Faculty Handbook

Welcome to Distance Education Technology and Services (DETS), we are glad you chose to teach with us this semester. DETS delivers graduate and undergraduate engineering programs and specific short courses, seminars and lectures to individuals and organizations throughout the world, as well as providing students and faculty on the College Park Campus with technology and associated services designed to complement the on-campus learning experience, and we’ve been doing it for over 25 years.

In this handbook we are going to introduce you to our staff, alert you to some important policies, provide a bit of training and answer your questions about teaching with us. We know we can’t possibly cover everything involved with distance learning but we hope to at least touch on the basics. It is important to remember that you can contact us at any time with questions or concerns you may have.

Our Administrative Offices are located in 2125 J.M. Patterson Building. Our Distribution Office is also in 2125 JMP where you would need to go to check your mailbox, drop off materials to be sent or if you wanted to schedule a review session or a pre-tape of your class. The Distribution Office is staffed with student Office Assistances throughout the day. Our Coordinator, Katie Truedson, has her office in 2125F. Marty Ronning, our Director can be found in 2125E.

Engineering Staff
Our Engineering Staff can be found in 2219 J.M. Patterson Building. This is where our Master Control is housed. We have three full time staff members located here:

  1. Robert Pelletier, our Chief Engineer
  2. Justin Stacy, our AV Engineer, and
  3. Adam Kelley, our IT Engineer.

One of them will be available throughout the day and evening to assist with any technical problems you encounter.

Most of the people you will encounter here at DETS will be our student staff. You will have a Technical Director (TD) for each lecture that you hold. The TD is responsible for operating the cameras during your class as well as setting up any equipment you may require. Please feel free to speak with your TD prior to start of your class to go over any instructions or requests you may have.

The Office Assistants (OAs) run our Distribution Office and are available throughout the day and into the evening. They will be able to assist you with the shipping of your course materials as well as locating completed exams and quizzes. Please do not hesitate to ask for their assistance.

Your class will most likely be held in one of our seven studio classrooms in J.M. Patterson Building:
2116, 2120, 2121, 2217, 2216, 2222 and 3201.

Class Sessions

DETS classes are scheduled like other University of Maryland classes. However, there is one important difference; the DETS class schedule is not very flexible. Our classes must begin and end as close to their assigned times as possible. DETS scheduling is very tight, there is little time between classes for students to enter and leave the classrooms. Furthermore, we must allow our staff time to prepare the equipment for the next class.

If you would prefer more time to interact with your remote students, please come see us. We will work together with you to schedule remote student office hours in our rooms as often as you like. We want to make sure that all of our students receive the attention they deserve in the classroom so please make sure you are out of the classroom in time for the next class to start promptly.


As you may be aware, the Clark School of Engineering uses an online Course Management System, Canvas. This system is a great tool when teaching at a distance. Canvas allows students to download or print out course materials at their leisure. It affords them the opportunity to turn their homework in electronically. And it also gives students the chance to review their lectures or watch a class that they have missed. All of our DETS classes are captured and uploaded to Canvas for students’ use. All students enrolled in the class have access to the videos. This is very handy for students especially around exam time. If you are not familiar with Canvas, please email
engr-canvas@umd.edu to arrange a time for a tutorial.

As previously stated, all DETS classes are captured and posted to Canvas. Our policy is that course videos should be posted within 24 hours after the lecture has ended. If that window of time has passed and a lecture is still not available please email dets-support@umd.edu to let us know there is a problem with the video.


We are more than happy to work with you to schedule additional times in our classrooms. Many professors take advantage of our resources to pre-tape a lecture they would normally have to miss. By doing this, we allow you to give the entire lecture early; we capture it and then make it available to your class through Canvas. This is great way to keep on schedule with your lectures when you have to miss a class. We can also schedule times for make-up lectures as well.

We also encourage faculty members to schedule time in our rooms to work directly with your remote students. We understand that email and telephone are not always the best approach to answering questions. Use of our classrooms will allow you to have a one on one interaction with your remote students enabling them to ask questions they may not have had the chance to ask during class.

Finally, we can also provide our rooms for review sessions prior to midterms and finals. The most helpful part of this is that even if some of your students cannot make the review session, we can capture it and post it online so that everyone has access to it.

Homework and Handouts

Homework, handouts, quizzes and exams can be distributed to your remote students via the DETS distribution office. The office is located in room 2125 J.M. Patterson Building. Please leave copies of materials you would like to send with the office staff there. We also encourage you to make use of the campus course managements system, Canvas to post materials. Posting course materials on-line reduces the time it takes for your students to receive them. Further information on Canvas can be obtained on the EIT website, eit.umd.edu

Incoming materials from your students will be left in your DETS mailbox, which is located in 2125 J.M. Patterson Building. If you cannot check your mailbox on a regular basis, please let us know. We will make other arrangements for you. DETS sends all materials by UPS and Federal Express. Remote locations, including HEAT and NIA, send materials back to us in the same manner. Please consider this when setting deadlines. Also, please note that if you have a Thursday afternoon class, homework from your students will be sent from the site on Friday. The homework assignment will then reach the DETS office on Monday. If you prefer your remote students to fax in their homework on the day it is due, that is fine. Please just let us know and we will keep an eye out for it.

Exams and Quizzes

Exams and quizzes are administered at all of the remote locations, except Shady Grove, by proctor. The proctor will make sure your remote students follow the same guidelines as your campus students. Please leave a copy of your quiz or exam with the DETS office at least two days before the exam or quiz is to be given. This will allow enough time to make sure the materials reach the remote location. It is also important to include instructions on how you would like the exam administered. An exam instruction sheet is available from our staff). When we receive exams back from your remote students they are put in a secure file. You will see a notice in your mailbox stating that you have an exam waiting for pick-up. A staff member will be happy to retrieve the exams for you.


As stated above, all remote locations, with the exception of Shady Grove, provides proctors for exams and quizzes. There will be someone at Shady Grove to pass out and collect the exams at the appropriate times, but it will be your responsibility to keep an eye on them. You can do so by making sure they remain on screen on the monitor in the classroom. To do this just engage them in conversation and when they start to speak they should pop up if they are not already being seen.

For students taking your course asynchronously, they should have selected a proctor at the beginning of the semester. We will send their exams and quizzes directly to the proctor who will in turn send them back to us once it has been completed. These proctors are usually Human Resources staff at the company the student works for. We ask the student to provide us with the proctor’s name, phone number, address and relationship the proctor has with the student. We tell them that managers, subordinates and family members cannot serve as a proctor.


Teaching with DETS is just like teaching a regular class, with a few exceptions. The first exception is that there are 4 cameras in the classroom capturing your lecture. The first two cameras are used to follow you exclusively, whether you are at the board, at the desk or walking around the front of the room. The next camera is used to show the College Park students only. This camera is rarely used unless there is a discussion going on. The last camera is positioned above the desk and used when you are showing figures from a text book or from hand written notes.

Secondly, you will be asked to wear a microphone so that your remote students can hear what you are saying. This microphone clips to your shirt and the battery pack can be worn on your belt. Please make sure it is positioned in a way that you can be heard at all times. Sometimes if you turn your head when you talk it will not catch everything. Also, please keep cell phones turned off. Wireless devices can interfere with the microphone in the room and results in pronounced noise in the recorded audio.

When you arrive a microphone and fresh markers should be waiting for you in the classroom. Whatever equipment you normally use during your class will also be available, such as the classroom PC with annotation tools. If something is missing please let the Technical Director know and he/she will be happy to get it for you.

While we say that teaching with us is very similar to teaching in other classrooms the slight differences are important. Below is a list of tips to remember while lecturing with us.

  1. Always make sure your wireless microphone is turned on and positioned so you can be heard.
  2. Give the TD enough time to show the remote students what has been written before moving on to new material.
  3. Try not to stand in front of the board while writing on it. Doing so can block the camera’s view.
  4.  We encourage you to take a look at your lecture videos from time to time; it will give you a good idea as to how your remote students view the course.

If you would like to set up a more formal training session we would be happy to do so. Please contact Katie Truedson at 301-405-0031 or ktruedso@umd.edu to schedule a time.

Back to Top