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Call For Proposals: 7-Week Online Asynchronous Courses

The Division of Academic Affairs, through its Office of Teaching & Learning Innovation (TLI) and Office of Online Learning and Academic Programs (OLAP), invites instructor proposals for the development of 7-week, online, asynchronous courses.

Proposed courses may either be designed to fulfill any area of Volunteer Core, the university’s new General Education curriculum, or serve as elective credit in a given major. These courses may carry 1, 1.5, 2, or 3 hours of credit, and are intended to be offered in the second session of major semesters (Fall, Spring). Course content may be specially designed to take advantage of the 7-week format to address “special or variable topics.”

Reviews will begin on February 11th and will be ongoing

Steps to Apply: CFP Application


Each semester, more than 2,000 undergraduate students elect to withdraw from a course after the add/drop period ends. While students who begin the semester enrolled in 15 or more credits are typically able to drop a 3-credit course without negatively impacting their financial aid, those students enrolled in 14 credits or fewer face the possibility of dropping below full-time status, and as such losing aid. Providing a suite of courses that can be picked up in the second half of a semester provides opportunities for students to recover full-time status and maintain their financial aid standing.

In the past, students have often enrolled in 1- or 2-credit second-session physical education classes to recover full-time status; however, new Federal financial aid regulations will make this option much less attractive for many students.  7-week courses that apply to Volunteer Core requirements will provide students with new options for recovering full-time status that comply with these Federal regulations.

During a typical Fall semester, more than 600 students who begin the semester with 14 or fewer credits withdraw from a 3-credit course.  With this in mind, we anticipate healthy demand for these 7-week second-session courses.


This call specifically asks instructors to develop 7-week, online, asynchronous, courses to support this student success strategy. The rationale for each of these components is as follows:

7-week: To provide an opportunity for students to elect to enroll mid-semester, based on adjustments to their schedule made in the first seven weeks. In recognition of the shortened instructional time, courses proposed for this initiative may be 1, 1.5, or 2 credits, in recognition that the pace of a 3-credit 7-week course may be challenging for students and instructors to manage.

Online & Asynchronous: Online, asynchronous courses provide maximum scheduling flexibility for instructors, students, and the institution as a whole. Online courses do not require classroom space, while asynchronous courses ensure that there are no scheduling conflicts with a student’s existing schedule. This allows for better impact with a smaller subset of courses.


Instructors can receive support for course development and delivery from TLI and from OLAP:

Pre-Program Support

TLI and OLAP will be available for consultation support regarding pedagogical best practices as the faculty member prepares to develop the course and offer it for the first time.

During the Course Offering

TLI and OLAP will be available for any teaching and learning needs during the initial offering of the approved course.

After the Course is Offered

Upon completion of the course offering, TLI and OLAP can help with retooling the course, rethinking course assignments, classroom assessment, and other needs related to course updates and improvement.


To compensate an instructor for the effort required to develop and design a new course, instructors will receive a one-time stipend of $2,500, paid during the semester in which the course is first taught.


Attached to this call is a brief application for instructors to provide information about their proposed course.

Because participation in this initiative will affect an instructor’s teaching assignment, applications must be endorsed by the instructor’s department head or school director and by the instructor’s college office.  Note that instructors are asked to commit to offering the 7-week class in at least three semesters during academic years 2022-23 through 2024-25.

Completed Application will include:

  • Completed CFP Application
  • Completed Agreement form including signatures of Instructor, Department Head/School Director, and Dean (or designee)

If a course is intended to meet a Volunteer Core category, the course must be approved by the respective Volunteer Core subcommittee. This may be done after submitting this application. More information on the requirements for approval can be found on the Volunteer Core webpage.

The Division of Academic Affairs aims to develop ten courses under this initiative. Review of proposals will begin on February 11th and will be ongoing. Please submit the completed application to Josh Steele at jsteele@utk.edu.

Please direct questions to Josh Steele at jsteele@utk.edu, or (865) 974-5577.