Summer 2020 Online Core Course Initiative FAQs

All full time faculty members in Arts & Sciences are invited to submit a proposal.

Yes, both individuals and groups may submit proposals. Compensation and program requirements are the same for all participants. In the case of group proposals, members may decide how to divide the compensation among the participants. 

No, you do not need to receive approval to submit a proposal. 

We do request you inform your Department Chair or Program Director of your intent to propose a course, as some departments may be seeking to develop proposals for specific courses only, and their guidance will also be a part of the overall proposal approval process.

SHE Committee members will refer proposals to the Associate Deans of the College to complete the selection process, consulting with Department Chairs and Program Directors about the modality change and course scheduling before proposal acceptance is communicated. 

Yes, proposals from all core areas (A, B, C, D, E, and F) will be accepted. Effort will be made to ensure multiple Core areas are represented.

We are defining an online course as a course that takes place 100% online, requires no face to face meetings, and has no more than 17% online synchronous class sessions.

4 proposals will be approved for the initial offering in Summer 2020. 

Courses will be selected for online development by the SHE Committee and Associate Deans according to: (1) the clarity and strength of explanation for a course to function exceptionally well in delivering Core and Program Learning Outcomes as an online offering; (2) any particular background or expertise held by the faculty proposer(s) that will facilitate online development; and (3) likelihood of sustained demand for the course as an online offering.

Both faculty development and course development support will be provided by the USF Instructional Design team. 

  • Faculty development will involve a 2-day, in-person faculty development seminar plus 2 online sessions, each devoted to online course design, development, and facilitation.
  • Faculty will then be paired with an instructional designer to incrementally work through course design and development throughout the Spring semester, inclusive of in-person or virtual meetings taking place biweekly.
  • The Instructional Design team can also work with faculty to produce course videos and multimedia pieces.

It typically takes between 100 to 200 hours of a faculty member’s time to develop an online course.

Accepted faculty or faculty groups will be able to choose to receive either 2 units of course release for AY20/21 or a $10,000 stipend total for completion of the course. For group submissions, faculty should identify how they will distribute the compensation across the group in their submission.

Full time faculty will receive the same compensation for an online course that they would for an "on ground" course taught during summer session, subject to the same enrollment expectations as on ground courses (15 or more students). 

The Provost office, in partnership with the faculty unions and other USF community members, are in the process of developing a policy around intellectual property and online courses. In the meantime, the IP of these courses are subject to the existing language regarding IP in the current faculty contracts.

Yes, as with all summer courses, students will receive the discount rate of 33% off normal tuition for these courses.

Courses as part of this initiative will be evaluated in several ways. The Quality Matters standards for online courses will be used in the course design and development process, and will serve as a measure of course design quality. Post delivery, student enrollments, student performance, and faculty and student satisfaction surveys will also be collected and reviewed to assist in evaluating the success of the courses and initiative.

The intention is to continue to develop new online summer courses for the next 3 summers, with additional calls for proposals in Fall 2020 and Fall 2021.

Whether a course continues to be taught online, and to which instructor or instructors it is offered, are the prerogative of the Dean in consultation with Department Chairs and Program Directors.  Any additional faculty assigned to teach the course would nevertheless have to participate in appropriate training in online course facilitation prior to being assigned a course. 

Additional questions can be sent to the SHE Advisory Board at