A. Faculty Development Institute for Distributed Education Course Development: Overview

The Faculty Institute for Distributed Course Development provides focused, systematic assistance for faculty who are interested in developing and teaching courses using distance education technologies. The institute is structured within a series of interactive workshops, technology skills sessions, hands-on project work, group discussions, and mentoring activities that facilitate the development of a course that will be taught utilizing distributed education technologies. The institute is organized and conducted by the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), McConnell Library, and the Division of Information Technology (DIT).
Program Overview
· The institute is scheduled at least three times during each calendar year and provides resources for faculty who would like to convert a classroom-based course for delivery using distributed education technologies. Institutes are scheduled each semester and each summer session. Training sessions are scheduled throughout each semester and summer session.
· Participation is limited to a maximum of fifteen (15) faculty members.
· Proposals for the creation of new courses or programs that have not undergone curricular review and approval will not be considered.
· Course development will be based upon current research and best practice in instructional design for distributed education, including Quality Matters, application of instructional design models (e.g., ADDIE, backward design), and validated approaches to the design and development of courses for delivery in either synchronous or asynchronous delivery modes.
· Courses will be evaluated by Institute staff for compliance with the standards implicit in the Quality Matters Rubric. As appropriate and applicable, standards from learned societies (e.g., NCATE, ISTE) and state and federal agencies will likewise be utilized for development and evaluation purposes.
· Faculty selected to participate in the institute will:
  • spend additional time in post-workshop activities developing their courses and consulting with the Institute’s staff and faculty mentors prior to teaching their first online course;
  • if possible, commit to teaching the distributed education course twice within a twelve-month period (schedule permitting); and
  • participate in mentoring activities, panel discussions, or presentations that showcase the results of their work.
Expectations and Requirements of Participants
Each faculty member selected to participate in the institute will be required to:
· Complete and submit an application to participate in the institute.
· Receive approval from h/her academic unit and college to teach the course.
· Participate in a scheduled series of workshops conducted by institute training staff.
· Continue to work closely with institute staff in post-institute consultations to complete course development.
· Teach the course twice (schedule permitting): ideally during a summer session and during a subsequent semester or the summer session of the next academic year, or during a subsequent summer session to be determined by the faculty member and his/her academic unit head or program director.
· Write a self-evaluation of the course and submit a written report.
· Showcase the results of their work.
Primary Institute Training Staff:
Dr. Krista Terry, Director, CITL
Mr. Charles Cosmato, Assistant Director, CITL
Dr. Gary Ellerman, Instructional Developer, CITL

Mr. John Helms, Assistant Director and Instructor, CITL
Mr. Jason Burton, Distance Education and Multimedia Technician, CITL

B. Faculty Development Institute for Distributed Education Course Development:Application

C. Web Conference Software

Several companiers offer web conference software that can be available in the event that faculty are not able to connect with the Adobe Connect server on campus during a closure of the university. Almost all of the vendors in the list provide access to the software free of charge for a brief time (trial use), and this could be utilized as a short-term approach to providing continuous instruction. Dimdim, among all of those listed, is open source software that is free of charge "forever" for meetings with up to 20 participants.
Adobe Connect
  • Flash based client
  • Highly customizable layout
  • Excellent video quality
  • Great solution for one-to-many webcasts
  • Integrated phone teleconferencing through Premiere Global Services
  • Supports up to 100 users per meeting
For more information please see our Adobe Connect web page.

offers the following features:
  • Java based client
  • Designed with a strong virtual-classroom focus
  • Robust platform for collaborative meetings
  • Licensed by concurrent users / participants
For more information please see the Elluminate web page.

Webex is Cisco's Java based web conferencing tool which offers multipoint video (up to 6), voice over IP and integrated audio teleconferencing functionality with 24 x7 live support via telephone. Webex can also be purchased on a per minute/per use basis either directly through WebEx or via Premiere Global Services branded services ReadyCast which requires no advanced sign up or set up.

is a Flash based, free, easy and open web collaboration software with a robust set of features. Dimdim scales to thousands of meeting attendees, provides great availability and comes in multiple hosted and onsite configurations including downloadable open source and a free hosted version. Dimdim does not require attendees to install any software and is an way to share documents and desktops, chat, talk and view others online. It's feature set is somewhat limited compared to commercial alternatives (single video, no desktop sharing for Mac and LINUX), but it is free. Check out the list of features for more information.

offers free, Flash based video chat similar to social networking giant You can create private or public video and text based chat rooms on the fly. Creating a room is easy and give you a URL you can forward to your invitees. No account is required and it provides embed code for you to embed the "room" into your existing website.

is an online web conferencing application that allows the user the ability to host unlimited meeting, with limited duration for up to 15 attendees per meeting - at a flat fee. GoToMeeting uses both the telephone & headsets for audio. At the time of writing this description (03-03-09) GoToMeeting does not support the use of video. The set up is easy and requires very little training to get started. Creating and scheduling meeting are straight forward and the user has the ability to schedule meetings inside applications such as: Outlook, Excel, Lotus Notes, & Word.

Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007
is an online meeting space that an organization subscribes to or that an organization hosts internally. You can meet with your colleagues online, which allows you to collaborate in real-time, even over long distances. Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 is installed on your computer, allowing you to connect to meetings (whether they are hosted on your organization’s servers or on the Microsoft Office Live Meeting service).[Text copied from the web site.]

D. The Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan: An Overview

The Continuity of Operations Plan is designed to provide a rapid response and minimize the impact of an emergency on university operations. Severe disruptions can arise from several sources including natural disasters, fires, explosions, and equipment failures. The purpose of this plan is to document recovery strategies, essential resources, and develop plans and procedures necessary to ensure the university functions effectively in the event of an interruption due to a loss of data, equipment, or facilities.
The capability to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies affecting Radford University’s operations is dependent upon the proficiency and well being of its employees and the clarity of its leadership. To ensure the capability to support employees and contractors, system users, emergency responders, local and regional emergency management agencies, and the general public during emergencies, Radford University has adopted this COOP plan.
This COOP plan describes how Radford University will sustain the capability to perform essential functions during and after a disruption in internal operations whether caused by severe weather, other natural or man-made disasters, or malevolent attack. This COOP plan ensures that Radford University:
  • has the capability to implement the COOP plan both with and without warning;
  • is able to perform essential functions no later than 12 hours after activation of the COOP plan;
  • is able to maintain essential functions for up to 30 days;
  • includes regularly scheduled testing, training, and exercising of agency personnel, equipment, systems, processes, and procedures used to support the agency during a COOP event;
  • provides for a regular risk analysis of current alternate operating facility(ies);
  • supports the location of alternate facility(ies) in areas where the ability to initiate, maintain, and terminate continuity operations is maximized;
  • supports the identification and documentation of temporary operating procedures which enable the performance of essential functions; and
  • promotes the development, maintenance, and annual review of agency COOP capabilities.
This COOP plan supports the performance of essential functions from alternate locations (due to the primary facility becoming unusable, for long or short periods of time) and also provides for continuity of management and decision-making at the agency, in the event that senior management or technical personnel are unavailable, inaccessible or lost to the organization.
For additional information, consult the Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) web site.

E. University Response to Threats: Executive Decision Matrix

There are three types of threats that could result in the deployment of the Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan:
  • Known threats and emergencies (with warning): There are some threats to operations that may afford advance warning that will permit the orderly alert, notification, evacuation, and if necessary, the relocation of employees. Situations that might provide such warning include a hurricane, a transportation accident resulting in a threat of a release of hazardous material (HAZMAT) or a threat of a terrorist incident.
  • Unanticipated threats and emergencies (no warning) During Non-Duty Hours: Incidents may not be preceded by warning, e.g., earthquakes, arson, HAZMAT, or terrorist incidents, and may occur while the majority of on-site staff is not at work. In these circumstances, while operations from the primary facilities may be impossible, the majority of our employees will still be able to respond to instructions, including the requirement to relocate following proper notification.
  • Unanticipated threats and emergencies (no warning) During Duty Hours: Incidents may also occur with no warning during normal office hours. In these circumstances, execution of the COOP plan, if indicated by the circumstances of the event, would begin by execution of Radford University’s Emergency Operations Plan to support notification, response, evacuation, and situation assessment.
For each of these threats, the university has developed an executive decision process that allows for a review of the emergency situation and determination of the best course of action for response and recovery. This process uses a decision matrix for implementing the COOP plan. Careful review of this matrix should avoid premature or inappropriate activation of the agency COOP plan.
The decision matrix focuses on the way in which the emergency event may impact the capabilities of the agency to provide its essential functions. To remain flexible to the variety of situations that could trigger activation or partial activation of the COOP plan, this matrix provides guidance, however, impacts and decisions may be modified based on the actual events.
The decision matrix is presented below. Potential disruptions resulting from emergency events are classified in Emergency Levels 1 through 3 as defined in the Emergency Operations Plan. Using these emergency levels, the Emergency Coordinator, or a duly designated successor will activate or partially activate the COOP plan if needed.

Emergency Event Level

Impact on Agency and COOP Decision


Impact: Normally a minor or isolated event that can be responded to or quickly resolved with disruptions of up to 12 hours, with little effect on services or impact to essential functions or critical systems.
Example: Major accident on highway or transit system, computer virus, small fires, minor flooding.
Decision: No COOP or limited COOP activation required.


Impact: Have or may have the potential to affect all or part of the RU Campus and may require assistance from off campus agencies. Disruption to one or two essential functions or to a vital system for no more than three days.
Example: Major chemical spills, heightened Homeland Security Advisory System Threat Level, Building Fires with structural damage, long utility outages.
Decision: May require partial or full COOP activation to move certain personnel to an alternate facility or location in the primary facility for less than a week. Personnel not supporting essential functions may be instructed not to report to work, or be re-assigned to other activities


Impact: May be classified as a campus, regional, state, or national emergency that affects the campus and surrounding community and has the capacity to threaten or adversely affect life, health, and or property on or near the Radford University Campus. Disruption to the entire agency with a potential for lasting at least two weeks.
Example: Explosion in/contamination of primary facility; major fire or flooding; hurricane, earthquake, terrorism, campus evacuation.
Decision: COOP plan activation. May require activation of orders of succession for some key personnel. May require movement of many, if not all, essential personnel to an alternate work site for more than two weeks. Personnel not supporting essential functions may be instructed not to report to work, or be re-assigned to other activities