A master shell is a Distance Learning (DL – online or hybrid) course that is developed in eCourses by an instructor or designated course designer. Master shells are developed in cooperation with the Office of Distance Learning (ODL) and used to some degree for every DL section of that course in a given term.
A master shell is certified by the University Distance Learning Council (UDLC), therefore, it meets all of the requirements for an approved DL course at PVAMU. Ideally it is updated periodically as necessary to remain relevant to the current theories and practices in the field. It is also updated whenever there is a significant change to the textbook.
The ODL usually copies a master shell into DL course sections so instructors do not have to do it themselves (unless they choose to). This practice provides more flexibility for the department when it comes to assigning certified faculty to teach online courses. An instructor who is facilitator-certified should be able to step right in and teach the course with minimal changes.
Without a current master shell, critical time can be lost at the start of the term while content is located or re-created.