval
Course Development Fees
Faculty Hiring and Required Training
Instructional Resources
Instructional Best Practices


MTSU faculty may propose development of online courses for the TN eCampus which is an educational collaborative initiated by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) with the purpose of providing a central resource for exploration of online undergraduate and graduate courses and programs developed by the system’s thirteen two-year community colleges and six universities.  All information about online programs and courses offered by each institution is found at the TN eCampus website.

TN eCampus uses a Master Course model in which a single course is developed and may be taught by multiple instructors from multiple institutions. Only approved (University Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council) courses are eligible for TN eCampus online course development.  After a course is proposed for development, it is submitted to the TBR/TN eCampus Curriculum Committee (comprised of faculty from participating TBR institutions) for approval.

Following development by a faculty member (a subject matter expert) from a participating institution, the course is sent through the TN eCampus iQuality 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.” (TN eCampus Frequently Asked Questions).

MTSU’s TN e-Campus Online Course Definition

  • TBR/TN eCampus Curriculum Committee approves courses for development
  • All class instruction takes place in an online environment
  • TN eCampus determines number of course sections offered each semester
  • Instructors can require that students take two proctored exams
  • R50 is the course section number
  • Banner only displays the R50 section of TN eCampus courses
  • Students from all TBR institutions may register for courses
  • Course access for faculty and students is through the TN eCampus elearn website and not through Pipeline or MTSU’s elearn site
  • Courses are developed per requirements of the Course Developer Program (CDP).  
  • TN eCampus course tuition/fees are higher than MTSU online offerings
  • Courses are reviewed and approved by the TN eCampus
  • Development and redesign fees apply

Faculty wishing to participate in the TN eCampus may find information at the TN eCampus website, or they may call the MTSU Distance Education Faculty Services Office at 615/904-8276.


Faculty Course Developer

  • Complete, sign and submit the required Electronic Course Development Proposal.
  • Review, sign and submit contract for development and delivery of course after TN eCampus Curriculum Committee approval
  • Complete required training in preparation for course development.
  • Complete course development per requirements of the Course Developer Program (CDP) and submit for review/approval.
  • Notify Distance Education Faculty Services when course is approved for delivery.
  • Update the course prior to the beginning of each semester, by TN eCampus 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 TN eCampus instructional standards discussed during training

Department Chair/School Director

  • Approve course proposal form
  • Approve development 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 TN eCampus courses to the  TN eCampus website and Course Proposal Form and assist with the proposal and contract approval processes.
  • Attend TN eCampus Curriculum Committee Meetings to monitor proposal status.
  • Send faculty member development contract when course has been approved for development.
  • Retain original contract on file in Distance Education Faculty Services office.
  • Nominate course developer for TN eCampus required Course Developer Training Program (CDP).
  • Reimburse course developer for travel to TN eCampus for development training.
  • Complete and submit pay document to compensate course developer when the course is approved for delivery.
  • Assist the department in scheduling TN eCampus courses.
  • Monitor enrollments during registration and assist departments in staffing additional sections.
  • Financially support offering of each TN eCampus course/section at the faculty extra-comp or adjunct rate of pay.
  • Monitor and ensure that all TN eCampus instructors have entered final grades by semester deadlines.
  • Serve as a liaison between the MTSU academic departments and the TN eCampus.

TN e-Campus

  • Provide faculty course developers with development and instructional resources (development template, development standards, development/redesign fees, technical support, mentors)
  • Coordinate meetings of TN eCampus 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 (see mentor duties)
  • 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 TN eCampus course should:
    • Check the existing TN eCampus courses and programs (TN eCampus Courses and Programs) to determine if the course has been developed and to determine for what program the course should be proposed.
    • Confirm that the course for proposal has been approved by the MTSU Curriculum Committee or the MTSU Graduate Council, as appropriate.
    • Complete the TN eCampus Electronic Course Development 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 TN eCampus 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 Development Proposal to the TN eCampus 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 TN eCampus Curriculum Committee;
  • A recommendation for acceptance or rejection is made to the TN eCampus Curriculum Committee by the appropriate subcommittee;
  • The faculty member is notified, via email, of the committee’s decision.
  • Course developer should forward the email to Distance Education Faculty Services to be placed on file.

Accepted for Course Development

  • If the proposal is accepted, the course developer will complete required training conducted by the TN eCampus;
  • A course development contract is 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 are 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 Distance Education Faculty Services.
  • The 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.
  • 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 TN eCampus Course Development Standards.

Desire2Learn (D2L) Course Development Training/Course Shell and Access

  • Before course development begins, all faculty developing or redesigning online courses for the TN eCampus are required to complete Course Developer Training (CDP).
  • Course developer training consists of a training session at the TBR and covers TN eCampus standards and Desire2Learn (D2L) tools.
  • A D2L course development shell is provided by the TN eCampus during required training.
  • TN eCampus courses are maintained on the TBR D2L server and are accessed through the TN eCampus website ( (not through MTSU elearn or PipelineMT).  

TN e-Campus Online Course Approval

When development and redesigns are complete, the courses are reviewed by TN eCampus Instructional Designers.  Course developers receive approval emails or emails requesting revisions.  Approval emails, they should be forwarded to Distance Education Faculty Services in order to receive compensation for the completed work.

TN e-Campus Online Course Development Fees

Following the review/approval process, the course developer should forward the course delivery approval email from the TN eCampus to Distance Education Faculty Services. 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


Fee – no laptop

Fee – with laptop











Fee – no laptop

Fee – with laptop








  • Unless a developing institution has received TN eCampus approval to offer a course on a rotation basis, the institution is expected to offer it every semester. 
  • The TN eCampus 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.
  • TN eCampus and MTSU courses share a common academic calendar with one exception: TN eCampus summer courses are taught in a single session which lasts from June to August.

Course Enrollments

  • As students register for TN eCampus 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 also.
  • The MTSU Banner system only displays the R50 sections regardless of the total number of additional sections that have made.
  • The TN eCampus SIS (Maestro) reflects all student enrollments.  There can be a 24-hour delay in the data shown on this site.
  • Distance Education Faculty Services distributes enrollment updates prior to the beginning of each semester, and most departments have access to the Maestro system.  Contact Distance Education Faculty Services to request access to the Maestro system.

Course Balancing

  • As students register for TN eCampus 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.
  • Low enrolling courses may be cancelled a week before classes begin.

Faculty Hiring/Required Training



  • Academic departments are responsible for hiring all faculty.
  • The MTSU Provost’s Office is responsible for sharing MTSU faculty credentials with the TBR per SACSCOC requirements.

Required Instructional Training

  • Instructional training (iTeach) is provided online in three (3) Desire2Learn (D2L) modules, and access is available 24/7.  The training modules are:
  • Introduction to TN eCampus
  • LMS/D2L Tools
  • Accessibility
  • In addition to online assessment, this training concludes with a 10-15 minute oral assessment of the most important aspects of teaching online.

Additional Support and Training

  • Also required of all MTSU faculty is the successful completion of Preventing Sexual Harassment training.  The MTSU policy statement on sexual harassment (and other resources) is available on the Institutional Equity and Compliance web site.

Instructional Support

  • Distance Education Faculty Services funds the instruction of all TN eCampus courses in the Fall and Spring Semesters by providing funding to departments at the extra-compensation/adjunct rate of pay, depending on faculty rank, for full-time faculty teaching TN eCampus 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


Associate Professor


Assistant Professor




  • Full-time faculty teaching TN eCampus courses out-of-load receive two payments per each Spring and Fall Semester.

Instructional Resources

Instructional Best Practices

According to Brown University’s School of Professional Studies (

  • Faculty must have a mastery of the course content, and clear learning objectives must be established;
  • Clear guidelines on how a student may succeed in the course must be posted;
  • Engage with your students early and often during the semester (establish teacher presence);
  • Review and post in discussion forums daily (a twice-a-day check-in is recommended);
  • Provide effective feedback;
  • Manage your time wisely.

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:

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

(6) 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 TN eCampus Guidelines.
  • TN e-Campus online course instructors review and approve all potential exam proctors.

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