Teaching Online English Courses

MTSU Online

MTSU Online, housed within University College, coordinates all online, hybrid, and synchronous online (formerly "remote") courses at MTSU. Support is offered through Online Faculty Services, and the English Department's Online English Committee (OEC).

[For those seeking information on teaching blended (formerly web-assisted) courses, visit Web-Assisted Courses in English.]

List of Approved Online English Courses

Online Certification

To be eligible to teach any existing or new online or hybrid English course, English faculty must complete the MTSU Online Certification Course. To enroll, go to your D2L Home page and click on the Discover tab. Note: D2L changes often, so the tab/location may change. Contact Dr Elyce Helford if you cannot find the course.

The course is self-paced and thorough, requiring ample reading and several practice exercises. Once completed, you will receive completion notification and a certificate from MTSU Online. Please let the OEC chair (Elyce Helford) and Department chair know that you have been certified to teach online courses at MTSU once this occurs. 

Graduate Students: If you are an English graduate student (MA or PhD) and wish to be eligible to teach online, you must begin by getting your email account designated "instructor" instead of "student." Contact Dr Elyce Helford to complete this step on your behalf. Only after this change is made can you enroll in the MTSU D2L Instructor Certification Course identified above.

Developing a New Online English Course

Once you are approved to teach online, you are eligible to develop a new English course to be taught online, based on the needs and requirements of the department. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. If the course has never been offered in the English Department in any fashion (on ground or online), begin by creating a formal course proposal to be approved by the relevant English Department Curriculum Committee (General Education, Undergraduate Studies, or Graduate).
  2. If the course already exists in both on-ground and online forms, you may not contract to design a different online version of the course. See the sections below on Teaching an Existing Online Course and/or the ENGL 2020 exception for next steps.
  3. If the course already exists in on-ground form but not online and you either (a) are the course creator or (b) have confirmed with the course creator that they do not wish to create/teach the course online, you may develop an online version of the course. Instructions and required forms are available from MTSU Online at their Course Development page. Requirements include completion of an interactive Course Proposal form that will be sent to the English Department Chair, who will inform the OEC Chair and then sign and send it to MTSU Online to begin the contract process. Once approved, the Coordinator of Online Faculty Services Carol Hayes will contact you to complete an Course Development Contract. After approval by the English Department Chair and the OEC Chair, you will be assigned an MTSU Online Instructional Designer (Karen Hein handles all English courses). You will meet with the ID and then complete a Course Map, explaining your course plan with emphasis on developing student outcomes (related to accreditation issues for MTSU Online and best teaching practices). Next, the ID will have a D2L Master Development Shell made for the course, in which you input all course materials. You may then meet with the ID as much or little as you wish. When the course is complete, you will fill out a Validated Quality Rubric form for final course review. The ID will then review the form and your entire D2L shell to be sure it fulfills all MTSU Online requirements and is ready to teach.) The OEC will be informed of this approval but will not officially approve your course.
  4. Compensation: MTSU Online provides supplemental compensation for the work of creating a new online course, currently $4000 for a 3-hour course. Compensation is paid after the course has been completed and approved at all levels. Note: You may not request reassigned time or claim this effort as part of your regular workload, and there is a supplemental pay form to sign to this effect.

Teaching an Existing Online English Course

The process for teaching English courses already created and offered online does not involve a new contract or design. Instead, once you have completed the Online Certification Course, you work with the English Department Lead Instructor for that course, who will install their approved course shell into D2L for your course by semester and serve as a mentor. You will need to personalize the Syllabus (put in your name, office hours, etc.) and update due dates, etc. You will also have control over some content aspects of the course, but you must use the Lead Instructor's shell the first time you teach the course. Begin by adding the Lead Instructor to your scheduled online course as a "co-Instructor" (Gen Ed names below); contact the OEC Chair regarding all other courses.


Lead Instructors for General Education English Courses:

Instructions for adding a Lead Instructor to your online course:

  • Go to "Classlist" under Communication tab.
  • Click "Add Participants" and "Add Existing Users." 
  • Click Set all Roles to "Co-instructor."
  • Type instructor's name into search box and click magnifying glass search icon.
  • Scroll down to instructor's name and click "Role" (co-Instructor) and relevant section(s).
  • Click "Enroll Selected Users" at bottom of page.

ENGL 2020

Although multiple English faculty members teach ENGL 2020 online, they teach unique  themes, much like a Topics course at upper-division and graduate levels. Thus, ENGL 2020 is considered a "new" course (requiring a propsal form and contract and providing extra compensation) when the faculty member creates a new theme/topic that has been approved by the General Education Committee.

Faculty who wish to teach already existing online 2020 topics are welcome to do so but must (1) complete a departmental 2020 Proposal Form and submit for approval to the General Education Committee, and (2) use the Lead Instructor's course shell for the topic once approved, the first time the course is taught. Once the proposal has been approved, please contact the OEC Chair to be put in contact with the relevant Lead Instructor.

Scheduling Online English Courses

The OEC does not schedule online courses; the Department Chair does. However, within the broader role of Director of Online Operations, the OEC Chair will make recommendations and review each semester's schedule to ensure adequate and appropriate offerings of online courses, especially now that we offer an online English major as part of a fully online B.A. or B.S. degree. (Note: If you request to teach an upper-division course that is offered in a single section per term or less often, keep in mind that the course creator will most likely be considered first for scheduling.)

English Department Online English Committee

  • Dr. Elyce Rae Helford, Director of Online Operations for English
  • Dr. Laura Dubek, Online English major advisor
  • Dr. Jennifer Wilson, Online Instructor
  • Amanda Swenson, Assistant Professor of English

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Mailing Address:
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
Box 70
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Main Office: Peck Hall 302

Chair: Dr. Stephen Severn

Email: stephen.severn@mtsu.edu

Telephone: (615) 898-2648