HomeTN eCampus AdministrationTN eCampus Guide for Distance Education Directors/DeansGuide and Operations Calendar for Distance Education Directors/Dean

1.1. Guide and Operations Calendar for Distance Education Directors/Dean


Click Here to Access the TN eCampus DE Director Operations Calendar


Table of Contents



You are the key to making operations of the TN eCampus partnership run smoothly! As the conduit for communications between your campus and TN eCampus, we rely on your expertise and leadership. We put together this guide as a one-stop place where you can find information on how the partnership works and your role and responsibilities. If you have a question or find something missing from this guide, please email me at: sarah.hazelton@tbr.edu

It is our pleasure to partner with you to serve our Tennessee students! We thank you for all you do and for your continued partnership.

Sarah Hazelton, M.B.A.
Interim Executive Director — TN eCampus
Tennessee Board of Regents — The College System of TN

1 Bridgestone Park
Nashville, TN 37214-2428
Office: 615-366-3906

Value Proposition

What is TN eCampus and why would students take TN eCampus classes?

TN eCampus is a partnership of all 19 community colleges and 6 universities in Tennessee. These institutions share their courses with each other to increase course offering options for students across the state. So, while your students are taking courses at your school, they also have the option to take TN eCampus courses if something they need isn’t being offered at your campus or if the course they need has filled at your campus. The faculty teaching TN eCampus courses have all been vetted and approved by the administrators at your campus, so in effect, the TN eCampus faculty are also faculty at your school. Given this, unlike when your students take courses elsewhere, there is no need for students to go through the hassle of transferring credits back to your school; TN eCampus courses appear on the student transcript as if they were taken at your institution.

TN eCampus offers unique options to supplement the courses your students are taking at your home campus. Our courses are 100% online and asynchronous so students will not be asked to drive for tests, lectures, or labs. TN eCampus courses are continually reviewed, updated, and redesigned using the latest best practices in online teaching and learning. The courses are equivalent to those offered at your local campus. And, TN eCampus courses NEVER fill—we will always add another section if there is student need. Annually, there are more than 38,000 enrollments across 40 institutions in TN eCampus courses—with 25% of all community colleges havening taken at least one TN eCampus course by the time they graduate. With more than 500 courses in the catalog, there is a TN eCampus course for your students.

Support for Students

Online learners have access to the same support services provided to on-campus students. TN eCampus offers free virtual tutoring, free virtual writing support, and 24x7x365 support via text, chat, email and phone. We also offer a Virtual Library, a Virtual Bookstore, and a free online orientation course for new students and students new to online learning. Each campus employs a TN eCampus Student Liaison so your students have local on-campus support as well. Local campus services such as advisement, career services, financial aid, scholarships, and disability services are available to TN eCampus students at their home campus.

Do your students have a busy life? Raising a family? Work full-time?

Fully online courses are structured so that students work independently but have significant interaction with professors and classmates. Courses have set due dates for assignments and exams, but offer flexible instruction time; your students can learn when and wherever they want.

Do your students want to add credits quickly?

7-week semester format: Some of our fully online courses are offered in an accelerated 7-week format. Accelerated courses cover the same content as a full-term 15-week semester but at a faster pace. So, students can take 6 credit hours in one semester where they would normally have only taken 3.

10-week semester format: We also offer a delayed start 10-week format for those students who arrive too late on campus to begin the 15-week semester. No need to wait all the way till the next term begins!

Why Encourage Online Classes? 15 to Finish!

The math is clear: in order to graduate on time, students must take at least 15 credits per semester or 30 credits per year. But even amongst full-time students, the majority are taking credit loads that automatically put them on a 3- to 4- year plan for an associate degree and a 5-year plan for a bachelor’s degree. Each extra semester comes with a cost, and the longer it takes, the more life gets in the way – decreasing the likelihood students will ever earn their degree. Further complicating the matter, federal financial aid policies require students to be enrolled in just 12 credits each semester to be eligible for assistance, creating a de facto standard that 12 credits is “full-time.” The result: students graduate late, if at all, and rack up unnecessary time and debt in the process.

The vast majority of college students aren’t taking the number of credits needed to graduate on time, despite research showing the significant benefits of doing so – including better academic performance, higher retention rates and the increased likelihood of completion. 15 to Finish encourages students who are able to take more credits, graduate on time and start earning faster. Online classes make this more feasible for students.

Testimonials from Recent TN eCampus Students:


About TN eCampus

TBR – The College System of Tennessee

The Tennessee Board of Regents system is the largest system of higher education in Tennessee. It is governed by 19 board members. The board meets four times a year at regularly scheduled meetings, and the chairman may call additional meetings during the year as needed. The board sets policies and guidelines that govern all TBR institutions. All board meetings are open to the public and the press as observed under Tennessee law.

A Brief History of Online Education in Tennessee

In 2001, TBR institutions joined in a cooperative effort to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, and diplomas online through the Regents Online Degree Program (RODP) which later became known as the Regents Online Campus Collaborative (ROCC). Initially, the jointly-developed programs were created to offer more flexible and accessible education options for adult learners. This development and delivery model became one of the most unique and successful models for online education in the United States receiving numerous awards and accolades.

The online education offered through the cooperative model mirrors the same education offered at physical campus locations. All participating institutions are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), while several programs have additional discipline-specific national accreditation statuses.

Students have the opportunity to choose a "home campus" from among 6 universities awarding Bachelor's and Master's degrees, 13 community colleges providing Associate degrees, and 27 colleges of applied technology offering technical certificates and diplomas. Individuals apply for admission, register for courses, and are awarded degrees, diplomas, or certificates from the home campus. 

Our Offices

TN eCampus is housed in the Tennessee Board of Regents central office headquarters located at:

Tennessee Board of Regents

TN eCampus
1 Bridgestone Park
Nashville, TN 37214

TN eCampus offices are on the second floor along with Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Purchasing. The Chancellor’s office and Legal Affairs are located on the third floor.

TBR central office staff, including TN eCampus, are working remotely through January 4, 2021.

Organizational Structure

As a unit of TBR, TN eCampus reports up to Academic Affairs and from there to the Chancellor’s Office.


Distance Education Director/Dean

Typical Functions of the DE Director role in TN eCampus

The role of the Distance Education director or dean at each TN eCampus partner is to serve as the point person facilitating information between TN eCampus and the partner institution. Most often, the DE director/dean will interface with the TN eCampus Director of Campus Relations, Colbe Wilson, and the Director of Instructional Design & Training, Dr. Nicola Wayer.

The typical functions of the DE director role:

At most partner institutions, the DE director is the person responsible for facilitating and communicating course offerings and instructor assignments and changes to TN eCampus by way of the tnecampus-updates@tbr.edu email address. This address should be used to communicate the following: instructor assignments, developer changes, course additions and cancellations, and Master List updates. It is important to use this address for these communications only.

For all other support matters please submit a ticket to: https://tnecampus.helpspot.com/faculty/. Our ticketing system is monitored by staff at all times and tickets are triaged to the appropriate person. This is the quickest and best way to communicate issues other than course and staffing related issues.


Distance Education (DE) directors who work with TN eCampus are expected to attend the quarterly DE Advisory committee. The DE Advisory committee is comprised of DE directors, deans and staff from each school. The purpose of the committee is to assist TN eCampus staff make decisions that effect TN eCampus operations.

A school representative is expected to be on the TBR DE committee and Curriculum committee. The Oversight committee, which makes policies that effect TN eCampus, is represented by a schools CAO. If you would like to identify who represents your school on the Oversight committee please reach out to TN eCampus staff.

Semester Expectations

DE directors will receive an email from the Director of Campus Relations each spring. The email will ask the DE director to review the TN eCampus course offerings that are owned by their school. The course master list is completed every spring for the following 3 semesters (summer, fall, spring). TN eCampus understands that there may need to be changes made before each semester. When staffing is being completed before each semester, schools are able to make minor adjustments to their course offerings. They are responsible for working with the Director of Campus Relations to ensure that their schools banner and course staffing is completed each semester. 

When a school has a faculty member who is new to TN eCampus, their information and credentials need to be uploaded into FCS. Each school is expected to review the credentials of faculty from other schools in the partnership. Credentials need to be uploaded and reviewed by a specified date each semester (you will receive an email about the date). If there are changes made to staffing between the upload deadline and the beginning of the semester, the DE directors are responsible to upload credentials within 48 hours and review credentials for new faculty from partner institutions. New faculty are also required to be nominated for the correct training before they will be able to staff a TN eCampus course section. Details on FCS and training are provided below. Key staffing deadlines, including deadlines for completing and reviewing FCS profiles and submitted faculty staffing assignments will be sent each semester via email. 

DE directors are also expected to work with TN eCampus staff to help resolve any issues or problems that may come up during the semester with their faculty or students. These issues may involve faculty engagements, students complaints, or getting in contact with faculty.


Course Staffing

Courses are staffed by the TN eCampus partner institutions. Each institution staffs the first 6 sections of each course they own. After the first 6 sections, other partner institutions will be given the opportunity to staff any additional sections. This rule applies to each term (i.e. institutions staff 6 R50, 6 R01, 6 R35, 6 R25). 

If more than six sections are necessary during a given term, additional sections are offered to other partner institutions to run for that term only. A spreadsheet comparing the number of TN eCampus enrollments taught compared to the number of enrollments sent by each partner institution is used to determine which institutions are available to staff any of the additional sections.


Number of Enrollments Sent

Number of Enrollments Taught

Percent Students Enrolled of Students Taught by the institution













Example: Partner institutions would be offered additional sections, based on the numbers in the table. The order would be Institution B, Institution C, Institution A.

TN eCampus faculty are required to have a profile in the Faculty Credentialing System (FCS). To be marked as complete, the profile must include the faculty member's transcripts, resume, and a signed approval form. All TN eCampus partner institutions have access to FCS and all faculty profiles. Partner institutions are able to approved or deny by faculty credentials. Each semester there is a deadline for institutions to review and approve or dispute faculty’s credentials. This deadline will be communicated via email by the Director of Campus Relations. The reason for FCS is to alert TN eCampus staff when a student needs to be moved from a section that is taught by a faculty member who is not approved by their institution, to a section with an approved faculty member.

Beginning the week before a semester, a list of newly assigned faculty will be updated on a daily basis. Partner institutions are responsible for reviewing the newly assigned faculty FCS profiles. Any faculty who is new to TN eCampus, who is assigned in the week before or during the week of semester start, is required to have a completed FCS profile within 48 hours of assignment. If the profile is not completed in the 48 hour timeframe, the assigning institution will be asked to assign a different faculty that has a completed FCS profile. Students who are enrolled in a course, that has a disputed faculty member by their home institution, will be placed in a different section with an approved faculty member by TN eCampus staff.

Relinquishing a Course

Relinquishing a course means that the owning institution is permanently giving up ownership of the course. When a course is relinquished, TN eCampus approaches another partner institution to become the new owner. The preferred time relinquish a course is during the annual Master List review process. However, if a course needs to be relinquished at another time during the year, the owning institution should send an email to tnecampus-updates@tbr.edu (new window). Once TN eCampus has entered the Master Copy Update time period (approximately, 6 weeks before the start of each semester), the institution may not relinquish courses until the following semester. 

There may be times when an owning institution is unable to staff a course for one term. When this occurs, the institutions should notify tnecampus-updates@tbr.edu (new window). TN eCampus staff will find another institution to run the course for that semester alone. Ownership will not change.

Student Late Enrollments

After week one of each term, if a student wishes to enroll in a TN eCampus course, there are a few steps that must be taken. The student's home campus student liaison should obtain permission from the course instructor to add the student. Once the student has permission, the student liaison should assist the student in registering and should email the tnecampus@helpspot.com (new window) with the student's name, the course and section code, and the instructor's name and decision. TN eCampus staff will ensure the student is placed in the correct corresponding section. 


The assessment strategy of each course is the decision of the course developer and it must be used consistently in all course sections. Developers can choose to allow on ground proctoring for students, but are required to make virtual options available to students. Virtual proctoring is available to students and is free to all TN eCampus students. Coordination of course proctoring, virtual and on-ground, is handled between TN eCampus staff and faculty. 

Help Communicating with Students

Use the Instructor to Student tool kit (new window) to connect with students. You may also download this file at the bottom of the page. This Word file contains editable message samples you can customize and share with students. If you need to reach a student outside of D2L, contact the student liaison (new window) at your home campus.

TN eCampus Resources

Who Does What?

TN eCampus is a small team serving a large number of faculty, students, and institutions. Here is a guide to help you know whom to contact if you have questions.

Topic Colbe Wilson Callie Wise Nicola Wayer Kara Byler James Dye Lindsey Butler Britt Young Mark Chamberlain
Accessibility     X          
Attendance issues   X            
CDP and iTeach training               X
Complaints regarding a student   X            
Course development     X          
Course staffing X              
Curriculum committee     X          
D2L system administration and tech support           X    
D2L's end user help desk point of contact   X            
Embedded librarian       X        
Evaluation data         X      
Faculty Credentialing System (FCS)       X        
Faculty liaison coordinator X              
Faculty support services and communications (triage help tickets) X              
Grade appeals   X            
Instructional design     X          
Internal operations and external academic calendars X              
Maestro         X      
Master list X         X    
MC updates and semester prep X              
Online tutoring contact   X            
Proctoring             X  
Publisher integrations     X          
Requesting MC/DC     X          
Semester course data       X        
Student liaison coordinator   X            
Student technical support   X            
Summer Academy X              
Textbook adoption and verification       X        
Training Records               X
Website             X  
Topic tnecampus-updates@tbr.edu tnecampustraining@tbr.edu tnecampus-bookstore@tbr.edu tnecampus@helpspot.edu
Staffing (instructor assignment; developer change) X      
Course offering X      
Embedded Librarians   X    
Textbooks     X  
Any requests that are not listed       X

Information Systems

Knowledge Books

Knowledge Books (KB) (new window) are a support resource for faculty, students and administration. There are a variety of links and tutorials set-up to explain products, processes and most information that a staff member, faculty, administrator or student will need. The Senior Performance Support Specialist updates tutorials and information to be placed in KB.


HelpSpot is a ticketing system where staff, faculty, administration and students go to request help for a variety of issues. HelpSpot tickets should be created when there is a request to change a password, training request, D2L support or any additional requests for help. Do not submit a Help Ticket for a yes/no or information question; this should be sent in an email (e.g. Is Person A still the developer for course ABCD1234?”). To submit a ticket, please either go to the HelpSpot Link (new window) or Email: TNeCampus@helpspot.com (new window). If you go to the link and create a ticket, any person whose email address is placed in the “To”, “CC”, or “BCC” fields will receive all communication associated with the Help Ticket.


Maestro (new window) is a student information system. The database lists all courses, and sections that did and did not run each semester and the instructor who taught the section. Faculty assignments for current semester sections can be found by looking in Maestro. If a student home institution is needed, Maestro will have that information for all students enrolled in a TN eCampus course. Instructor information, from all instructors who have taught for TN eCampus since 2015, is contained in Maestro. Additionally, student grades from all who have been enrolled in TN eCampus courses are able to be found in this database.

Faculty Credentialing System (FCS)

Faculty Credentialing System (FCS) (new window) is a database that contains faculty information for all faculty who have taught for TN eCampus, from each campus in the TBR system. The database includes faculty contact information, D2L instructor username, training completion dates, and teaching credentials. Representatives from each campus have access to the database and are able to upload and make changes to a faculty members’ data.  The FCS designees from each campus are expected to ensure that all faculty profiles are complete and that faculty from other institutions have had their credentials reviewed. During the start of a semester, any new faculty member needs to have their credentials uploaded within 48 hours the faculty change request.

Faculty Development & Training


iTeach is the TN eCampus online instructor training. iTeach is required to be completed by all instructors and faculty developers every three years. iTeach covers the responsibilities of all TN eCampus online instructors, basic skills in using the D2L learning management system, and best practices for facilitating online courses. Instructors are marked as completed after they score 100% on three module assessments and a final assessment. After finishing the course, an official completion email is sent to them and their DE director from the coordinator of ID&T.

Course Developer Program (CDP)

CDP is an online training for faculty course developers. All faculty developers are required to complete CDP every three years. CDP is a competency-based training which covers the responsibilities of TN eCampus course developers. Each module explains a different aspect of developing and maintaining a quality online course. At the end of each module, the course developer is asked to submit assignment(s) using the information they were taught in the coinciding module. An ID reviews each assignment and gives feedback to the developer. To finish the course, a module quiz needs to be completed with a score of 100%. After finishing the course, an official completion email is sent to them and their DE director from the coordinator of ID&T.

Accessibility Training Course (ATC)

ATC is an online accessibility training that is in the process of redevelopment. All developers are required to go through ATC. ATC helps developers understand the online experience of people with disabilities and guides them on how to develop accessible materials.

The Master Course Model

TN eCampus works from a Master course model where a single course is developed and then copied into sections each semester and taught by instructors from the TN eCampus partner institutions. Development work is completed in a Development Copy (DC) workspace that has been seeded with the current course development template. Once the (re)development project is complete, the Development Copy will be renamed as a Master Copy (MC). The Master Copy is never taught from, nor does it ever carry any enrollments. All sectional copies (R50, R51, R52, etc) are copied from the Master Copy, but content is NEVER copied from the sectional copies back to a Master Copy. Once the course is approved after the Final Review, it is listed on the web site and in the campus registration systems.

The Master Copy (MC)

Only the Course Developer makes modifications to the course Master. The Master Copy is the only source for creating semester sections. Content from sectional copies is NOT copied back to the Master Copy. Therefore, it is critical to keep the MC current. There are multiple different term formats for Spring and Fall semesters. The term formats are 15-week, 10-week (pilot), first 7-week and second 7-week. Regular 15-week semester sections are numbered R50, R51, R52, etc. The developing institution has first right of refusal on the first six sections of a course; additional sections may be taught by another institution. Course sections may number from R35, R36, R37, etc. for the 10-week (pilot) term. Course sections may number from R01, R02, R03, etc. for first 7-week term or R25, R26, R27, etc. for the second 7-week term. Summer semester course sections have one term format, 10-weeks. The summer course sections may be numbered R80, R81, R82, etc.

Visual of the Master Copy and R50 model

The Development Copy (DC)

When a course is in development or redevelopment, a development copy (DC) workspace is created for that work to take place. Redevelopment should never be done in the MC. IDs may help the faculty course developer to migrate some content from an existing MC into their DC, but as a rule the entire MC is not copied into the DC. The majority of courses that are in redevelopment predate the current course development template and do not use the D2L accessible content template pages. For this reason, developers are asked to work from a fresh shell using the current course development template rather than trying to edit their existing MC content. Once the project is completed, the DC is renamed and replaces the existing MC.

Accelerated Master Copies (AMC)

Some courses run in an accelerated 7-week format. For these courses, a separate MC (called an Accelerated Master Copy or AMC) is created. The AMC is a copy of the standard MC that has had the pacing and dates adjusted for the shorter-length semester. The content and assessments in the AMC should be the same as the MC unless there is a valid pedagogical reason for them to be different. Any changes to content or assessment from an MC to an AMC must still align with the course outcomes and module objectives.

Delayed Master Copies (DMC)

Some courses run in an accelerated 10-week format. For these courses, a separate MC (called a Delayed Master Copy or DMC) is created. The DMC is being piloted to see what the student needs may be. The DMC is a copy of the standard MC that has had the pacing and dates adjusted for the shorter-length semester. The content and assessments in the DMC should be the same as the MC unless there is a valid pedagogical reason for them to be different. Any changes to content or assessment from an MC to a DMC must still align with the course outcomes and module objectives. 

Course Development: From Proposal to Production



Resources & Tools

Master List

(http://success.tbr.edu/masterlist/index.php?term=f) (new window)


(https://tnecampus.helpspot.com/admin.php) (new window)

Knowledge Books (KB)

(https://tnecampus.helpspot.com/admin.php?pg=kb.book&book=17) (new window)

Faculty Credentialing System (FCS)

(https://credentials.tbr.edu/faculty-list) (new window)

TN eCampus D2L

(https://gotoclass.tnecampus.org/d2l/home) (new window)


(https://tbr.maestrosis.com/MyHomePage.aspx) (new window)

Academic Calendar

(https://tnecampus.org/academic-calendar) (new window)

iTeach and CDP Training Nomination Form

(https://tnecampus.helpspot.com/admin.php?pg=kb.page&page=92 (new window)

Textbook Verification Form

(https://tnecampus.helpspot.com/admin.php?pg=kb.page&page=219 (new window)

Knowledge Tags

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