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Newsletter - Fall 2013

National Distance Learning Week (and contest)

Meet your Distance Learning Leadership Council representative

Training Transcripts Now Available

Policy on Certification (prior to start of Spring 2014 term)

Meet your Instructional Designer

Faculty Spotlight: Denise Linton

Upcoming Conferences

Program / Course Growth: By the Numbers

New DL Site launches

Ready Students

National Distance Learning Week

According to the United States Distance Learning Association, National Distance Learning Week exists “To celebrate and create greater awareness of distance learning, and to recognize leaders and best practices in the field.” The Office of Distance Learning at UL Lafayette will celebrate National Distance Learning Week November 11-15, 2013. We invite faculty to participate in the following events in order to bring awareness to distance learning initiatives:

  • Town Hall Meeting with faculty on distance learning.
  • Launch the new Online Student Orientation.
  • Launch the new course design template in Moodle2.

View details on NDLW here or visit our Events for more information.

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Meet Your Distance Learning Leadership Council

The charge of the Distance Learning Leadership Council (DLLC) is to advise and provide counsel to the Director of the Office of Distance Learning throughout the development and implementation of an action agenda for expanding the institution’s distance learning capacity and production. The Council meets three times each semester, and members of the council are appointed for three-year terms. Each college is represented by a faculty member from one of its departments on the Council, so if you have questions about distance learning, please engage your representative on the Council. The 2013-2014 Distance Learning Leadership Council members are:

    Academic Affairs Council: Ellen Cook (Ex-officio)

    Academic Planning and Faculty Professional Development: Robert McKinney

    Academic Success Center: Bette Harris

    College of Arts: Michael McClure (School of Architecture)

    College of Business: Kathy Hsu (Department of Accounting)

    College of Education: Susan Lyman (School of Kinesiology)

    College of Engineering: Shelton Houston (Department of Industrial Technology)

    College of Liberal Arts: Shelly Leroy (Department of English)

    College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions: Lisa A. Broussard (Department of Nursing)

    College of Sciences: Michael Totaro (Department of Computing and Informatics)

    Dupre Library: Emily Deal

    Enrollment Services: Chip Jackson

    Faculty at Large: Anita Hazelwood (Department of Health Information Management)

    Graduate School: Shawn Thibodeaux

    Information Technology and Computing: Patrick Landry

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Training Transcripts Now Available

Do you want to be able to have an individualized training record of all workshops and certifications you completed with the Office of Distance Learning? Now you can!

The Office of Distance Learning is now able to generate individualized training transcripts for faculty.  The transcript includes certification status (completed or in progress), as well as the titles, dates, and status (enrolled or completed) of all trainings.  You can request a training transcript by emailing us or by contacting your assigned Instructional Designer.

For department heads - You can also request transcripts for your faculty. We are able to pull reports by department (or college),  individual participant, training(s) session, and certification status.

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Faculty Certification Policy (Training Opportunities)

In August 2010, the University Council adopted the following policy regarding faculty certification to teach hybrid and online courses: “When the faculty member and the Dean of the College, in consultation with the Director of Distance Learning, agree on a new course for hybrid or online development / delivery, the faculty member will satisfactorily complete designated required faculty certification and the course certification process before the course can be offered.” From Development and Delivery of Locally Produced Electronic Courses: General Guidelines. The “course certification requirement” is being managed through a separate process and currently does not affect a faculty member’s ability to teach hybrid or online at this time.

The University Council in March 2013 adopted the following timeline for colleges and their departments to come into compliance with the faculty certification component of the above policy:

    Prior to Fall 2013, all faculty teaching online or hybrid courses must be up to date on Quality Matters training.

    Prior to Spring 2014, all faculty teaching online or hybrid courses must be faculty certified.

The Office of Distance Learning has identified two certification options for faculty: ULearn Certified Online Teacher and ULearn Certified Course Designer. (provide links to these two explanation) Faculty who need to earn certification should contact their Instructional Designer to discuss their specific training plan in order to achieve full certification by Spring 2014.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

November 20-December 5: Applying the Quality Matters Rubric online workshop. Quality Matters training is the foundation for all other professional development at UL Lafayette. The "Applying the Quality Matters Rubric" is a fully-online, two-week workshop which explores the eight general QM standards, the 2011-2013 rubric, and the peer review process.

Ongoing: Sloan Consortium workshops. Sloan-C offers dozens of one-week, fully online workshops in distinct tracks: Online Learner; Online Design; Online Tools.

Spring 2014: Course Design Practicum. Course Design Practicum is a 10-week design/build experience. At the end of Practicum, participants will have created their own online or hybrid course based on the Quality Matters standards.

Please contact your Instructional Designer to determine your training pathway and for registration information.

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Meet Your Instructional Designers

The Office of Distance Learning is committed to putting faculty in the best position to succeed. Two Instructional Designers serve seven university colleges:

College of the Arts: Claire Arabie

College of Business: Alise Hagan

College of Education: Alise Hagan

College of Engineering: Alise Hagan and Claire Arabie

College of Liberal Arts: Alise Hagan

College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions: Claire Arabie

College of Science: Claire Arabie


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Program / Course Growth: By the Numbers

Enrollment of students in online degree program increased from 451 non-duplicated students last spring or 2.9% of the total UL Lafayette student population to  619 students enrolled in online programs or 3.7% of the total UL student population for Fall 2013.  UL students, not enrolled in an online degree program, enjoyed an increase in the number of hybrid and online course sections to choose from with 209 sections offered. Most of those sections (62 hybrid and 147 online) filled to capacity as 70% of UL’s student population works part-time or full-time. Adding an online or hybrid class to one’s schedule has become a way for students to meet both academic and financial demands.

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New Websites Launched

The Office of Distance Learning launched two new websites in 2013: This site is dedicated to potential online students. Here, students can learn about the seven online programs, complete a SmarterMeasure assessment to determine student readiness, and connect with our Online Student Support Specialist. We also provide a list of courses delivered online as well as links to student support resources. This site is dedicated to the faculty at UL Lafayette who are teaching (or plan to teach) online. Here, faculty can learn about the policies and procedures that govern online teaching and course design, as well as the various pathways and training opportunities available to earn certification. There is also a dedicated “Teach Online” section that includes resources about tools and technology available to online faculty.

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Ready Students

Did you know there are tools available to help you determine your students’ readiness for online learning?  At the end of July, the Office of Distance Learning implemented a free ($24.95 value) web-based SmarterMeasure learning readiness assessment for potential and new online students to assess student strengths and weaknesses in six key areas: 

    Life Factors – availability of time, support from others, health, etc.

    Individual Attributes – procrastination, time management, willingness to ask for help, etc.

    Learning Style (visual, verbal, social, solitary, physical, aural, logical)

    Technical Competency, Skills, and Knowledge

    On-Screen Reading Rate and Recall

    Typing Speed and Accuracy

Aside from providing the student with information about their readiness, the assessment is also  designed to help faculty identify potential at-risk students, define student needs, and provide metrics for planning and retention.  Once students complete the assessment, the report can be saved as a PDF and turned in as an assignment in regular coursework. 

Want to Learn More about SmarterMeasure?

Students can access the assessment  on our website in the Learn Online Section of or directly at