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Faculty Services


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.

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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.

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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.

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What are ELI courses like?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Readiness Assessment 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.

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What is ELI’s intellectual property policy?

ELI’s intellectual property policy is governed by the statewide policy described in the VCCS Policy Manual here. The most relevant language is as follows:

VCCS claims a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use intellectual property which was developed with the substantial use of college resources except as otherwise provided by separate written agreement or waiver which is executed by a duly authorized officer of a college or the VCCS. The creator shall retain ownership of the intellectual property, but shall grant VCCS a non-exclusive license to use the intellectual property in accordance with this policy in perpetuity. The creator’s scope of ownership, however, does not include elements in the work that are created as a result of an assigned duty of a VCCS employee, such as a computer programmer, that participates in the development of the intellectual property. Development or delivery of a distance learning course is considered a substantial use of college resources whether the faculty member is compensated or not. Faculty are strongly encouraged to address any concerns about ownership interests through a separate written agreement prior to offering the distance learning course. The creator must advise the college’s intellectual property policy administrator when the creation of intellectual property involves substantial use of college resources.

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