For questions specific to Open SUNY, please refer to the Open SUNY FAQs.

Q: What is COTE?

  • A:  The Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE) represents a vibrant community of online practitioners made up online teaching & learning faculty, instructional designers, administrators, researchers, librarians, technologists, & other staff.  Open SUNY COTE celebrates, connects, and nurtures effective online education practitioners across the SUNY system while furthering our knowledge of the most effective teaching and learning practices in online education.Our mission is to cultivate, support, and promote system-wide excellence in online teaching and learning through:
    1. Research and Innovation: Encourages scholarship in online teaching and learning practices to meet the needs of today’s diverse learners, and pursuing research-driven innovations that increase online teaching and learning effectiveness;
    2. Community of Practice: Engages and connects the community of online education experts across the SUNY system;
    3. Competency Development: Provides distinctive and comprehensive professional development opportunities to online practitioners directly, and in conjunction with their home campuses;
    4. Course Supports: Targets Open SUNY+ degree programs with a team approach and process to “refresh” courses in select degree programs with signature Open SUNY +  enhancements.

Q: What does it mean to be an Open SUNY Fellow?

  • A: The COTE Community of Practice aims to leverage the expertise of our rich and vibrant community of online practitioners in a peer-to-peer network through formalizing roles that online educators have always played within their campus and the broader system community. By signing up for a role, online practitioners reaffirm their commitment to online-enabled education and gain membership to the center as “Open SUNY Fellows.” With this membership, the center commits to support online practitioners on their online education journey, while those committing to these roles pledge to give back to the Open SUNY community.Learn more about these roles and the benefits of joining the COTE Community of Practice as an Open SUNY Fellow, visit the COTE Community of Practice website.Open SUNY Fellows are asked to share their experience and expertise through roles that ensure they are recognized and supported by COTE, campuses, and their peers. Open SUNY Fellowship is open to all online learning practitioners and relies on self-nomination supported by a set of expectations to ensure Open SUNY Fellows can contribute effectively to the community. Read more about joining here.

Q: What’s the Open SUNY COTE Quality Review (OSCQR) all about?

  • A:  The Open SUNY COTE Quality Review Rubric is a dynamic 37-standard research-based online course quality rubric and process that includes a focus on the continuous improvement of online course design, produces an action plan, assists with prioritization of improvements, estimates amount of time to make improvements, offers suggestions and examples for improvements, accommodates the addition of standards, and is designed to be used in multiple ways: as a self-assessment, by an instructional designer and in a team or peer review process. An additional 37-standard accessibility rubric is also included.

Q: What kinds of professional development opportunities are available through COTE?

  • A: Professional development paths are being developed to support the continuum of online practitioners from across the system.
    The competency-based programs will support:

    • Online fundamentals and core competencies for those new to online teaching and learning.
    • Continuous improvement of online course design and teaching practices.
    • Advanced topics for experienced online practitioners.

Q: Does COTE offer badging or other acknowledgement for Professional Development?

  • A: We are in the process of designing a comprehensive badging system for Open SUNY COTE that will acknowledge, recognize, honor, verify, certify and authorize membership in the community of practice, achievement in professional development, and engagement in the community.

Q: Why is the ID listserv going away?

  • A: An email listserv is simple.
    On the one hand, people like to respond easily from their email, people don’t like change, people like what they are used to, people don’t like it when you take something away. On the other hand, locked in email, listserv discussions are closed to members and either lost, or tedious to search for and locate, and members new to the community have have nowhere to review past interactions.
  • An online community platform easily moves the linear dialogue of a listserv to more multi-faceted interactions within a more open community structure. And, we want to leverage that on behalf of our community, and use it as a mechanism to broaden the reach of the conversations throughout the community of online practitioners across SUNY and beyond. Crowd sourcing information, facilitating networking and collaboration, and providing convenience and diversity are the keys improve engagement and reach.
  • Our online community platform is easy to use, diverse, and collaborative. Benefits include a range of features and functionality intended to capture and retain members, including a variety of member resources: an online platform for knowledge sharing, multiple social media channels for extended interactions, adjustable preferences, personalizations, and email notification settings, and options for various types of interactions and communications to assist members to easily search, locate, network, collaborate, participate, and share.
  • We have set the sunset date for the listserv for June 30th, 2015, giving everyone time to make this transition. If you are not yet a member of the COTE online community networking site, please join: http://cotecommunity.open.suny.edu/?xgi=0Sd4kS7gYEpIvI Once a member, you can join the group: http://cotecommunity.open.suny.edu/group/cote-community-call

Q: Do I have to pay for Open SUNY COTE services?

  • A: There have been questions regarding the transition to Open SUNY from SLN Education Services and the SLN points/education services/and charges to campuses.
    • There are no SLN points any longer.
    • SLN points never rolled over – they expired at the end of each fiscal year.
    • We made efforts to encourage campuses to use up their SLN points leading to and before the end of each fiscal year.
    • There are no SLN education charges to campuses in fiscal year 2014-2015.  The last year we billed for SLN points or Instructional Designer Services was fiscal year 2013-2014.  SLN points for that fiscal year expired on June 30, 2014.
  • Recommendation: For budgetary purposes we have maintained a recommendation that you keep the money earmarked for SLN Education Services in your budget. We further recommend that you apply the funds that used to go to SLN points to the purchase of additional CPD points specifically to target online teaching and learning professional development for online practitioners on your campus – that includes online faculty, online learning staff, online administrators, online librarians, etc. 


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