Best Practices for Starting and Completing Courses

 These are details that all facilitators should be aware and have an understanding of so they know how the iTEE University processes flow.  

1) Each of the three annual terms have a firm start date of the 2nd Monday of January, 2nd Monday of May and 2nd Monday of September.

2) Facilitators for the upcoming term will be confirmed approximately two to three weeks prior to the start of the new term.  This is dependent on student registrations for classes and the development of preliminary class lists, which is done following the close of registration by the Dean of Students 3-4 weeks before the start of the new term.

3) Facilitators will be provided the student class lists 7-10 days prior to the start of the new term.  The start of all Galatians classes begins 4 weeks after the term start to allow new students to complete Student Orientation (Galatian class facilitators will NOT receive their student list until it can be determined which students will complete Student Orientation and be ready for Galatians.  This takes about 2-3 weeks.)  Each facilitator is encouraged to contact each of their students during that week via email, Signal Private Messenger, WhatsApp, or text messages.  They should develop a Signal Private Messenger App group or WhatsApp group for the class as a back-up, and possibly an email group, though most students do not respond regularly to emails.  

4) Facilitators should schedule a Zoom meeting with their students the week prior to the start of class to get acquainted, review the weekly cycle of study and maybe do a brief overview of the course content.  Additional Zoom meetings can be scheduled at the facilitator’s discretion.

5) Once the class lists are determined the Registrar will create the course shell and enroll the students for that course.  This will be completed approximately 7-10 days prior to the start of class.

6) The course shell, or template, will be available for facilitators to review and edit no later than 1 week prior to the start of the term.  Please review the Facilitators Orientation class #0333 and the parts about editing and customizing your class.  If you have not yet self-enrolled in this class please login and follow these steps: On your Dashboard Page locate the “magnifying glass” icon on the left side of the screen.  Click on that and it will open to the page where you can self-enroll.  Find the Facilitator Orientation 0333 graphic and click on the “Start Now” button.  Enroll yourself and the course will added to your Dashboard.  From there “Launch” the class and begin your study.  This provides a good overview of facilitator tasks and processes.  Also, review the “Class Facilitator Guidelines and Best Practices” guidelines provided by the Dean of Faculty which offers additional details for setting up and managing your class.

There are some things you are encouraged to customize and specific things that should NOT be changed.

Things to know about the course template:


  1. Each course offered by iTEE University has been designed and developed with the study workload our students are effectively able to manage with their schedules and cultural situations in mind.  Do not create additional assignments and activities without checking with the Curriculum Director.  If the course workload is increased the likelihood is students will fall behind and then simply stop doing the assignments and not complete the class.


  1. The course template is designed with a specific number of assignments (activities) the student should complete for the Head part of the class.  These include the Life Notebook questions, select articles and readings, the Discussion Question forums and the Lesson completion.  Students must complete 70% of these to pass the class.  These activities are pre-set when the course is developed and the number of these in each course is listed in the section, “Facilitator’s Teaching Notes for This Course”.  Adding graded activities should NOT be done without the approval of the Curriculum Director.


  1. The course template requires each student complete, and pass, the Self-Check quizzes (at least 80%), the Unit Exams (at least a 70% average score for all exams), the Heart assignment and the Hands assignment (grade of at least 70% on each.)  If these are not completed and graded, the student cannot pass the course.


Things to know about “unenrolling” students:

(Review Facilitator Orientation 0333 for how to unenroll a student.)


It is not uncommon that once a class begins in the new term, one, or several, students will not login and begin the class.  These students are “No Shows.”  These are the steps you as the facilitator should take:


  1. Check your “People” tab accessed through the “This Course” icon (circle with three horizontal lines) in the upper right of your course Home Page.  In the chart you will see one column shows when each learner last logged into the class.  If it says “Never” that student is a “No Show”.
  2. Try to contact them using email, texts, or message them on Signal, to ascertain why they haven’t started and encourage them to login and begin.
  3. If they still have not begun by the end of the second week of the term, notify them again, even if they have not responded to earlier contacts, that they have fallen behind the rest of the class and it would be best for them to be dropped, or unenrolled, this term and register again when taking the class would better fit their schedule and circumstances.
  4. Unenroll the “No Shows” in the third week of the term.


Another situation that may require dropping a student is when they begin the class and then after completing 2 or 3 modules they stop submitting work.  There are any number or reasons for this – family situations, their regular job, health issues, etc.  These are the steps that should be followed when you notice no activity for one or two straight modules:


  1. Try to contact them, messaging seems to work fairly well with this, to determine what is preventing them from keeping up with the weekly class cycle.  Help them understand it can be quite challenging to catch up.
  2. Find out what their intention is about catching up and continuing to work on completing the class, or if their circumstances are such they need to be dropped.
  3. If they need to drop, encourage them to copy any of the work they completed to an offline word document file.  That way when they retake the class they can copy and paste what they have already done.  Once they are dropped, their record, including all their work, is removed.  The system will not know they were ever in the class.
  4. You can unenroll them at their request at that time, or you can wait another week, see if anything changes with their work in the class, and then unenroll them.  Sometimes they are able to catch up.
  5. All students who have stopped submitting work and completing modules should be unenrolled before the end of the term.  Their record will show an “Incomplete” if they are not unenrolled.


Things to know about the Length of each Term:


  1. The length of time from the start of one term to the start of the next term is approximately 17 total weeks.  Facilitators should keep this in mind while teaching and managing their class.  Students should be instructed, and made aware, that the intention is the course be completed BEFORE the next term begins.
  2. Most courses have 8 to 12 lesson Modules, plus a Heart assignment and a Hands assignment.  If facilitators are able to maintain the weekly cycle then students would need 10-14 weeks to complete the course work.  As a “best practice” facilitators should consider they have 14 weeks for teaching and completing the course work, including the Heart and Hands assignments.  This leaves around 3 weeks before the next term begins.

NOTE:  The 14 weeks is a target time frame to keep in mind.

  1. It allows some time for the facilitator to grade and submit the Heart and Hands assignments before the next term begins.
  2. It allows the facilitator a short break before the next term begins.
  3. Student lists for the new term are provided one week before the term begins.  That essentially means one less week between terms.


  1. Facilitators are responsible to notify the Registrar when all students have completed and passed the course, been unenrolled, or will be left enrolled and receive an incomplete. 
  1. The preference is for this to be done several weeks before the next term begins.
  2. Officially classes may remain open until the end of the next term.  A facilitator may choose to allow a student extended time to complete the course, though these things should be kept in mind
  1. Any student given extended time into the next term should not register for another class in that term.  Students should complete one class before beginning another even if they have to wait most of a term.
  2. Any student given extended time will not be part of a learning community as the other students will have moved on, or been dropped.  This is why extending time should be more the exception.
  3. Any student who has completed less than half the class assignments should not be given extended time.  Invite them to copy the work they have completed and encourage them to retake the class when their schedule is better suited.  They can choose to be dropped, which removes all their records for that class, or take an incomplete, which shows in their course record that they did not complete the class.
  4. If a student, or two, is extended into the following term, the facilitator will likely be managing students’ work in at least two separate courses once the new term begins.
  5. If the facilitator decides to extend a student they should offer a two week, or maybe four week, extension to complete their work.  Facilitators should NOT tell a student they have the entire next term to finish.  Offer a short extension and see what they get accomplished.  If they do not show the effort, or complete anything new, then it is unlikely they will get it done.  Inform them it would be best since they do not seem to have the time to finish, to close the class and they can retake it at another time.
  6. All classes MUST be closed by the end of the following term.  No exceptions. If a student is extended time they must complete all assignments per the requirements by the end of the next term or they will receive an incomplete.


The goal of each facilitator at the beginning of a new term is to have each student complete, and pass, the class within the term time frames.  The reality is not all students will be able to do so.  Sometimes we need to unenroll them if they are unable to keep up and fall too far behind.   Then, if we make our target to close the class before the next term begins we may need to determine some students will receive an incomplete.  


While each facilitator has the freedom to decide to extend a student, and as we get to know them some will clearly warrant the grace to keep working, extending the class into the next term should be the exception, even if it means some students receive an incomplete.  


Please keep these “best practices” in mind as you plan out and manage your class.  Also remember to review the Facilitator Orientation class and the Class Facilitator Guidelines and Best Practices overview.

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