The following are the course facilitator tasks during the course delivery process.

The courses are developed by one or more course developers using the 7RD2 course development process, and the instructors follow the tasks outlined below. 

Tasks for the Course Facilitator

The following tasks are designed for course facilitators prior and during the course delivery. Each task includes detailed instructions, best practices, and step-by-step directions for the instructors. 


  1. Review the 7RD2 course delivery process (this module). 
  2. Review the course map and the assignment forms prepared by the course developer. The course map link is usually posted at the bottom of the course page. 
  3. Review each item in each unit to get a feel for the course flow and activities. It is important for you to understand all the ins-and-outs of the course so that you can convey to the students what the course will entail etc.
  4. Read and familiarize yourself with the required readings for each unit. It is important that you complete the assigned readings in order to grade the student work and respond to student questions. 
  5. Update the syllabus and coordinate posting it with your school’s administrative assistant or contact the Office of Distance Education (ODE). 
  6. Review the videos prepared by the course developer. If you notice any issues, please contact ODE.
  7. Familiarize yourself with technology such as the learning management system (LMS), Cerego, VoiceThread, etc. Additional details will be provided in the subsequent pages. 
  8. Reach out to students by sending an announcement [template and step-by-step directions] so that they get the technology and tools in time for the start of the course.
Due Date: Best if 30 days prior to the start of the course.


    The instructor teaching the course should revise and update the syllabus prior to the course going live. A copy of the syllabus can be obtained by contacting the Administrative Assistant (AA) in your school. Revisions typically include the contact information, semester, and the tentative schedule. The tentative schedule typically includes the list of items from the course page omitting the minutes. 

    Once you revise the syllabus, send it back to your school’s academic assistant for dean approval and posting in the LMS. 

    The syllabus needs to be posted 30 days prior to the course going live. This helps the students acquire the textbooks and technology in time for a smooth start.

    R3Recorded Bio

    Since most online courses are developed by the course developer(s), you will introduce yourself to the students using a personal bio. In the personal bio, it is best to start by introducing yourself, and your education and career experience. Some faculty also include information about their family etc. 

    The idea is to connect with the students and convey to them that you are looking forward to teaching this course and that you want them to succeed in it during this semester. If you recorded a personal bio for another course and it is generic enough and good enough, then you do not need to re-record a new bio every time you teach an existing or new course. 

    Some tips for recording the personal bio: 

    • Do not use date references such as: this year in 2023. Make the video generic so that it can be reused. 
    • Use the webcam for the personal bio. 
    • Recommended length is between 3-5 minutes. 


    1. Ensure the syllabus has been posted and review the items on unit 1 and at the top of the course. Make sure you have completed the readings as well. 
    2. Send another announcement [template] using the announcements module reminding the students that the course is about to start and that they should review the items at the top of the course, get the technology and textbooks and be on the lookout for items in unit 1. 
    3. Open the new unit (Moodle directions) by Friday the day prior to the course starting.  This allows a couple days of overlap for students who want to balance the workload for the upcoming week. Note that some courses start on Sundays and the units end on Saturday night.

    R5Ready the Unit

    A smooth start of the course during the first week is key to an online course.  This is the time to set the tone and standards in your course. 

    SundayPreparation. Students view the unit activities, start with the readings and take notes. (Instructor sends announcement by 9am ET). 

    Monday 11:55pmReading Notes Form A. Students have completed the readings and submit Form A. This is so that they have a good foundation for the unit content. You can also advise the students to review the instructor videos at this stage. 

    Tuesday 11:55pm: Post answers to VoiceThread Questions. Students will research the questions you have asked them to research and they will respond via VoiceThread. Note: you need to use VoiceThread to assign the questions to each student in the course. This needs to be done prior to opening the unit.

    Wednesday 11:55pm: Use VoiceThread to Post Comments. Student will review peer posts and comment via video. You as the instructor need to engage in the feedback as well. 

    Friday 12pm: Instructor posts the Unit Wrap-up. 

    Saturday 11:55pm: Submit Form H and any research related forms. Students will complete any research related forms in the unit, view the unit wrap-up and complete form H. 

    Note: You need to send the announcement each week. This is another way you demonstrate you are participating in the course. 

    Below are the routine weekly tasks to get the unit ready: 

    1. Open the Units on Fridays 

    During this time, make sure you are on top of all tasks related to managing the online course. This includes opening the course on time (i.e. on Fridays), responding to student inquiries right away (in less than 24 hours), following up with any course issues, connecting with the students by holding a Zoom session for Q&A, and intentionally being available for the students by also actively engaging in the Community forum and leading the VoiceThread activities. 

    Let your students see the enthusiasm you have for your subject and your love of teaching. It’s much more effective to begin the course letting students know that this is a course you want to teach with content you love, and that you are there to help them learn and that it is all about them succeeding and getting something out of their investment. You will primarily do this via the announcement you will send on the first day of the unit and via your personalized correspondence for email inquiries or VoiceThread interactions. 

    2. Record and post the VoiceThread prompt prior to opening the unit. 

    Each 7RD2 course is designed to use VoiceThread for students to respond to assigned questions. This is where your role as the course facilitator comes in. You can reference the VoiceThread questions from the course map (from the course developer, typically posted at the bottom of your course page) and add your own as well. You will need to create a brief video setting the stage for the topics covered and assign the questions for each student in the course. The video can be 5-7 minutes and you will use the VoiceThread item in the course for it. You can touch on the unit topics for your VoiceThread intro. prior to assigning the questions. See Scenario 1 from these step-by-step directions on how to setup the VoiceThreads. 

    If you are adding additional VoiceThread questions, please add them to the course map as well. If you do not have access to it, contact us. 

    3. Verify the Unit is Available to Students

    It is important that you open the units on time, the latest by 9am on Sundays or Mondays. It is recommended however that you open the new units on Fridays so that there are a couple days of overlap in case students want to get a head start. Here are the step-by-step directions on how to open a unit.  To ensure that the items are available to the students, use the student view using these directions

    4. Send an Announcement on Sunday or Monday by 9am (if course starting on Monday). Send an announcement (directions) using the Announcements module reminding the students that unit is now available. 

    Important: When sending the announcements, emphasize the deadlines i.e. the course rhythm within the unit and stick to it and include the explanation for the form used in that particular unit. 


    5. Post the Unit Wrap-up video on Fridays by 12pm ET

    At the conclusion of each unit, you will need to create a short video wrapping up the unit and preparing the students to transition to the upcoming unit. Students will be required to view your video and will then complete Form H by the last day of the unit. 
    You will use VoiceThread for this activity in conjunction with the script from the course developer in the course map. You can also add more to the script if preferred. This is an opportunity for you to add your own touch to the course. Again, this has to be completed by Friday afternoon. See Scenario 1 from these step-by-step directions on how to setup the wrap-up VoiceThread. 

    • Monitor the students’ progress in the course. If by the end of the first week, a student has not logged in, notify the Office of the Registrar, copy the dean/program chair and ODE. Proper notification is required as it impacts the student’s financial aid.
    • Participate in the VoiceThreads by replying to student posts. Make sure you use video for your responses and require the students to do the same. Otherwise it defeats the purpose of using this tool. 
    • Respond to student inquiries: The idea is for us to have all the information available in the course. However, in the case where the student has questions, instructors should respond in less than 24 hours.

    R6Respond by Grading

    As an online course facilitator, it is important that you provide substantive, predictable and scheduled interaction and feedback to the students. This is typically a university requirement for all online courses. This is another area where you put your touch on the course. Actually, student feedback demonstrates that the course satisfaction depends mostly on how the instructor engaged in the course and how they responded to the students’ work.

    General principles on grading the student work: 

    1. The faculty should respond to student inquiries as soon as possible and in less than 24 hours.
    2. Student work must be graded in 7 days of the unit deadline and the feedback must be substantive. Students need to learn what they did well, and how they need to improve.
    3. Pay attention to the grading in the forms when it comes to length. Think of the forms as rubrics. They are intentionally designed as such. 

    Grading Learning Activities

    Typical 7R course activities include the following which utilize forms. Again, think of forms as the rubrics that specify the requirements, length, and how something will be graded. 

    I. Grading the Reading Notes  Form A 

    • Students need to submit this typically by the Monday for courses that start on Sunday or by Tuesday for courses that start on a Monday. 
    • When grading, pay attention to the word requirements. The form is intentionally to be a particular length. 
    • Be sure to enter a 0 for missing assignments. It is also best to reach out to the students who are missing assignments.
    • To grade this form, use these step-by-step directions. Note you can also use audio and video for to provide feedback. 

    Tip: During the first week, pay close attention to anyone that is not submitting the form on time and reach out to them. In this way you set a standard of what you expect in the course. 

    II. Grading the Research Paper Components Form E, B, F1, F2, C1, C2

    • Emphasize to students that the research paper project is a scaffolded project. All forms must be submitted to earn credit for the project. If a form is not submitted, the next form(s) in the process will not be accepted. 
    • When grading, pay attention to the word requirements. The form is intentionally to be a particular length.
    • Be sure to enter a 0 for missing assignments. It is also best to reach out to the students who are missing assignments.
    • To grade this form, use these step-by-step directions. Note you can also use audio and video for to provide feedback. 

    III. Grading the VoiceThreads

    • As discussed earlier, VoiceThreads are a tool where active learning takes place. Students submit their responses via video and interact peers and the instructor in the course. As the course instructor, you will engage in the discussion by first assigning the questions to the students via a video (discussed earlier), then engaging in the discussion, and finally assessing the students’ work by grading. 
    • You will review all the posts and assign a percentage of the work. Use these step-by-step directions on how to grade VoiceThread activities. 

    IV. Grading the Cerego Sets

    • As presented earlier, Cerego should not be confused for a quiz. Students can try the learning set as many times as they want until they reach typically retention level two. 
    • The grades typically trickle down to the LMS automatically, provided the student used the LMS to first activate the module. 
    • The instructor can track the student progress by logging in to Cerego using these directions. 
    • The instructor can update the LMS grades manually by simply typing the Cerego grade in the LMS. 
    • The instructor should monitor the student progress and reach out to students who are falling behind. 

    R7Reset the Course

    As the course reaches the end of the term, there are certain tasks that the instructor needs to complete to finalize the course delivery. 

    1. Complete the grading of all course activities. Remember, grading should have been completed within 7 days of the unit deadline. 
    2. Doublecheck the gradebook setup and contact the chair and/or the Office of Distance Education of any issues or to verify the setup.
    3. Enter the final grades in Self-Service within 14 days after the course is officially over. In some cases it may be sooner based on communication from the Registrar.
    4. Hide all copyrighted course resources in your course. This is required for compliance with copyright regulations.
    5. Review the Course Evaluation Survey and document course improvements in the Instructor/ODL area of the course. 


    Review the course material and get a thorough understanding of the process.


    Verify course activities and complete the 'ready' tasks above prior to opening the unit.


    Provide substantive feedback when grading the student work.


    Respond to student inquiries withing 24 hours and grade student work within 7 days of the unit deadline.

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