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Distance Education

The mission of Distance Education at Austin Peay State University is to empower faculty and students to effectively employ emerging technologies and research based teaching practices to facilitate greater access to high quality and flexible higher education pathways.

Cultivate and Inspire Innovative Teaching and Learning in Distance Education Through Effective Implementation of Emerging Technologies and Research Based Teaching Practices.

Distance Education offers a variety of services including:

  • Course development
  • Closed captioning services
  • Distance Education Support Desk
  • Faculty development training
  • Innovative approaches to content delivery
  • Multimedia resources
  • One-on-one D2L help sessions
  • Online student assistance
  • Online proctoring services
  • Technology integration into online courses

Active APSU online degree programs can be found at http://www.apsu.edu/online/online-programs.

Distance Education communicates with faculty and staff through various social media websites such as Twitter (@APSUDistanceEd) and Facebook (APSU Distance Education).  Additionally, Distance Education highlights online faculty and technology once a month in our faculty newsletter. An archive of our faculty newsletters is available on our website.  Lastly, a list of resources for APSU online faculty can be found at [www.apsu.edu/online].  Please email online@apsu.edu concerning questions regarding faculty resources and online programs.

The committee is responsible for promoting distance education initiatives that directly support the institution’s mission, values, and strategic objectives. The committee will be responsible for developing research centered best practices, policies, and procedures that promote quality online/hybrid teaching and learning. It will examine institutional support mechanisms to ensure online/hybrid students have adequate and equitable access to services. It will advise the distance education staff on how to continuously improve online/hybrid faculty support and training. The committee will evaluate and recommend emerging technologies and technological infrastructure that support student learning in online/hybrid courses and will establish and monitor processes for the assessment of online learning effectiveness.  To review current membership of the online course committee please visit the Standing Committee website.

All APSU courses have corresponding online course shells. The current LMS is Desire2Learn (D2L).  Distance Education provides LMS training and resources for faculty to update and add material to these course shells: https://www.apsu.edu/online/ 

Faculty must post ADA-compliant syllabi for all classes (face-to-face, hybrid, online) in their corresponding D2L course shells in order to comply with federal law (https://www.section508.gov)

Faculty are strongly encouraged to use the LMS/D2L gradebook or a gradebook approved at the Departmental level for all classes regardless of modality. If the faculty member does not use the LMS/D2L gradebook, the faculty will insert a link to the publisher/provider's system into LMS/D2L so that students can view it to track their own progress; additionally, if a situation occurred that required another instructor or dept. chair to become the instructor of record in a particular course (s), the student’s grades would be readily available.

Faculty are encouraged to consider using the LMS/D2L calendar where appropriate for face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes.

Additional course materials may also be placed within the LMS/D2L shell to provide students with easy access to these resources.

The Distance Education Support Desk provides faculty, staff and student support for resolving technical and instructional needs specifically related to the Desire to Learn (D2L) Brightspace learning management system platform and third party instructional technology tools.  These third-party instructional technology tools include: Turnitin plagiarism prevention software, Zoom web conferencing, e-textbook publisher content, online proctoring, MyMedia audio and video instructional content, and Respondus Campus assessment authoring software.  You may contact the Distance Education Support Desk using the following contact information: 931-221-6625, [online@apsu.edu].

Distance Education offers face-to-face, and online faculty development sessions in many areas including course/instructional design, multimedia development, accessibility & ADA compliance, and D2L (basic and advanced). The intention is to not only support faculty in meeting online course development guidelines, but also to aid them in creating unique and engaging courses that are efficient and effective.

Distance Education provides instructional design and instructional technology consultation services related to online course design and development. Additionally, APSU is a Quality Matters (QM) institution.  Quality Matters is a nationally recognized organization for defining research based practices and standards for online course design. Online faculty are encouraged to adhere to QM standards when developing their online courses.  Distance Education also encourages interested faculty to complete QM professional development training. Distance Education will cover the cost of online faculty interested in becoming a QM peer reviewer.

Faculty can learn more about Quality Matters by visiting the following URL [https://www.qualitymatters.org].  Faculty may also contact Distance Education regarding QM workshop registrations, and a copy of the QM rubric and workbook.

All online faculty should place the syllabus online for each course he/she teaches online. It is recommended that the syllabus for each online course be posted following the APSU guidelines included in the Faculty Handbook. It is also recommended that the e-syllabus be posted in advance of the course so that prospective students may see the content of the course prior to registration. This may be done through the Banner system, Faculty Services tab, Syllabus Information.

Distance Education manages and trains faculty, staff and students on how to effectively use various emerging technologies.  Instructional Technology includes: SmarterMeasure, Examity, Respondus, D2L, Web Conferencing Software, Camtasia, and MyMedia.  For a complete list of available instructional technology and software useful in developing online courses and available to APSU faculty please visit our website.

To encourage the exploration of distance, online, blended or hybrid education and instructional strategies at APSU, travel stipends are available through Distance Education (DE). Travel stipends up to $500 can be requested by faculty who present research at national or international conferences related to innovative teaching practices and technologies for improving online/hybrid learning environments. Please visit our website for the faculty travel stipend requirements and application.

Federal regulation requires that an institution must have procedures in place to facilitate student verification.  That is, we must verify that the student who enrolled in the course is the same student who is participating in the course and earning the credit. A type of student verification is through single sign-on in which students are required to login using a secure ID and password via Onestop to gain access to the D2L, learning management system.  This type of student identity verification is supported campus-wide and is recommended for use by all faculty teaching distance education courses. While this is the easiest approach to comply with federal regulation, additional options such as online proctoring are available.

TN eCampus is an initiative among 6 state universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology who offer online classes.  Faculty interested in teaching for TN eCampus should visit the following URL [http://www.tnecampus.org/] and contacting the department of Distance Education at APSU.

Students must satisfy the residency requirement for Austin Peay State University prior to enrolling in a TN eCampus course.  Students requesting enrollment in a TN eCampus course must meet with an academic advisor and their department chair to discuss course options.  The department chair will initiate the TN eCampus Course Request Form if the Austin Peay State University residency requirement has been met. The TN eCampus Course Request form must be approved by the Distance Education director and the Registrar before registration authorization can be granted.

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) provides the nation with a state wide process to expand the opportunities for educational achievement of people by aligning standards and practices across states and creating processes to effectively address quality in online and distance education programs while reducing costs to states, institutions and consumers.

Austin Peay State University became a NC SARA member in 2015. Membership in NC-SARA allows Austin Peay State University to offer distance education courses in other NC-SARA sates without having to obtain approval from each state.  Please be advised this does not relate to professional licensing board approval for programs leading to state licensing such as in nursing, and teacher education.  More information regarding NC-SARA can be found by visiting the following URL [http://nc-sara.org].