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Semester Master Course Prep Guide

TN eCampus works from a Master Course model in which all courses are developed by a developer or co-developers. Students are never enrolled into the Master Copy.  Instead the Master Copy serves as the original and most current version of a course. All semester sections of a course are copied or cloned from the Master Copy.

When a course developer updates and modifies a course, those updates and modifications are made  in the Master Copy.

The Semester Master Course Prep Guide will help you prepare your master course for cloning prior to the deadline set forth by TN eCampus staff. It’s important that you prep your master course not only to keep the organization on schedule, but also to save YOU time! Cloning will occur by the specified deadline with no exceptions. If your course is not ready by the cloning deadline, you will be required to make the updates to ALL sectional copies instead of a single master copy.

The Semester Master Course Prep Guide addresses the following information:

  • Course Calendar and Dates
  • Publisher Content
  • Links and Quicklinks
  • LOR Links
  • Important Dates for Course Developers
  • General Resources

Course Developer Responsibilities Associated with the Master Copy

Course developers have the responsibility to keep the Master Copy of the course updated, current and relevant.   TN eCampus courses should never be considered static courses.  Instead, courses should be thought of as alive and continually evolving to improve student learning. Course developers should be constantly making "tweaks" and improvements to their course. 

Additionally, prior to the beginning of every semester, course developers are responsible for preparing the master course for the upcoming semester prior to it being copied into semester copies of the course.  Course developers will be informed as to the deadline date in which modifications and updates should be completed.

The following updates are the minimum items that need to be updated each semester:

  • Current dates for that semester need to be updated, including the calendar, assessment, discussions, and any other place where dates are referenced.
  • Responsible for contacting the Virtual Bookstore to update textbook information for the upcoming semester.
  • Any desired content updates or modifications for the upcoming semester.

Master copies must be completely developed so that a sectional instructor doesn't have to modify the course in any way (other than their contact and personal information) prior to teaching the course.  Course developers should provide all content and settings within the Master Copy. For example: 

  • A developer may wish to leave a Discussion Topic question blank so that individual instructors can choose a current relevant topic from a news source.  While it may be appropriate for an instructor to choose their own discussion question during the semester, the developer must provide an initial discussion question in the topic, so instructors who do not wish to choose their own topic, will have one already provided through the Master Copy. 
  • A developer may wish to give instructors the ability to set assignment due dates within their own sections. While instructors may modify the dates of assignment due dates, the developer must include an original due date through the Master Copy.  They are are not allowed to leave the due dates blank.

Sectional Faculty Responsibilities Associated with the Master Copy

  • Sectional faculty are not permitted to modify the sectional copies other than personalizing the course with contact and biographical information, or correct typographical or grammatical errors.
  • Sectional faculty should report needed or any other changes outside of these parameters to the Course Developer.

Course Content

TN eCampus is a consortium, and as such, expects Course Developers to be open to collaboration with sectional instructors to improve quality, content, instructions, etc in the Master Copies. Course developers should be open to suggestions and observations of other faculty who are teaching the course, and even students who are taking the course.

Course Developers should routinely contact sectional instructors to provide course information, clarification about any course modifications,and improve communication between the Developer and course instructors. 

One Master Copy

There's only one version of the Master Copy.  Different versions for summer semesters or for different instructors are not allowed.