Teaching Online English Courses
MTSU Online, housed within University College, coordinates all online and hybrid courses at MTSU (all sections labeled "D"). Assistance is offered through Online Faculty Services, and the English Department's Online Curriculum Committee (OCC [see below]).
To be eligible to teach any existing or new online (or hybrid) English course, faculty must complete the MTSU Online Certification Course. To enroll, go to your D2L Home page and click on "Self Registration" on the second line of the page (after Email, ePortfolio, and Support tabs, see image below). Enroll in "MTSU Online Certification."
The course is self-paced and thorough, requiring ample reading and several practice exercises. Once completed, you will receive notification from an MTSU Online Instructional Designer and a certificate. Please let the OCC chair and Department chair know that you have been certified to teach online and hybrid courses at MTSU once this occurs.
Developing a New Online English Course
Once you are approved to teach online, you are eligible to develop a new English course to be taught online. Here are the steps to follow:
- If the course has never been offered in the English Department in any fashion (on ground or online), you must begin by creating a formal course proposal to be approved by the relevant English Department Committee (General Education, Undergraduate Studies, or Graduate).
- If the course already exists in both on-ground and online forms, you may not contract to design an(other) online version of the course. See the sections below on Teaching an Existing Online Course and/or the ENGL 2020 exception for next steps.
- If the course already exists in on-ground form and you either (a) are the course creator or (b) have confirmed with the course creator that they do not wish to create or teach the course online, you may proceed to developing an online version of the course. Complete the (new) interactive Online Proposal Form, which will be shared with the English Chair (who will inform the OCC Chair). If you have any questions about the form, contact Carol Hayes, Coordinator of Online Faculty Services. Once this form has made the rounds and the plan approved, Carol Hayes will contact you to complete an Online Course Development Contract (including deadlines and a peer-review form featuring a checklist of all that is expected in an online course). The contract will be approved by the English Chair and the Liberal Arts Dean. After approval, Carol will provide you with a D2L Development Shell (aka sandbox) in which to design your course and you will be assigned an MTSU Online Instructional Designer to guide you. If you need additional help, you may contact the OCC Chair at any time (who will work with you or connect you with another member of the OCC). At this time, you will also be assigned an Online Faculty Mentor from outside the English Department, whose job is not to guide you through the development of the course (as was done before the addition of Instructional Designers to MTSU Online staff) but just to review the peer-review form when you're done to check to see that the course fulfills all requirements.
- Compensation: MTSU Online provides supplemental compensation for the work of creating a new online course. Compensation is paid after the course has been completed and approved at all levels. Note: You may not request reassigned time or claim this effort as part of your regular workload.
Teaching an Existing Online English Course
The process for teaching English courses already created and offered online does not involve a new contract or design. Instead, once you have completed the Online Certification Course, you work with the English Department Lead Instructor (creator or assigned leader) for that course, who will install their approved course shell into your D2L page for the assigned course by semester and serve as a mentor. You will have control over many aspects of the course, but you must teach from the Lead Instructor's shell for any course currently taught online in English. You'll need to add the Lead Instructor to your scheduled online course as co-instructor by going to the Classlist in D2L. Choose "Add Participants" and either perform a search or enter the FSA for the instructor you'd like to add. Contact the OCC Chair to be put in touch with the appropriate Lead Instructor for the relevant course if you do not already know who it is. Any problems adding someone? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although multiple English faculty teach ENGL 2020 online, they teach different themes, much like a Topics course at upper-division and graduate levels. Thus, ENGL 2020 is considered a "new" course (requiring a contract and providing extra compensation) when the faculty member creates a new theme/topic that has been approved by the General Education Committee.
Faculty who wish to teach already existing online 2020 topics are welcome to do so but must (1) complete a departmental 2020 Proposal Form and submit for approval to the General Education Committee, and (2) use the Lead Instructor's course shell for the topic once approved. Once your proposal has been approved, please contact the OCC Chair to be put in contact with the Lead Instructor.
Scheduling Online English Courses
The OCC does not schedule online courses. However, within the broader role of Director of Online Operations, the OCC chair will make recommendations and review each semester's schedule to ensure adequate and appropriate offerings of all online courses, especially now that we offer an online English major/degree. (If you request to teach an upper-division course that is offered in a single section per term or less often, keep in mind that the course creator will most likely be considered first for scheduling.)
English Department Online Curriculum Committee, 2021-2022
- Dr. Elyce Rae Helford, Chair
- Dr. Aleka Blackwell
- Dr. Laura Dubek (Online English major advisor)
- Ms. Candie Moonshower
- Ms. Jennifer Wilson
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Main Office: Peck Hall 302
Chair: Dr. Stephen Severn
Telephone: (615) 898-2648