The Faculty DE Readiness Course

Is about to begin for Fall 2014!!

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!

How do I access the course and syllabus?

You can access the course itself through the student role tab in OAKS. The course will be located under your Ongoing Courses section and titled “Faculty Distance Education Readiness FA14 - SPEC-FDERFA14-SPEC-FDERFA14”. If you have trouble accessing the course, please email immediately.

You can access the Course Packet, or syllabus, at the following link: Inside, you will learn more about the course structure, expectations, requirements, and schedule. Be warned: This course packet is larger than a typical 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.

While the course does not officially start until September 3rd, the Orientation Module of the course will be available in Content beginning August 27, 2014 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 Content>Orientation and Getting Started with Online Learning>Group Icebreakers>Create: Intro Video.

In a typical online course, 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 Course Administrators and Mentors. All subsequent modules will open on Wednesdays at 12:01 am EST.

Your textbook has been purchased for you! They will be available in JC Long 323 for pick up prior to the start of the course. When you pick up your text book, we will also have you fill out the forms needed to receive your stipend for completing the course. Drop-in hours for book pick up are everyday between 8:00 am-11:00 am. If you cannot make those times please email Amy Ostrom,, to make arrangements.

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

Once a module has opened in the course, the first item you will find is the module checklist. 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. 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. Also, we recommend that you sign up for notifications on the news items for the course and subscribe to the discussion boards. If you need help with this, please contact your instructional technologist.

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 Course Administrators. 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 course packet.

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

Technology training sessions will be held by TLT throughout the course. These will help to introduce you to new tools and strategies to aid in the creation and maintenance of your own online courses. There is a list of the technology training sessions and their scheduled time at the start of each module. You are required to attend at least one technology training session during your time in the course. These sessions are offered both as webinars or face-to-face depending on which works best for you. 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 late September and the beginning of November. 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 attend the technology training sessions or the face to face gatherings, please contact Amy Ostrom,, for an access plan.

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 helping you to 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 September 3rd!

Hey Tweeps! If you tweet about the class, use #DEfa14 to follow the conversation!