- Getting Started with Distance Learning Courses
- How Do I Get Involved in Teaching at ELI?
- Course Development Process
- Course Support
- Course Assessment
- Instructional design liaisons by campus
- Incompletes and Withdrawal Guidelines
- Procedures: Accessing Class Roster and Entering Grades In PeopleSoft (NOVA Connect)
- Blackboard Tutorials
- Course Checklist
- Academic and Administrative Standards Checklist
- Free Software Downloads
- Frequently Asked Questions: How Do I Get Involved in Teaching at ELI
- Faculty Handbook to help Students Obtain Free Online Tutoring - Smarthinking
- Early Alert -- Student Referral Form (Note: You must log in with your LAN username and password.)
Mission of the Extended Learning Institute - Distance Learning
The mission of the Extended Learning Institute is to design and implement for distant learners excellent and innovative instruction and delivery systems including formats that combine distance education and classroom instruction, independent study, or individualized learning.
Getting started with distance learning courses
If you have an interest in offering a distance learning course at NVCC, we recommend talking to your academic division dean, faculty colleagues who are currently teaching distance education courses, your campus liaison for Distance Learning and Instructional Design, an instructional designer at the Extended Learning Institute, or an instructional technologist at the Technology Applications Center.
To learn more, choose among many professional development brown bags, workshops, and seminars offered by the Extended Learning Institute and the Technology Applications Center.
Faculty who choose to offer distance learning courses through the Extended Learning Institute should submit a completed Distance Learning Course Proposal Form with your academic dean's signature to the Director of the Extended Learning Institute. Perhaps you are interested in developing a virtual hybrid course using the tool eNova, where you meet weekly online with your students and coordinate additional online learning activities. Visit the eNova website to learn more. Ready to revise a course? Let the Extended Learning Institute (ELI) support your efforts!
While teaching distance learning courses is similar to traditional teaching, there are many differences. If you are teaching a distance learning course through the Extended Learning Institute, the information, forms, and resources on this website will be helpful. If your distance course is campus-based, contact your academic dean.
How Do I Get Involved in Teaching at ELI
If you are qualified to teach online and are interested in teaching for us, please fill our Faculty Inquiry Form. As part of your submission you will be expected to upload a copy of your current CV/Resume and transcripts that indicate the required 18 credit hours in the discipline for which you are applying.
We will review your experience and credentials, contact you for further information if necessary, and examine how your background might fit with our current staffing needs. If your experience does fit our current needs, ELI will put you in contact with an Academic Dean on one of the NOVA campuses, who would interview you and complete the actual hiring process.
Distance learning course development process
If you are interested in proposing a course for ELI, please contact Joan Osborne, Coordinator for Instructional Design, email@example.com.
Distance Learning Course Support
Download and use these materials as you develop your distance learning course.
Who to Contact
|Extended Learning Institute Staff||Instructional designers, course specialists, and production assistants are available to assist you.|
|ELI ID Help||Contact ELI ID Help if you have any problems and questions in your courses.|
|Technical Applications Center||Instructional technologists available to assist you with software instruction and consultations.|
|"Who ya gonna call?" - Not sure who to ask? This resource may help.||Listing of NVCC staff who are available to help with distance learning courses.|
Print and Online Resources
When to Use
|Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT)||A repository of free materials for teaching in Higher Education.|
|Assessment for Web-Based Courses||Assessment can inform the design of a distance learning course. It can act like a roadmap.|
|Course Peer Review Form||Every three years, an ELI distance learning course is reviewed. This is the document that informs the process. This document can serve as a guide in course design and redesign.|
|Academic and Administrative Standards Checklist for WWW Courses Offered across Service Boundaries||Checklist of standards to consult when designing or redesigning a distance learning course.|
|NVCC College-Wide Course Content Summaries||The office of Curriculum and Enrollment Services maintains a file of detailed course content summaries for courses offered at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC).|
|Forms to help guide design of course||Advice when designing a distance learning course.|
|ELI Guide for Faculty --- Teaching a Course||Advice when delivering a distance learning course.|
|List of ELI Distance Courses||Distance courses taught through ELI, organized by semester.|
|Resources to help with course development||List of print and online resources for faculty.|
|ELI Instructor Guidelines||Expectations of faculty who teach distance courses through the Extended Learning Institute.|
|Technical Applications Center||TAC resource page with many additional resources for faculty developing distance courses.|
|Computing Faculty Work Load||Work load guidelines for NVCC distance courses.|
|Important Enrollment Dates and Withdraw Policy||Communication distribution schedule|
Distance Learning Course Assessment
There are two types of evaluation that are relevant to web-based course assessment. The first (formative) is ongoing throughout the course. The second (summative) occurs at the end of the course. Both are used to determine the effectiveness of the course or of any activities using the web.
Ongoing assessment "requires attention to outcomes, but also and equally to the experiences that lead to those outcomes. (Assessment in Practice, p.23) Are the intended outcomes clear? Which students learn best under what conditions? How much effort does it take students to achieve the intended outcomes? And in the case of web-based activities, are the navigational directions and tools easy to use and follow or are they a barrier to student learning?
"Assessments are almost never graded and are almost always anonymous. Their aim is to provide faculty with information on what, how much, and how well students are learning." (Classroom Assessment Techniques, p.3) One type of ongoing assessment for the web is the "1-minute paper." This is generally one focused question concerning any number of topics. For example you might ask, "What is the most important thing you learned from this activity?" Students respond to the question, and the instructor can tell from the responses what is or isn’t working. Another example is asking for a one-sentence summary of a specific topic or activity. Misconceptions are easily determined. Providing additional information can then clarify the topic. One clear advantage of ongoing assessment for web-based courses is the ease with which changes can be made when something isn’t working.
Two books that have many examples are:
Assessment in Practice by Banta, Lund, Black, and Oblander, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1996.
Classroom Assessment Techniques by Angelo and Cross, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1993.
Information about student results and student satisfaction can also be used for assessment. It is often collected at the end of the course. For example:
A student course evaluation, such as the one completed by ELI students, is completed either at the time of the final exam or on-line near the end of the course. This survey can provide a wealth of information about a variety of topics. You might want to know what students think of the effectiveness of the textbook, or if there is a sufficient amount of collaboration with other students. The information gathered will, however, be from those who successfully finish the course. Those who do not finish the course also need to be polled in another format, often by phone or mail.
A grade distribution for each semester provides information concerning not only how many students received successful grades of A- D, but also those who were not successful with F and Ws. A comparison of web-based student performance with classroom student performance is another type of assessment.
Assessment of both types helps faculty use the information gathered to "refocus their teaching to help students make their learning more efficient and more effective." (Classroom Assessment Techniques, p3.)
Distance learning incompletes and withdrawal grade guidelines
Incompletes and Withdrawal Guidelines for ELI’s Faculty
To post an ‘I’ or a ‘W’ grade for a student in NovaConnect:
Faculty does not have access to enter ‘I’ or ‘W’ grades into NovaConnect.
All faculty requests for Incompletes will have to be sent to the ELI course specialists:
This can be done via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The email should include the student’s name, EMPLID, course section and semester, the end date for Incomplete, and the student’s grade if he/she does not finish the course. (Example: Doe, John, 0123456, ACC211-2072, course needs to be completed by 4/18/07. ‘F’ if class is not completed.) OR use the ELI’s “I” grade request form on the ELI website at pdf/Igraderequestform.pdf .
All faculty requests for Withdrawals can be entered only by the course specialists:
Ws can be given to students from the Inactive Students Drop date to the Last Withdrawal Date. This can be done via email at email@example.com . The email should include the student’s name, EMPLID, course section and semester. (Example: Doe, John 0123456, ACC211-2072)
PeopleSoft (NOVAConnect) instructions for accessing a Class Roster and Entering Grades
Procedures for accessing class rosters and entering grades in the Student Information System Information System (PeopleSoft/NOVA Connect).
Distance Learning Course Checklists
The following criteria are intended to guide the development of distance learning courses. This checklist supports good instructional design practices as well as the distance learning requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
- Well-structured and well-written print materials that use correct grammar and spelling
- Provision for access by students with disabilities and disadvantages
- Regular examination of student achievement and course evaluations
- Revision as needed to meet ELI course performance criteria
- Unambiguous statements of what one can expect to learn (consistent with Course Content Summary)
- List of graded activities and explanation of how course grade will be determined
- List of materials and equipment needed with purchasing or access directions
- Summary description of course activities
- Description of the potential value of the knowledge to be learned
- Directions for contacting instructor and adequate hours of availability
- Reference to ELI Policies and Procedures, and consistency with these policies
- Learning activities that are appropriate in number and type to achieve the stated learning expectations
- Clear and complete directions for performing activities and submitting work
- Clear and dependable procedures for getting help
- Appropriate and timely feedback from instructor on work submitted
- Interaction with peers in course or work/home environment to clarify and reinforce key concepts, and to prevent isolation
- Assignment completion worth at least 40% of course grade
- Minimum of two proctored activities worth at least 40% of course grade
- Exams measure achievement of the stated learning expectations
- Use of external (certification) measurements of achievement (if available)
- Evaluation of course by students
Academic and Administrative Standards Checklist
I. Standards for Credit
- Is the course listed in the State Curriculum Guide for Community Colleges?
- Does the course meet VCCS and NVCC course content requirements?
- Does the course follow a formal written syllabus based on the course description in the State Curriculum Guide?
- Is the course taught by a fully qualified faculty member as prescribed by the VCCS Form 29?
- Does the course have a minimum of three proctored learning activities (e.g. examinations, laboratories)?
- Do procedures for proctoring include student picture ID verification?
- Does the course design provide regular interactivity amongst students, and/or with the instructor? (Note: interactivity does not include tests and exams)
II. Standards for Student Support
- Is a telephone number listed for student questions and concerns?
- Is the instructor's telephone number and/or voice mail number included?
- Is the instructor's e-mail address included?
- Does the course provide for student evaluations?
- Is pre-enrollment information available for faculty, counselors, division chairs, advisors, and other personnel involved in answering students questions?
- Is an orientation available for students for the course?
- Is technical support available for the student in the form of a toll-free hot line?
- Do students have ready access to all required resource materials, including library materials?
- Are textbooks readily available to students?
- Have provisions been made for distribution of , and access to, all other media, e.g., video tapes, CD-ROM, audiotapes, disks, etc.?
- Has the instructor listed office hours when he/she is available for students?
- Have accounts and procedures for long distance charges been established?
- Is the instructor's US postal address included?
- Are procedures for submission of work clearly explained?
- Are deadlines clearly explained?
- Are grading policies and criteria clearly explained?
- Are"I" grade policies clearly explained?
- Is a student's privacy protected?
From other students regarding submission of work?
From outsiders regarding protection for the class?
- Is there a system for returning assignments and giving feedback on examinations in a timely manner?
- Is library reference help available?
- Have exam schedules, locations proctors, and passes/IDs been arranged?
- Are financial aid procedures and deadlines included?
- Does the course meet financial aid requirements, and is the course approved for financial aid?
- Is access to counseling services provided for students?
- Have provisions been made for students with disabilities?
III. Standards for Academic Supervision
- Is the syllabus accurate and complete?
- Have course materials, including on-line materials, been reviewed?
- Have grading and exam procedures been reviewed?
- Have book and material orders been submitted?
- Are clear instructions provided for students in all course materials?
- Do students have access to college policy regarding grievance procedures?
- Is the chain of command for student complaints clearly understood?
- Are the criteria for course cancellation determined?
- Is the person responsible for course cancellation ascertained?
- Are all laboratory requirements provided for?
- Has permission to use all copyright materials been obtained?
- Have provisions been made for notifying students in the event of changes in the course, date changes, corrections, revisions?
- Have course evaluations been reviewed?
IV. Standards for Information and Promotion
- Have provisions been made for data entry and printed information in the Schedule of Classes?
- Is a description of any special course requirements written and included in the NVCC Schedule of Classes?
- Is the section number appropriate?
- Is the session code determined?
- Are registration procedures clearly presented--especially any special procedures?
- Are application for admission procedures clearly presented?
- Is the tuition payment process clearly presented?
- Are refund and withdrawal policies and procedures clearly presented?
Opportunities for Teaching Online Courses through the ELI at NOVA Frequently Asked Questions
The Extended Learning Institute (ELI) at Northern Virginia Community Colleges offers robust, interactive online courses in more than 50 academic disciplines. Students can complete entire degrees and certificates through ELI, or may choose to complete their academic work through a combination of online and on-campus classes. Some faculty teach courses they have designed themselves with instructional design assistance from ELI staff, while others teach sections of already-developed courses.
What disciplines does ELI need faculty to teach?
Our needs at ELI are always changing. We often have need for faculty to teach common general education courses such as English composition, basic math, and introductory economics or other social science courses. However, we also often have need for faculty to teach more specialized courses. The best way to find out what we need at a given time is simply to contact us. If we do not need faculty in your area at that time, we will keep your contact information on file for future consideration as our needs change.
What are ELI courses like?
ELI courses are designed to give students an interactive learning experience. Every course is different in the technology tools employed and the types of assignments used to engage students. Some courses are self-paced, allowing students to complete assignments on a schedule most convenient for them, while others require students to meet regular (often weekly or bi-weekly) deadlines. When you are assigned a course to teach, a fellow faculty member or an instructional designer will review the whole course with you to be sure you are comfortable with its structure and content. In order to maintain course integrity, we require that you teach the course as currently designed, making no changes to course content, structure, or assignments without permission from ELI.
If the course is already designed, what do I do as a teacher?
Your role as a teacher in an online course is to support, guide, and provide feedback to students as they move through the material. This includes sending students regular reminders about making progress and meeting course deadlines; participating in class discussion forums; answering student questions and doing one-on-one tutoring or advising by email/chat/phone/audio conferencing; and grading and providing helpful feedback on student assignments.
What qualifications do faculty need to teach at ELI?
To teach at ELI, you must hold a Master’s Degree and have successfully completed 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline you will teach. Faculty who have community college teaching experience, and/or experience teaching online, are preferred.
What is the compensation for teaching at ELI?
ELI faculty are paid at the same rates as other college faculty. Adjunct faculty pay is determined by Human Resources based on degrees held and past teaching experience. The Academic Dean interviewing you can give you an estimate of the pay you might receive. (See below for more on the hiring process.) Pay for ELI courses, however, is pro-rated based on enrollments (if you have low enrollment, your pay will be reduced accordingly). We can discuss our workload policies and formulas further with you as you explore teaching for ELI.
What course management system does ELI use?
ELI courses are delivered using Blackboard. ELI faculty are expected to complete training in Blackboard in order to be competent using its range of features, including discussion boards, posting documents, using the assignment feature, using the gradebook, and creating and deploying exams. Blackboard training is offered on all six NOVA campuses. Faculty who live out of the area but need Blackboard training may be able to self-train using online training materials, or find training in their area.
What training and expertise are faculty required to have in order to teach for ELI?
In addition to the ability to use the range of features in Blackboard, as mentioned above, ELI faculty are expected to participate in a half-day new-faculty orientation session to learn about administrative policies and procedures and best practices in online teaching. (For faculty who live out of the Northern Virginia region, arrangements can be made to participate from a distance.) And, since ELI courses are taught online, we expect our faculty to be competent and comfortable with email and the basic office software necessary for record-keeping and communicating with students and ELI staff.
What support will be available for me once I begin teaching?
ELI has a full staff available to support our faculty in their work. You can call the ELI Hotline, email our instructional design help team, contact our Blackboard Administrator, or chat with our Faculty Liaison or Coordinator of Faculty and Student support if you are having any kinds of problems, from technical problems to student problems. Depending on the course you are teaching, you may also have a Course Coordinator (an experienced ELI instructor who teaches the same course) or a faculty mentor who can help support you in your teaching.
How do I apply to teach for ELI?
If you are qualified to teach online and are interested in teaching for us, please send a resume/CV and cover letter to ELI at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your experience and credentials, contact you for further information if necessary, and examine how your background might fit with our current staffing needs. If your experience does fit our current needs, ELI will put you in contact with an Academic Dean on one of the NOVA campuses, who would interview you and complete the actual hiring process.
Helping Students Use Online Tutoring - Smarthinking
NVCC students are able to obtain free online tutoring through Smarthinking. This Faculty Handbook is provided to instructors to help them provide information and guidance to students about the SMARTHINKING service so they can take advantage of it when the need arises.