Transition of Online Course Offering Activities

As previously communicated to Deans and Department Heads, as of this Fall 2017 term, The Centre, will no longer section, hire instructors, or order textbooks for online ‘D’ section courses.

These changes constitute a first step in providing departments and instructors with increased control of their online courses.

Course Sectioning

Previously, Distance Education had requested a list from each department of which online courses to offer each semester, and entered the courses in Aurora.

For Fall 2017, each department must enter (also known as ‘section’) their online courses directly in Aurora.

Question: Will the Centre request a list of online courses, as it has in the past?
Answer: No, The Centre will not request a list of online courses, and will not section any courses in Aurora.

Question: When do we need to section our online courses?
Answer: Sectioning for Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 (2017/2018 Academic Year) online courses has been extended until the end of April, 2107

Question: Who in our department does the sectioning?
Answer: The person responsible for scheduling on-campus courses is also able to schedule online courses in the same manner.

Question: Where does the course scheduler go for help with this?
Answer: The Registrar's Office has been consulted throughout this process, and will be directly contacting the schedulers to provide documentation on the process.

Instructor Hiring

For Fall 2017, your department must hire instructors for online courses similarly to hiring for on-campus courses. Payment for online instructors will continue to be made by The Centre, using a unique FOAP for each department. Please have your Budget Officer or hiring manager contact Jennifer Clark directly for your department's unique instructor pay FOAP.

Question: How is the pay for online instructors calculated?
Answer: Pay for online instructors is calculated once, following the add/drop period, and is determined based on enrollment.

Question: How are pay authorizations handled if the FOAP organization is, The Centre?
Answer: Pay authorization reports will be generated regularly by the Centre, and sent to each department for review.

Question: Why is the FOAP remaining at the Centre?
Answer: Changes to the budget structure were not in scope for this first step in the transition.

Question: Was Human Resources consulted about this change?
Answer: Yes, Human Resources was consulted and instrumental in designing the process.

Question: Where do the hiring and payroll managers go for help with this?
Answer: An overview of this process will be presented to department Business Managers at the regular HR manager meeting scheduled for April 24. Detailed information will be presented at that time.

Textbook Ordering

Previously, Distance Education ordered textbooks from the bookstore for all courses it sectioned.

For Fall 2017, your department must order textbooks from the bookstore for online courses in the same manner it does for on-campus courses by June 1st, 2017.

Question: Was the Bookstore consulted about this process?
Answer: Yes, the Bookstore played an important role in confirming the process for ordering textbooks for online courses can be processed in the same manner as on-campus course textbook orders.

Question: Who orders the textbooks for our online courses?
Answer: This can vary by department. However, please consider that the textbook must be ordered many months prior to the start of the course.

Question: How do we know which textbook to order?
Answer: In January of this year, a 'Course Report' for each of your department's online courses was sent to the Department Head; this report contains a note about course textbooks. The bookstore also maintains a record of books that were previously ordered for each course.

Question: How do we order textbooks for online courses?
Answer: The process is the same as for on-campus courses. Orders can be placed with the Bookstore through their online, or paper, system.

Question: Can we change the textbook for a course?
Answer: Online courses take a significant amount of time and resources to create. Discussions about textbook changes, or revision, should be started the year prior to being implemented. For support with textbook changes, and other updates to you courses, please complete and return the Flexible Teaching Support form.

Question: Where do we go for help with ordering course textbooks?
Answer: Please visit the university Bookstore at University Bookstore Textbook Adoption for assistance.