Distributed Education

Faculty Resources

Welcome Faculty!

Faculty, you are the most important part of a Distributed Education class! Your online presence, course design skills, and content expertise come together to make engaging, rigorous, and meaningful learning experiences for our students. The resources provided on this page are designed to help you develop yourself professionally as well as to help you design your courses for optimal success rates. Take your time to look around and review the materials provided, and bookmark this page as one of your "favorites" so you can come back often. If there is anything we can do for you to support your teaching and course development goals, feel free to contact us. Each link below opens in a new window. All documents are provided in Google Docs as "view only," but anyone with the link can open and view them. If you have the link and a Gmail account, you can also save a copy in your own Google account to reference or make personal notes in.

Accessibility Guide

Distributed Education and the Office of Disability Services have teamed up to provide you with this Guide to Creating Accessible Electronic Materials. This guide provides faculty and course developers with the WCAG 2.0 web accessibility standards and supporting resources to help create accessible materials. This is a living document subject to change as browser and assistive technologies change. All guidelines must “Pass” at the time of course review before a course will be approved. Visit the Office of Disability Services for additional faculty information about accessibility.

Best Practices for Online Teaching

The Best Practices checklist is a compilation of best practices associated with teaching online courses. Instructors are expected to follow these steps.

Standards for Online Course Development and Instruction

Volunteer State Community College is committed to implement the Quality Matters standards for the design of online and blended courses, and we are systematically building and evaluating our courses based on these rigorous, research-based standards. The Quality Matters standards assure that the online components of these courses promote learner engagement and provide students with all the tools and information they need to be successful learners. For more information, please review our standards.

Course Development Process and Timeline

Faculty interested in creating or significantly revising an online or hybrid course should visit our course development process page. This timeline will help you plan your course and complete all the necessary paperwork.

Distributed Education Handbook

Read the Distributed Education Handbook to learn about important policies and procedures related to online and hybrid learning at Vol State. The Distributed Education Handbook is a living document that is updated on an ongoing basis as needed in order to keep the most current and accurate information in your hands. Major sections of this handbook include an overview and history of Distributed Education at Vol State; student support services information; administrative guidelines; and faculty support services information. 

Web 2.0 Tools and Resources

There are many useful, FREE online tools that can be integrated into the online and hybrid learning experience. This Web 2.0 list provides several recommended tools grouped together by type: chatting, communicating, networking; collecting, storing, sharing; creative sharing, discussion, polling; tools to present your creations; and finally, video and sound. We've also designated which tools are ADA compliant and which are working on it (but maybe not quite there yet). Non compliant tools should be used with discretion.

Have you got a favorite web 2.0 tool that isn't listed? Send an email to us at eLearn@volstate.edu with that information and we'll check it out!

Technical Guides and Help


For help using eLearn (D2L), the course management system, login to eLearn and search for the course "10.3 Training Materials." There you'll find instructions and video demonstrations of everything D2L related: content, assessments, grades, and more.


Respondus 4.0 is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published directly to eLearn. Exams can be created offline using a familiar Windows environment.

Respondus LockDown Browser® is a custom browser that can be enforced in place of a traditional internet browser. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading.

StudyMate helps students "master the basics" of course material through learning activities, self-assessments, and games. A dozen activities – such as flash cards, crosswords and quizzes – engage students with course content in an individualized way.


WebEx allows faculty to setup virtual classrooms for online advising, lecture recording, web conferencing, screen sharing, and virtual whiteboard sharing. WebEx allows for real-time synchronous collaboration as well as recorded sessions for later viewing. To request a WebEx account, first complete an IT Service Request, then schedule an appointment for training with Distributed Education. Visit the WebEx Support Tools and Resources page for online training and demo videos.