This template is intended as a guide to course developers in creating an Open Learning Faculty Member Guide for TRU-OL courses.
If you would like a Word or PDF copy of the Open Learning Faculty Member Guide Template to work from, please contact Dani Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overview of Online Facilitation
This guide provides a brief overview of the role of the Open Learning Faculty Member for [course acronym and number: course title]. Feel free to use and revise this document as you facilitate your own instance of the course.
[Course acronym and number: course title] is designed to provide a learning environment where students are required to be active participants in their own learning. As the Open Learning Faculty Member for this course, your role is somewhat different from an instructor’s role in a face-to-face learning environment. This course is activity-based, and the role of the Open Learning Faculty Member is to use the technological tools available to engage the students with the course content.
Generally, a good online facilitator:
- Creates a welcoming and safe environment.
- Uses the appropriate technological tools to support learning (i.e., the technology does not drive the process). [For example, asynchronous or synchronous tools may be used for appropriate tasks/activities.]
- Provides appropriate course management (provides/follows the Suggested Schedule from the Course Guide).
- Provides prompt and timely feedback to student inquiries and regarding assignments.
- Manages own workload and time.
- Prior to the course start date, it is strongly recommended that you review in detail the course materials for specifics of the Course Guide, course learning activities, the assessments and rubrics in order to become familiar with the course and the expected work.
- Please send a welcome message to students soon after they access their course for the first time (see sample welcome letter below). Please include your contact information such as your TRU email address and local number. The learning management system (LMS) has an internal email system that online or standard web students can use to communicate with you, if that is your preference.
- In the initial communication with students, please provide an introduction about yourself. In your introduction, make sure that you advise students to contact you regularly if they have questions about the course, and consider suggesting that they familiarize themselves with the learning environment right away and start the [Unit/ Section/ Module] 1 readings and activities as soon as possible to build their learning momentum.
- You will notice that students have a Suggested Schedule (see below) that provides a recommendation for when to complete the learning activities and submit assignments for marking. You can customize this schedule or ask the students to fill in the specific dates to help them stay motivated and on track for the course.
- Communicate regularly with students. As you evaluate student assignments and provide feedback, it is a good idea to give students a sense of what they should focus on. Remind students of the Suggested Schedule for the learning activities that need to be completed for the next [Units/ Sections/ Modules], and the preparation and completion for upcoming assignments.
- Once you have marked an assignment, enter the student’s mark as a per cent. The weightings are done automatically for you.
- Consider using the video conferencing tool for short demonstrations, office hours, review sessions, and so on.
- Email the E-Learning Facilitator if you have any questions about using the course tools.
- Email Delivery Support if you have general questions about your role as an Open Learning Faculty Member for this course.
[Insert course description from Course Guide. The course description should match the EPC-approved documents. Check in Curricunet if you are unsure.]
- Required: [if needed; ensure that this information is consistent with the EPC-approved documents and the CIS. If in doubt, check the course listing in Curricunet.]
- Recommended: [if needed; ensure that this information is consistent with the EPC-approved documents and the CIS]
- Exclusions: [if needed; ensure that this information is consistent with the EPC-approved documents and the CIS]
After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
[This should match the Course Guide and the EPC-approved documents. Add content specific to the course; use a bulleted list; capitalize the first letter in each bullet point; begin each item with a verb; and end each item with a period.]
[course acronym and number: course title] includes the following [number] [modules, lessons, or units]:
[Add content specific to this course. This information should match the Course Guide, CIS, and the EPC-approved wording.]
Learning Activities/ Instructional Objectives
[Insert specific guidelines for each learning activity, including readings, discussions (if any), etc. – include the instructions given to students if necessary]
[Option 1: standard passing grade text]
To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory [Final Exam or Final Project]. The following table illustrates how your final grade will be determined for this course.
[Option 2: specific programs grade requirements text]
To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of [??%] or higher on the overall course and [??%] or higher on the mandatory [Final Exam or Final Project]. The following table illustrates how your final grade will be determined for this course.
[Insert Assessment table from the Course Guide. See example below.]
|[list assessment, e.g., Assignment 1: Research Essay]||? %|
|[list assessment, e.g., Assignment 2: Research Essay]||? %|
|[list assessment, e.g., Quiz 1]||? %|
|[list assessment, e.g., Online discussions]||? %|
|[mandatory Final Exam/Final Project]||? %|
[Insert information on how many assignments are in the course, and how they are structured in the course, and where they are found within the course (e.g. in which units/ sections/ modules). Tell how students are evaluated or graded for each assignment. Are there any specific assessment strategies such as grading criteria or rubrics available for the OLFM to follow as they evaluate the student work? Answer keys can go here as well for each assignment or activity – clearly label each!]
Final Exam (??%)
The mandatory, invigilated final exam is [insert number] hours in length. [Add details.]
Students are responsible for ensuring that Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning receives their final exam application by the deadline. The exam schedules are available at https://www.tru.ca/distance/services/resources/exams.html#schedule. If students require more information about exam scheduling, they can call 1.800.663.9711 (toll-free in Canada) or 250.852.7000 (Kamloops and International), or email email@example.com.
[Perhaps check wording if Final Exam is ProctorU.]
Final Project (??%)
The final assessment in this course is a Final Project that students complete and send to the Open Learning Faculty Member for grading. [If appropriate: “In [Unit/Module ??] students submit a project proposal to the Open Learning Faculty Member, who will provide feedback.”]
This schedule describes course content, activities, and assessments for each week of the course. It should include the assessment percentages as well as suggested due dates of learning activities and assignments.
If you need to customize this schedule, please contact the Open Learning delivery support area (Open Learning Faculty Member support) for a Word file of the schedule that you can customize with specific due dates. You may also contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with this task.
[Insert Suggested Course Schedule from updated Course Guide. ]
[Insert resources for Open Learning Faculty Members such as additional course subject-specific websites or textbooks.]
Sample Welcome Letter
[This may vary by course. You may also want to add information if students are required to schedule a final exams ]
Hi and welcome to [course name]! As the Open Learning Faculty Member for this course, I am so looking forward to taking this learning journey with you. My name is ________________________.
Feel free to contact me by:
- Toll-free number: 1-888-828-3399, extension ________.
- Email: email@example.com.
I will try to answer your email and phone messages promptly. If you have any questions or concerns, please send me an email or leave me a telephone message.
[For standard web: If you have any trouble logging into your course, please contact ITServiceDesk@tru.ca (or call 1.888.852.8533). Please also let me know. Once you have signed in to the course, check out the “Web Links” to the Student Handbook, TRU Library, the MyTRU portal, and the IT Service Desk.]
Please read the course guide carefully for expectations and important course information, and then start on the Module A activities. I look forward to a successful and rich learning experience, and I hope to hear from you in the next few days.