This report was presented to the Faculty Senate, April 3, 2000.

Ad Hoc Committee on
Technologically-Enhanced Instruction

April 3, 2000

prepared by

L. David Fox, School of Architecture
Peter Höyng, Department of Modem Languages and Literatures
John Mount, Department of Food Science and Technology
Bruce Ralston, Department of Department of Geography
Fred Weber, Department of Chemical Engineering
Chairperson: Marla Peterson
Department of Counseling, Deafness, and Human Services

The Ad Hoc Committee on Technologically-Enhanced Instruction has compiled a list of general principles and specific recommendations for the use of technology in delivering quality instruction. We believe that the principles and recommendations require thoughtful deliberation by the Faculty Senate. Therefore, we are recommending that a portion of the agenda for the first three meetings of the Faculty Senate during FY 2000-2001 be devoted to discussing the contents of this document. The Senate and the Information Technology Task Force appointed by the Chief Academic Officer must work together as new policies are created for technology and instruction. Discussion of the principles and recommendations embodied in this report can serve to inform policy makers of what is important to faculty members as we proceed to deal with technology issues at The University of Tennessee.

General Principles

The core mission of The University of Tennessee is to create, preserve, and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research, and service. This is unlikely to change. However, rapid growth in the use of information technology has changed and will continue to change the way faculty perform work within the University's core mission. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of instruction. The Academy has always been thought of as a place where faculty and students come together in face-to-face situations where live exchanges can take place. New technological advances have not and will probably not displace this model. However, there is little doubt that new information technologies will enable this state's land grant university to disseminate knowledge beyond the confines of classrooms located in Knoxville as well as enhance instruction that takes place on campus. University faculty must give considerable thought to how information technology is transforming the way we work. As we collectively consider questions related to the use of technology, our roots should not be forgotten. If technology creates a larger array of contexts in which the exchange of ideas continues to thrive, then the Academy will be well served.
Principle: Academic Integrity
  1. Decisions relative to course/module content will continue to reside with faculty regardless of the method of delivering content. New information technologies and policies and procedures that may be developed to accompany them should not interfere with faculty members' ability to freely present their ideas to students, colleagues, or the world at large.

  2. Decisions relative to the appropriate instructional approach for specific content for specific audiences will reside with the faculty.

  3. Decisions relative to the means of delivering specific degrees, certificate/license programs, continuing education, professional development, and other offerings which carry undergraduate, graduate, or CEU credit will continue to originate in academic departments with submission to appropriate academic affairs approval bodies, if appropriate.

  4. Individuals engaged in delivering any instruction which results in the awarding of academic credit or CEUs shall be approved by the normal approval process which begins in the Academic Department from which the instruction originates. This principle applies to any instruction offered through existing administrative units such as Evening School, Continuing Education, Extension, Summer School, Mini Term and any other University organizational units that might be created.

  5. Any plans to establish a for-profit or not-for-profit instructional entity that is separate and apart from the established College and Departmental structures shall be disclosed to the Faculty Senate at the outset and shall be brought to the Senate for deliberation.
Principle: Fair Sharing
  1. The creation and dissemination of knowledge is a collective enterprise at a university. Ownership of various rights associated with copyright should be negotiated for the specific type of intellectual property under consideration:

    Courseware Developed Without Substantial
    Use of University Funds or Facilities

    When a faculty member develops courseware without substantial use of University funds or facilities ownership of the courseware shall remain with the faculty member. Use of computers, utilities, and authoring platforms such as CourseInfo and attendance at University-sponsored training programs is considered usual and normal for self-initiated courseware development in today's University. Normally, no royalty, rent or other consideration shall be paid to the employee when courseware is used for instruction at The University of Tennessee and such courseware shall not be used or modified without the consent of the creator(s). The courseware shall not be sold, leased, rented or otherwise used in a manner that competes in a substantial way with the for-credit offering of The University of Tennessee unless that transaction has received the approval of the Chief Academic Officer.

    Courseware Developed With Substantial
    Use of University Funds or Facilities

    When The University of Tennessee specifically directs the creation of courseware by assigning one or more employees to develop the courseware and supplies them with substantial materials and time to develop the courseware, or when substantial use of University funds or facilities are used for self-initiated courseware development, or when the courseware is a work for hire, the resulting courseware belongs to the University. The University shall have the right to revise it and decide who will use the courseware in instruction. The institution, through written agreements, may specifically agree to share revenues and control rights with the employee.

    Courseware Developed Through Sponsored Work

    Courseware developed through sponsored research or other agreement between the University and a third party are subject to the terms of the applicable agreement. In the absence of such terms, ownership shall be determined on the basis of whether there was substantial use of University funds or facilities.

  2. Early disclosure by faculty members of their intent to commercialize courseware is in the best interest of the faculty member and the University. Items related to whether substantial use of University funds and facilities were used in the development of the courseware and appropriate sharing of revenues should be determined in writing at the outset.


  1. The principle of fair sharing extends to rewards for willingness to experiment with new instructional technologies. Departments that have been proactive in using appropriate technology to deliver quality instruction should be appropriately rewarded.

  2. Use of technology may alter work loads. Within each Department there should be a high degree of involvement by Department Heads and faculty in determining appropriate work loads within each Department and the reward system that accompanies each work load.

  3. Faculty members who teach technologically-enhanced courses that generate significant revenues may need support in terms of release time to prepare courseware, reduction in number of courses taught, teaching assistant support, and technology support. At the same time, faculty members who teach high revenue-generating courses must recognize that not all courses lend themselves to being taught in a like manner. Decisions regarding how resources and rewards are allocated are best made at the Departmental level.

  4. It is incumbent upon the University to provide facilities and equipment to support the use of innovative instructional approaches.

  5. At least 50% of appointments to University-wide committees that are dealing with instructional technology policy must include tenure-track faculty members whose duties are primarily instructional as opposed to administrative.

  6. The University should develop a system for identifying courses which are taught exclusively on line.

  7. The University should develop an entity that focuses on conducting research and cost-effectiveness studies of new modes of instruction. Such an entity might focus on retention rates, student achievement, etc. Rhetoric on instruction should be supported by research on instruction.

  8. There are two separate reporting structures for two major campus entities that deal with faculty who are engaged in developing and delivering technologically-enhanced instruction: University Outreach reports to the Chief Academic Officer and the Innovative Technology Collaborative reports to the Chief Information Infrastructure Officer. Streamlining may be appropriate.

Concluding Remarks

The principles and recommendations in this document by no means include all the items that need to be addressed in relation to the use of technology for instruction. Perhaps, the greatest service that this document can provide is that those who deliver the instruction must be heard when matters relative to instruction are under discussion.

Senate Directory
Governing Documents
   Senate Bylaws
   Faculty Handbook
   Tenure Policy



Senate Home

To offer suggestions or comments about this web site, please click here.