February 28, 2017

Dear Faculty:
It's late February here on Cape Cod, really the beginning of March, and it's great to see the piles of snow going away with the nicer weather. I'm looking forward to walking and golfing outside soon, too!  For now, I am loving my curling sessions each week! I hope all of you are doing well and for those that know me, I thoroughly enjoy connecting with you and hearing about your teaching with us here at NGS. Email or call to talk and send feedback to me. Our amazing Program Chairs are also available to talk with you about your teaching and courses. Their leadership is instrumental to our work here in Academic Affairs. I value their commitment, time, and passion for their work. If you only knew how many emails and calls we make each week, you would be amazed!
This faculty letter is organized in the following way ( and I have highlighted
essential information in red ):

Updates1.     Academic Affairs  Updates
                   aa.        Course Handoff Fo rms (Loc ated in Faculty Resources on the NGS Portal)
All faculty are required to complete and post a Course Handoff Form. These forms assure us that we are meeting the needs of our NGS students and that we are delivering a quality program. Your essential feedback provides data and key information about the cohort for the instructor teaching the next course in the sequence. Furthermore, this feedback provides Academic Affairs and the Curriculum Development Committee (CDC) with information about academic content, student, and other positive and constructive comments.
As a faculty member, for each course, you are required to:
  • Complete the Course Handoff Form (within 48-72 hours of the last class)
  • Upload the completed Course Handoff Form to the cohort Orientation course under Faculty Resources
  • Send a copy of the Course Handoff Form to facultycontracts@ngs.edu 
(Please note that this process of sending to facultycontracts@ngs.edu is new, as faculty used to post the form and send to the Academic Affairs email address. The purpose of this new process is to assist with streamlining our emails and one person will be reading the faculty contract email. No need to cc anyone else. )

               bb.      NGS Email accounts
Faculty are required to communicate with Academic Affairs and students using their NGS faculty email accounts. We will also be reminding students that they need to communicate with you using their NGS email accounts.  In their Leaning Agreement, students sign a form that acknowledges The National Graduate School's e-mail account as the formal method of communication with the school and faculty. As a faculty member, we need you to assist with this policy as well. Thank you for   following  this policy.  
If you do not know your faculty email address or cannot access it, please contact Elaine at techsupport@ngs.edu and she would be delighted to assist you.

               cc.     Faculty Contracts
We are pleased that one person, until further notice, will be processing faculty contracts. Mr. Greg Giardi in Academic Affairs will be working with all faculty, from all three degree programs, (starting Friday, March 3, 2017) to send and receive contracts but he will be using facultycontracts@ngs.edu  for all contract emails .
               dd.     Grade Posting and Compensation Disbursement
The following overview of submitting grades and being paid for your teaching is taken directly from your faculty contract:
  • Grades must be posted to NGS Portal by the course end date noted on the schedule.
  • Notification of your posting and date, not the actual grades, is to be e-mailed to the school Registrar at registrar@ngs.edu.
  • Contact IT for support with this process, techsupport@ngs.edu
  • Payment for course(s) will be issued within (30) THIRTY DAYS of grade posting.
  • Compensation will be held until grades are posted to NGS Portal and notification of posting is emailed to the Registrar.
  • If it is determined that an "Incomplete" grade is given to a student, the Professor is responsible to convert that grade within a 30 day period.  In accordance, with the NGS Catalog and Student Handbook - page 78 Section 21.3. (See the Incomplete Grade Reporting Form)
            ee.      Reminder about Gemba Academy
Thanks to the efforts of many faculty, especially Jack Kovalcik, NGS has a license with Gemba Academy. I have written about this in previous faculty letters, but my purpose here is to remind you to use these resources. We have obtained a School of Lean and Six Sigma license with Gemba Academy to enhance our current QSM course materials with Supplemental Materials and the license includes:
  • Lean and Six Sigma
  • Gemba Live
  • Optional LMS integration
  • 100+ PowerPoint Presentations
  • Lean Assessment
  • Lean Enterprise Strategy Kit
  • Online Quizzes
  • Downloadable Resources
Gemba Academy materials are available to all NGS faculty and students and can be used to enrich and expand our current QSM course contents. The license includes streaming video tutorials, as well as relevant learning materials such as auto-graded self-quizzes, video overviews, and Excel templates that you can use anytime to apply what you are learning. If you'd like to view subtitles while watching the videos, click the "CC" box on the bottom of the video player and select a language from the menu. To get started, go to www.gembaacademy.com and use the "Log In" button in the top right corner of any page. You may access the training here at work, from home, or from your mobile or tablet device. 

Please use the following username and password to log in (Only NGS faculty members  are allowed  to use this information.)
Username:   ngs
Pa sswo rd:   lean

Please also bookmark the following pages:
We encourage you to access Gemba Academy to evaluate the suitability of contents that can be added to the courses you are delivering. The NGS license enables Faculty to use the Gemba Academy materials on our Portal to enrich current supplemental materials by adding video lectures or Discussion Questions (DQs) to your course weekly syllabus topics. Students will enhance their learning experience by being able to review specific Lean and Six Sigma topics in a self-paced asynchronous format. Please also contact your Program Chair (Dr. Patricia Murrin for BSc, Professor Jack Kovalcik for MS and Dr. David Braga for DBA) to share how you are using these supplemental resources in your course.

ITupdate2.     IT Update About Grades with New Portal Grades  (Thank you Elaine.)
As you have noticed, the Gradebook has changed its look from just a box to fill in an amount to check boxes. These Check boxes will help you with your grading.  They allow you to give a quick full credit (100%), enter a grade, or give no credit (zero)
You can also leave feedback to the student by clicking on the student's name.
How to use the Check boxes to grade Course Work.
Example from Course Work

Grading with Check Boxes

Leave Feedback
Click on Student's name and this screen will appear for you to leave feedback.

bestpractices3.     Best Practices With Your Online Teaching
Research about best practices with online teaching, as well as face-to-face teaching, continues to defend the need for timely and appropriate feedback for student learning. The right type of timely feedback with clarity and content can increase learning and directly improve student outcomes. NGS assignments for all degree programs are a blend of summative (ongoing) and formative (level of achievement at the end) assessment measures. And, along this path of faculty providing the necessary feedback to our students, Program Chairs and I read all the End of Course Evaluations for all faculty. While the student comments are good with respect to faculty feedback, they can be improved. Please be sure to follow your degree program guidelines for the timely and clear feedback you provide to students.
Please note that in the NGS Portal, under Faculty Resources there is a document with hyperlinks to read about not only the need to provide feedback, but also, other best practices for your teaching. Please take the time to review these articles.  (Netiquette and Best Practices for Online Teaching -Posted January 2016 with the Faculty Orientation/Refresher Session I and II). I have listed the best practices links here:

socialmedia4.     Social Media
We hope to have more interaction with and from you on social media. Please  share your news on our NGS social media sites. We would love to hear about your presentations, writings, and projects at work. Like our Facebook page and also rate us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @NGSedu. We also have an active LinkedIn site. Check the NGS website for updates and send us information that we can post on the website. 

Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn  

generalreminders5.     General Reminders
  • Don't forget to tell students to complete the End of Course Evaluation. Our students' comments about the courses and your teaching are critical to assisting us in tracking curricular , student needs, and their voice about your teaching practices.
  • All faculty contracts will be tracked through the email  facultycontracts@ngs.edu now and not individual emails with Program Managers.
  • Keep Academic Affairs informed about any student service issues.
  • Complete your Course Hand-Off Forms and post to the Orientation course and send to facultycontracts@ngs.edu.
  • Enjoy your teaching with us and stay in touch.
Lastly, I know there is a great deal of information in this faculty letter, but I am always available to review any questions you have about the contents. Thank you for teaching with us and working with our NGS students. We are delighted to have you on our team.

Eileen C. Sullivan, Ed.D.
Dean, Academic Affairs & Student Services
The National Graduate School of Quality Management
186 Jones Road  |  Falmouth, MA 02540
800.838.2580 ext. 121

Follow me on Twitter  @esullivan_ngs 
My personal blog:  
My personal curling blog: goodcurling.blogspot.com