The Faculty DE Readiness Course

is about to begin for Spring 2016!


We are very excited to get started with the course and are glad that you are a member of this online training session cohort! This 8-week online course is designed to not only give you a chance to explore instructional strategies and best practices for teaching online, as well as give you a chance to start building your class in an online environment, but also to allow you to experience online education from a student's perspective.

Just so you know, this email is going to be long!

Please take the time to read all of the information provided.

We promise not to be quite as long winded in the future!

DE Course Introduction

How do I Access the Course and Syllabus?

Accessing the Course:

  • Located under the student tab in OAKS

  • Titled SPEC-FEDRSP16 - Faculty Distance Education Readiness SP16 - SPECFEDRSP16

  • The class should appear for you in OAKS by Jan. 20th. If you do not see it on that date please email immediately.

Accessing the Syllabus:

  • Please follow this link to view the syllabus:

  • Because of the nature of online education it is important that you know all of the expectations and requirements in greater detail than a face to face course. This is something that we will discuss further in Module 1.

Accessing the Material and Getting Started with Orientation:

  • While the course does not officially start until January 27th, the Orientation Module of the course will be available in Content beginning January 20, 2016 at 12:01 am. We wanted to give you some extra time to access the course and get a feel for the material and course structure.

  • Also, as a heads up, your first assignment will be to create a video introducing yourself. We wanted to give you the extra time to work on that assignment if needed. More information about the assignment can be found in OAKS Content > Orientation and Getting Started with Online Learning > Assignments and Deliverables > Assignment 3: Create an Introduction Video once the course content opens on Jan. 20.

  • When planning your own orientation module, you may want to include items such as sample discussion boards, quizzes, and other tools that the students should test before the course content gets underway to make sure that the students are comfortable using the tool before it is required or graded. In this case, the orientation module will focus more on creating a community and cohort environment as well as introducing you to the Primary Course Facilitator and Mentors. All subsequent modules will open on Wednesdays at 12:01 am EST.

  • Please make arrangements to stop by JC Long 315 before the course officially starts. We will have you fill out the forms needed to receive your stipend for completing the course. Drop-in hours for paperwork are everyday between 8:00 am-11:00 am. If you cannot make those times please email Amy Ostrom,, to make arrangements.
Big image

Where do I go first when the course starts? How do I know where to begin?

DESU15 Course Walkthrough

Each time you log in to the course...

  1. Check the News Items. New news items will be posted throughout the week with information like technology training sessions, changes to assignments/deadlines, external resources, etc.

  2. Check the Checklist. Found as the first item in the Planning and Questions section of each module, this checklist is a roadmap of all of the assignments and content that you should accomplish during the module. The items in the checklist are in the order that you will need to complete them. Once you complete a task, check the box and click save. This will help you keep track of your progress throughout each module. The items the checklist refers to is also linked to the checklist for easy access to material. We recommend that you read through the entire checklist when the module opens on Wednesdays so that you can plan accordingly.

  3. Check the Discussion Boards. Having the opportunity to reflect and bounce ideas off of your colleagues will be an invaluable experience for you. Make sure that if you post, you "tend your threads", or check back and respond to the people who responded to you. You might also have a question about the content that someone has asked and can benefit from exploring the topic together.

Who else is in the course and who will I be working with?

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to discuss options, answer each other's questions, and form a supportive community between the other members of the course, your Mentor, and the Primary Course Facilitator.

Due to the high level of collaborative activities and the shortened time span of the course, you have all been split into partners and groups that you will work with for the duration of the course. If you are too excited to wait until the official start of course (and I don't blame you!), you can locate the Group and Partner Assignments by using the following link: Feel free to contact your partner or group members to introduce yourselves, but keep in mind that some introductory activities have been built into the course.

Each group has been assigned to a Mentor. This is a member of the CofC faculty who has successfully taught online previously, who is responsible for providing guidance and feedback as you go through the DE Readiness Course and begin to teach online. More information about the Mentors can be found in the syllabus.

Big image

What about the technology? Will I ever get to see you?

  • Technology Training sessions will be held weekly and will correspond with the content of the current module. Each week, a new poll will open up with suggested topics for technology trainings. As a cohort, you will vote on what you would most like to receive training on! Think of it as American Idol for Tech Tools! They will be delivered in a synchronous webinar format and recorded in case you are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

  • There will be two informal face to face gatherings so that we can all meet and discuss distance education. Those meetings will be held in mid February and the early April. An announcement will be made for the dates closer to time. All face to face sessions are optional to attend, but highly encouraged. If you are not in the Charleston area and would like to virtually attend the face to face gatherings, please contact Amy Ostrom,, for an access plan.

Please keep in mind...

You may notice that more details, or longer explanations and instructions, are given in this course. Even though you are highly qualified adult learners, please keep in mind that none of the actions or communication in the Faculty Distance Education Readiness Course are meant to insult anyone's intelligence or understanding. Rather, this entire course is meant to be instructive about new tools available, to model best practice for the online environment, and to give you a chance to help each other out while assisting you as you start creating or refining your courses online.

If you have any questions about the course prior to the start date, please email

Thank you! We'll see you online on January 27th!

Hey Tweeps! If you tweet about the class, use #DEsp16 to follow the conversation about this running of the DE Readiness Course or follow #CougarsOLI to learn more about the Online Learning Initiatives at College of Charleston. It's an exciting time for DE on this campus!

Twitter Handle: @AmyOstrom