Remote Course Facilitators
Apply to Serve as an RCF - Summer Term 2021
Please review the information below before applying to serve as an RCF and contact the Graduate College at email@example.com with any questions. Each term, we receive more than 200 graduate student requests to serve as an RCF. Please note that not everyone who signs up will be matched as an RCF. Thank you for your willingness to serve! Only those who apply by Friday, June 11, 2021 will be considered.
Apply to Serve as an RCF
Request an RCF - Summer Term 2021
Please review the information and resources below before requesting an RCF and contact the Graduate College at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Please submit your request at least one week prior to the start of your summer course to allow time for matching.
Request an RCF
Nominate An RCF For An Award
The Outstanding Remote Course Facilitator Award is presented to graduate students who have served as Remote Course Facilitators (RCFs, providing assistance to faculty members teaching in a fully remote (or hybrid) course as a result of COVID-19, and who went above and beyond, ensuring that students were engaged, technology was functioning properly, and digital content was readily accessible.
Eligible graduate students must have served as a Remote Course Facilitator (RCF) for at least one full term (quarter or semester) between spring 2020 and present time. Medical and law students who served as RCFs may also be nominated. Self-nominations will also considered for this award, but must be supported by a faculty member who the RCF has served.
Nominations must be submitted by 12 p.m. EDT Friday, April 30, 2021.
Nominate an RCF
About the RCF Program
The Remote Course Facilitator (RCF) program was established by the Graduate College in spring 2020, with support from the Office of the Provost and Remote Teaching Task Force, to help support faculty in the transition to fully remote teaching during COVID-19.
RCFs can help support the technical and administrative aspects of teaching in a fully remote or hybrid format and help support the remote teaching and learning environment in which active engagement is critical for a successful student experience.
Further, the RCF program offers graduate students an opportunity to remain engaged with Drexel's academic community while working and learning remotely, network with faculty members and peers, obtain valuable skills and experience in remote teaching and learning tools and technologies, and to earn a monetary award for their service. It is also a great addition to a resume or CV!
RCFs also have the opportunity to engage in virtual check-ins and professional development workshops and trainings hosted by the Graduate College with special guests, including instructional technology experts and campus partners. These sessions provide a space for RCFs to ask questions, share experiences, troubleshoot any issues, and learn more about remote teaching and learning technologies.
Check out this article published in DrexelNow in November 2020 about the RCF program!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who is eligible to serve as an RCF?
Graduate students who are active status and in good academic standing in the semester or quarter of intended service are eligible to serve as RCFs. Students do not need to be registered for courses in the term of service, but they do need to be currently enrolled and active status in a Drexel graduate program. University employees enrolled in a graduate program and utilizing tuition remission benefits are not eligible. Students who are inactive status, on a formal leave of absence, on academic probation, or who have been academically dismissed and reinstated in the term of intended service are not eligible. Accelerated degree program students will only be considered if they are fully converted to graduate student status in the intended term of service. Undergraduate students, recent graduates/alumni and future graduate students are not eligible to serve as RCFs.
What can an RCF do? (And what can't they do?)
IMPORTANT: RCFs are NOT Teaching Assistants or Fellows (TAs/TFs) and should not be expected to have any prior knowledge of course content; nor should they participate in any teaching, grading or assessment of any kind. This includes providing students any course-related or performance-based feedback, including discussion board posts, class participation or engagement, etc. They can assist with taking attendance, assigning breakout groups, etc. They CANNOT enter or submit grades of any kind.
Here are some examples of tasks that are appropriate for an RCF:
- Assist with all functional aspects of Zoom or other web-conferencing tools used for synchronous course sessions (recording, assigning co-hosts, sharing screen, monitoring chat, breakouts) and troubleshoot any technical issues (please note that the RCF must have a proper role to manage some these settings)
- Assist the instructor during synchronous course sessions by monitoring questions using the “hands up” or chat features in Zoom or other web-conferencing tools, bringing questions or concerns to the attention of the instructor either during or after course sessions, assigning or monitoring breakout rooms, etc.
- Support the instructor with other remote teaching delivery resources such as Blackboard Ally (to ensure course and content accessibility), Blackboard Collaborate, Camtasia, Kaltura/Drexel Streams, Turnitin, VoiceThread, etc.
- Monitor discussion boards or log in data on Blackboard Learn and alert the instructor to key or recurrent issues, questions or reach out to students experience any technical issues or other barriers to accessing course content
- Help uploading course materials or multimedia files, such as Zoom recordings, to Kaltura/Drexel Streams, Blackboard Learn, etc. (please note that the RCF must have a proper role to record or access recordings and upload to Kaltura/Drexel Streams, Blackboard Learn, etc. Or, the instructor may need to transfer files to the RCF to upload.)
- Provide after-class support by summarizing student questions and concerns and follow-up with students or instructor regarding any technical or administrative issues
- Direct students to and help them understand general course policies (such as those listed in the course syllabus), expectations and assignments in the remote learning environment (i.e. how to submit assignments, clarifying assignment format, etc.), and relaying any FAQs or concerns to the instructor
- Complete additional trainings or workshops within reason to assist the instructor with remote teaching and learning tools and technologies
Here are examples of tasks that are NOT permitted for an RCF:
- Teach/moderate course sessions or prepare course content or materials
- Answer content-related questions or provide after-class tutoring or academic support
- Grade any assessments or enter grades, including providing performance-based feedback
- Manage or respond to issues of academic integrity or other violations of course policy
- Serve as a TA for your course (they are not TAs and should not be referred to, assigned or labeled as such!)
- Work significant hours outside of the live, synchronous class time, unless otherwise arranged and agreed upon by all parties, including the Graduate College
Please note that an RCF may not be the right solution for your needs. RCFs are not meant to create course content, train faculty on remote teaching tools, or do any teaching, grading, or assessment of any kind. Rather, RCFs are meant to help support and engage students in the remote learning environment and troubleshoot some technical issues or address technological barriers.
For a list of remote teaching and learning resources, tools, trainings and IT support contact information for faculty, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
How are RCFs compensated for their service?
The Office of the Provost provide a monetary award of $450 per RCF per full term of service. The award is posted to the student's Drexel account at the end of the term of service. If the student has a balance in their account, the award will go toward any outstanding balance first. If not, the student will receive the award in the form of a refund. Students should work with the Graduate College as well as their department's financial administrator and Drexel Central to determine the financial status of their account and if/how they will receive their award. If an RCF is assigned to serve for less than a full term, a pro-rated award amount may be established. The Graduate College will conduct periodic check ins with both faculty and student RCFs to ensure the working relationship merits the full award. If there are any issues on the part of the faculty member of RCF, please contact the Graduate College at email@example.com.
Please note that RCFs are provided an award for their service to the University. They are not hired through the Human Resources/EPAF process. They do not report hours or submit a timesheet.
Additional Recommendations: In addition to the award, the Graduate College highly recommends that the faculty member working with an RCF(s) recognizes them for their work, such as by nominating them for a University award, writing a letter of support or recommendation for a future position, or providing language for their resume/CV. Many of our RCFs are interested in teaching and greatly benefit from this experience.
What if I am an international student?
Serving as an RCF is not considered formal employment by the University as far as F-1 visa regulations are concerned so a Social Security Number (SSN) is not required to receive the award for completing service. Further, service as an RCF does not affect CPT or OPT. If you have any questions about your immigration status, please contact ISSS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many hours should an RCF expect to serve?
It varies based on the needs of the instructor and course. In general, RCFs should expect to serve approximately 3 hours per week for the equivalent of a 3-credit course. If RCFs or instructors have questions about these expectations, we encourage them to reach out to the Graduate College at email@example.com to start a dialogue. As long as the RCF and instructor are both in agreement about roles and expectations for the course and term of service, the Graduate College is supportive and remains hands off. The Graduate College will check in with both the instructor and RCF periodically throughout the term and help work through any questions or concerns that arise.
How are RCFs matched with instructors?
RCFs will be matched with instructors by the Graduate College based on their survey responses, including eligibility, availability, listed experience and skills with specific remote teaching and learning tools and technologies, and willingness to learn and support faculty and students in the remote teaching and learning environment. We often attempt to match RCFs and instructors in the same College/School/department/program, if possible. Although, it important to note that prior knowledge of the academic area is NOT required. The Graduate College may also consult with the Associate Dean(s) for Graduate Studies or graduate leadership within the College/School/department/program to assist with the matching process.
A successful instructor/RCF relationship starts with clearly defines roles and expectations and continues with regular communication and check-ins throughout the term. It is recommended that you identify a way to communicate with your RCF outside of the live, synchronous class session or email, such as by exchanging phone numbers or chat information in the case of last-minute changes or emergencies. The Graduate College will provide recommendations for how to establish the instructor/RCF relationship when a match is made. If at any point the arrangement is not working out for either the instructor or the RCF, we encourage outreach to the Graduate College.
Can an instructor request a specific RCF?
Yes. If instructors have a preference for a specific graduate student RCF, such as if they have worked with that RCF in a prior term, they may indicate this in their request. Matching with a specific RCF is contingent upon that RCF's eligibility, availability, willingness to serve and listed skills and experience.
When does the RCF begin and end their service?
The Graduate College attempts to match RCFs with instructors with enough time for them to meet virtually to establish roles and expectations prior to start of the term, depending on when a request is received. Faculty who submit their requests early can expect a response at least a week prior to the start of classes. RCFs should begin their service on or after the first day of classes in the term of service and should conclude their service either prior to or on the last day of term examinations. RCFs should not be expected to serve a significant amount of hours before or after the term of service, including meetings to establish the working relationship.
Should the RCF report to campus for hybrid class sessions that meet in person/face-to-face?
No. An RCF should NOT report to the classroom/lab. RCFs should continue to work remotely, supporting the remote teaching and learning environment. The instructor and RCF should establish a plan for communication during live synchronous course sessions in which the instructor is teaching in-person/face-to-face and the RCF is supporting remote engagement. The Graduate College will provide some suggestions for this arrangement when matching.
Can I request an RCF for something other than a remote or hybrid course?
It depends. Please reach out to the Graduate College to inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to discuss whether or not the RCF program is right for your needs.
“I really enjoyed working as a Remote Course Facilitator. My professor was very supportive and I feel very lucky to [have worked] with [them].”
“I learned a lot from the professor I worked with in terms of organizational skills.”
“This experience gave me the opportunity to enhance my technical skills, specifically related to Blackboard and Zoom.”
"Thanks to the support of my course facilitator, I am able to focus my energy on teaching. Since we first started collaborating in the Spring term, [my RCF] and I have become true partners. We are a dynamic duo! In my course reviews, many students mention how smooth the flow of the curriculum is thanks to [my RCF] and our partnership. The RCF program is an invaluable resource and has made the transition to remote teaching a positive experience."
“In my 3-hour graduate night class, we have at least one guest speaker every week who needs to be able to share their slides. We work on assignments in Zoom breakout rooms, and sometimes student need to be able to share their screens with the group. I am grateful for my RFC, because her presence allows me to focus on just teaching the class, and not having to worry about all the technological aspects of facilitating this course remotely.”
“[My RCF’s] help was very important. [They] managed the virtual classroom, helping students engage at all times, and by assigning faculty, TAs and students to breakout rooms.”
“[My RCFs’] help was absolutely invaluable. I truly felt that they ‘had my back’ and that I was free to do what I am charged to do – teach!”
“Frankly, I am surprised that more of my faculty colleagues do not take advantage of the resource.”
Additional Remote Teaching Resources
Download Remote/Hybrid Teaching & Learning Resources Guide [PDF]