Remote Course Facilitators
Request an RCF - Fall 2021
The fall quarter 2021 faculty request form will be available later this summer. Please check back.
For semester programs, please send your request to the Graduate College at email@example.com.
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 the course to allow time for matching.
Apply to Serve as an RCF - Fall 2021
The fall quarter 2021 application will open later this summer. Please check back.
For semester programs, please contact the Graduate College at email@example.com.
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.
In May 2021, Drexel announced that campus will fully reopen for Academic Year 2021-2022, and therefore, all fall term courses will be taught in their traditional instructional modality. It may be the case; however, that some face-to-face (FTF) courses require a fully remote option (synchronous or asynchronous), such as for international students who are unable to obtain a visa on time to arrive for fall term classes and who have been approved by their program to participate in Remote Fall 2021. In that case, an RCF can help support the remote learning environment in which active engagement is critical for a successful student experience.
Please Note: Only FTF courses which have registered students with a legitimate need to study remotely will be eligible for RCF support. Only one RCF will be assigned per course per term.
Further, the RCF program offers graduate students an opportunity to engage with Drexel's greater academic community, 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 training and onboarding workshops 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 in good academic standing and maintain registration in the semester or quarter of intended service are eligible to serve as RCFs. University employees enrolled in a graduate program and utilizing tuition remission benefits are not eligible. Students who are not registered, 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 to serve as RCFs. 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 and class participation or engagement level. They can assist with taking attendance and providing the instructor with a report and assigning and managing breakout rooms in the virtual classroom. They CANNOT enter or submit grades of any kind, including attendance.
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 ANY grades, including attendance, or providing performance-based feedback of any kind
- 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 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 for a single course. The award is posted to the student's Drexel account at the end of the term of service, unless otherwise noted. 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 a part of term course, the Graduate College will try to assign the RCF to two part-of-term courses so that they can serve the full term. If this is not possible, a pro-rated award amount may be established for a part-of-term course.
RCFs are assigned to one course per term. RCFs cannot support multiple courses in a single term, unless they are supporting two part-of-term courses.
The Graduate College will conduct periodic check-ins with both faculty and student RCFs to ensure the working relationship is going well. If there are any issues on the part of the faculty member or RCF, please contact the Graduate College at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit feedback here.
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. The Graduate College also established an Outstanding Remote Course Facilitator Award in the spring of 2021.
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 email@example.com.
How much time should an RCF expect to serve?
It varies based on the needs of the instructor and assigned course. In general, RCFs should expect to serve approximately 3 hours per week for the equivalent of a one 3-credit course. RCFs cannot support more than one course per term of service, unless they are supporting two part-of-term courses. RCFs are expected to participate remotely in all course meetings as scheduled for the duration of the term. RCFs should notify the Graduate College and assigned instructor of any potential conflicts before committing to serve. If RCFs or instructors have questions about these expectations, we encourage them to reach out to the Graduate College at firstname.lastname@example.org to open 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. 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. If at any point, either party is not agreeable to the terms of the instructor-RCF match, they should notify the Graduate College ASAP.
How are RCFs matched with instructors?*
RCFs will be matched with instructors by the Graduate College based on their application for service, 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 or expected. 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 a discussion about defining roles and expectations and continues with regular communication and check-ins throughout the term. The instructor is responsible for outreaching the assigned RCF to begin this dialogue and to continue communications throughout the term. It is also recommended that the instructor identify a way to communicate with the RCF offline, 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 via the matching agreement. If at any point the arrangement is not working out for either the instructor or the RCF, we encourage outreach to the Graduate College ASAP.
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. Please note that all parties are responsible for following the guidelines established by the RCF program. RCFs can only support one course per term of service, unless they are assigned to two part-of-term courses.
When does the RCF begin and end their service?
The Graduate College attempts to match RCFs with instructors in time for both parties to communicate and establish roles and expectations prior to start of the term, depending on when a request is received and the match is made. Instructors who submit their requests early can expect a response at least a week prior to the start of classes for the term. 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 physical classroom or lab space for the course to which they are assigned. RCFs should work remotely, supporting the remote teaching and learning environment as necessary to engage students who need to take the course remotely. 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 (FTF) and the RCF is supporting remote engagement. Please refer to this guide for RCF Participation in a HyFlex Course.
Can I request an RCF if I don't require a remote option or for something else?
No. At this time, we are only assigning RCFs for full term courses (or two part-of-term courses) which require a remote option. We are not currently assigning RCFs to fully FTF which do not require a remote option specifically for students with this need or for ONL courses. We do not assign RCFs for co-curricular programs or events which are not part of course curriculum or meet at an alternate day/time.
“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]