The University seeks to place all regular and adjunct faculty members, who plan to teach electronically, in the best position to be successful as a hybrid or online instructor (e-instructor). Thus, the institution has provided several resources to support faculty with expectations for access and use.
Developing a new hybrid or online course:
- Monetary incentives may be given to a faculty member developing a new hybrid or online course. See the Appendix for the current breakdown.
- If two or more faculty members are working in collaboration on developing an online course, the stipend will be split evenly among all instructors.
- Only one stipend will be awarded for the same course number per department. The Department Head will make the final decision if more than one faculty member applies for a stipend for the same course.
- One "model" course should be developed per course number. Other faculty members are encouraged to use this model course to teach online. The Department Head for each department will develop procedures for ensuring that as improvements are made to the model online course, all instructors will make the appropriate changes to their courses.
- A faculty member who is awarded a stipend will be required to work on course development with the Office of Distance Learning for adherence to quality standards.
- Payment of the stipend will be made after the course is certified.
- After initial training, a faculty member should continue to work with the Office of Distance Learning as new online courses are developed.
Improving an existing online course:
- A faculty member who is currently teaching an online course may apply for a stipend to improve his/her course.
Stipends will be awarded for significant improvements, including the integration of two or more of the following changes identified by the Faculty Incentives Task Force:
- Student authentication components
- Media elements (such as the use of web conferencing, lecture-capture, etc.)
- Turnitin (to promote quality and authentication)
- New textbook (not a new edition of an old textbook; rather, new book with potentially more publisher content online)
- Upgrade to Moodle tools / resources / features to enhance the student experience
- Course Design Template
- A faculty member who is awarded a stipend will be required to have the course "certified" according to the guidelines adopted by the Distance Learning Leadership Council.
- Updating course content only is a basic responsibility of all faculty members and does not qualify for a stipend.
Teaching an online course:
- A faculty member who is awarded a stipend for developing a new hybrid or online course is expected to teach that course within three (3) semesters (fall, spring, or summer) following the awarding of the stipend.
- There will be no additional pay for a faculty member teaching an online course as part of his/her regular teaching load.
- Overload courses will be paid per University policy.
- National research confirms that more time and effort is needed to teach an online course; therefore the Department Head in conjunction with the Dean and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs will determine the appropriate class size and work load for the individual faculty member.
Faculty Professional Development
- To ensure that faculty who plan to teach hybrid or online courses have the appropriate knowledge base and skills set on how to utilize the university supported learning management system and EDUTools (electronic instructional resources that enhance the LMS course experience).
- To ensure that faculty that plan to teach hybrid or online courses have the appropriate knowledge of the Quality Matters rubrics, ADA compliance, copyright issues, and the process of hybrid/online course certification at UL Lafayette.
- To maintain that faculty members create "high quality hybrid and online learning experiences for students", the Office of Distance Learning remains steadfast in its vision to "provide technical training to university faculty in the use of e-learning instructional techniques and in the use of associated technologies."
The Office of Distance Learning is committed to providing professional development opportunities to all faculty members who wish to web-enhance and/or blend their courses, as well as those with the desire to teach and/or develop hybrid and/or online courses. The training opportunities are appropriate for faculty members with various levels of technological experience, and other professional development opportunities provide support to faculty members as they develop their abilities in the electronic instructional environment. Specifically, the Office of Distance Learning supports the following professional development opportunities:
- Faculty Certifications (ULearn Certified Online Teacher; ULearn Certified Course Designer)
- Trainings, workshops, and hands-on sessions hosted by the Office of Distance Learning on topics applicable to the e-learning environment (such as, but not limited to, Moodle, Quality Matters, EDUTools, government regulations/legal issues, "best practices", etc.)
- National workshops [Online Learning Consortium (OLC, formerly Sloan Consortium); Quality Matters]
- Technical and instructional design assistance during the development and delivery of electronic courses
Statement / Policy for Faculty Certifications
The Office of Distance Learning offers two certifications for faculty: ULearn Certified Online Teacher and ULearn Certified Course Designer. Faculty who teach online must obtain one of the certifications prior to teaching an online or hybrid course at UL Lafayette. Details about the certifications (and multiple completion options) are located on the "Faculty Certification" page.
Once a faculty member has earned certifications as either ULearn Certified Online Teacher and/or ULearn Certified Course Designer, the certification does not expire unless the faculty member does not remain current on refresher trainings. Faculty members who participate in the course review process (as either a reviewer or whose course is up for review) must remain up to date on all Quality Matters training, taking any Refresher trainings as offered. As a "best practice", all faculty members should engage in some form of distance learning training annually. A faculty member does not need to retake the certification trainings unless the faculty member submits a course for certification and the course fails to be certified (then the faculty member would be required to (re)take "Course Design Practicum").
If a course has undergone and passed the course certification process, this does not automatically grant the faculty member ULearn Faculty Certification status.
The Distance Learning Leadership Council (April 2013) adopted the additional following tracks for individuals teaching hybrid or online courses who are not full-time faculty.
- Permanent Adjunct. These individuals have a consistent presence in the department, teaching hybrid and online courses each semester or at consistent intervals. Permanent adjuncts will complete the same training and certification as full-time faculty.
- Teaching Assistants (TA) / Graduate Assistants (GA). Because these individuals do not have a permanent commitment to the university, TA / GA will complete three (3) Online Learning Consortium workshops only if they are teaching model courses designed by a certified faculty member.
The Office of Distance Learning Staff will consult and assist faculty with instructional media production, including graphics, video, audio, electronic documents, and other emerging technologies. Assistance is subject to the limits of staff expertise, schedule time, and available technology tools and software. It is the responsibility of the instructor to upload and maintain all course content and related media as needed to satisfy the requirements for the course.
Faculty textbook orders will be handled through the usual departmental channels. Students are responsible for obtaining any required supplementary materials assigned by the instructor.
* The Office of Distance Learning uses the term “faculty members” broadly to include any individual employed by UL Lafayette with a current teaching position. “Faculty members” include tenured, tenure-track, non-tenure-track, instructors, and adjuncts. Graduate students who wish to complete the certification(s) must have approval from either their department head or departmental graduate coordinator.