This page answers frequently-asked questions about TOEP. Please contact the SUNY TOEP Team if you have questions that are not addressed.
Q. What is the Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP)?
A. The SUNY Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP) (Discovery Learning On-demand Professional Development) is an IITG-funded professional development project. The project was initially funded in 2012-13 under IITG funding. In our second phase of funding (2013-14), we have expanded our SUNY partnerships and streamlined the self-discovery process.
TOEP's goal is to encourage faculty and staff to explore new technologies with a focus on impacting the student learning experience, in sync with the TOEP learning objectives. The following points highlight the project's approach:
Q: What are the eligibility guidelines for TOEP incentives?
A: In order to be eligible for incentives, you need to have met all of the participation criteria. See below for information describing the peer-review process that will be used to determine eligibility for incentives as a result of your efforts in TOEP . Specifically:
Q: What TOEP incentives are available?
A: You will cast your votes for the following criteria:
Q: How will participants vote, to select TOEP incentive awards?
A: Whether or not you have completed the minimum requirements, please participate in the voting process, by following these procedures:
A: Incentive awards will be announced on the TOEP website on Monday, April 22, 2014. Note the following additional information:
A. Use the Badge Request Form to request your badges. Badges are issued manually every 5-7 business days. See the About Badges Page for more information.
Q: How will I get a TOEP Mastery badge and a certificate of completion?
A: All TOEP completers will receive an email after the end of TOEP Phase 2 with their certificate of completion and information on how to claim their TOEP Mastery badge.
Q: I requested my TOEP badge(s), but I never received/can't locate/deleted my badge award email. How do I retrieve my TOEP badges?
A. To claim your TOEP badges, go to http://credly.com . If you have not yet created an account on Credly, do so by using the email address that was used to request the badge (possibly a gmail account). After you sign in to your new Credly account, click on the 'Claim Credit ' link at the top of the page to claim all the badges that were issued to you.
Q: How will TOEP Fellows get their badges?
A: All TOEP Fellows will receive an email with their certificate of appreciation and information on how to claim their TOEP Fellow’s badge. A letter to acknowledge their involvement in TOEP will also be forwarded to their campus President to express the appreciation for service as a TOEP Fellow.
Q. What’s in it for me?
A. The major incentive for participating is learning more about tools to enhance your courses and engage your students. In addition, faculty and staff from partnering campuses who earn badges for lifelong learning, completing three tool areas of their choosing, and summarize their thoughts about TOEP, also become eligible to be considered for 1st and 2nd place award incentives, if begun no later than 1/31/14, and completed by 3/10/14. Completers will:
Special notes about timing:
Q. Is this program open to anyone?
A. TOEP is open to all faculty and staff at SUNY TOEP participating campuses (including adjunct faculty, librarians, Teaching Assistants who are an instructor of record, and staff who support student learning). Our ten Round 2 campus partners are:
Q. Am I eligible to compete for incentives if I participated in TOEP Phase 1 or ESC's TOEP?A. If you participated in TOEP Phase 1 or ESC's TOEP you are certainly welcome to participate in Phase 2. If you won a TOEP 1st place award last year, you are not eligible to win a 1st place award this year. Anyone awarded 2nd place awards last year is eligible for 1st and 2nd place awards during Phase 2. (Note: This also applies to TOEP Fellows.)
Q. Can I participate if I'm not currently teaching?A. TOEP incentives are available for current faculty and staff from participating campuses who support student learning. This includes faculty, staff, adjunct faculty, librarians, Teaching/Graduate Assistants, doctoral candidates, and Post Docs employed through SUNY. Graduate students must be active in the NY State payroll at the time of redemption of any earned incentives.
Q. Can I participate if I'm not from a participating SUNY TOEP campus?
A. If you are a faculty or staff from a non-participating institution, you are welcome to do the activities, but you will not be able to join the private TOEP Google+ Community or be eligible for incentives.
Q. Do all the discussions in the TOEP Community have to relate to teaching and learning?
A. It is recognized that many TOEP tools have general relevance for communication and collaboration. Keeping this in mind, conversations in the TOEP Community should have a main focus on the use of the tools as applied to supporting teaching, learning, and research. Regular violations of this guideline may result from being disqualified from being eligible or receiving incentives.
Q. How does this online learning program work?
A. TOEP is a self-discovery program that encourages you to take control of your own learning, using lifelong learning skills through exploration, reflection, and collegial interaction. After registering, we encourage you to focus on three technology tools "clusters" of your choice, in addition to completing the Lifelong Learning discovery activities. As you independently explore project resources on our website, we encourage you to concurrently exchange ideas about using the tools in your own practice, in our online community. Through our TOEP Google+ Community, we are certain that you will enhance your experience by exchanging discoveries, techniques, and tips.
Q. How do I register and participate?
A. Follow these steps:
Q. What do I do next?
A. The list of learning tools appears on the TOEP website, as links on the left-side page navigation panel. There is one discovery exercise in each tool category. Your personal exploration will consist of the following:
*Note that badges are required for the successful completion of TOEP and to be eligible for TOEP incentives.
Q. How much time must I dedicate?
A. If you love to spend time exploring, you could spend up to 3 hours per week. Alternatively, you can likely complete your selected discovering experiences by spending just a half hour weekly. It is most important that you spend regular time on these activities. "Cramming" your time will most likely produce disappointing results in your own experience.
Q. Will there be help available?
A. Yes. There are four primary ways to get assistance:
Q. How late may I begin activities - and when must I complete them - to be eligible for incentives?
A. The project launched on 10/31/13. You may begin at your convenience, but you must have registered no later than 1/31/14 in order to be considered for TOEP 1st and 2nd place award incentives. Faculty and staff from partnering campuses who earn five badges (lifelong learning, three tool areas of their choosing, and summarize their thoughts about TOEP) become eligible for project incentives, if their discovery exercises are completed by 3/3/14.
Q. Once I complete TOEP exercises, how do I get my award?
A. If you complete TOEP by 3/3/14, your completion certificate will be sent to you. If you are selected to receive an additional incentive, we will give you directions by email, guiding you through this process.
Q. Is the completion of project surveys voluntary?
A. Yes. Completing project surveys is voluntary. If you work at a partnering campus, we will send you a link to a pre-survey at the outset of the project, and repeat that process at the end of the project. Your participation will contribute significantly to our investigation of the effectiveness of this professional development venue.
Q. May I explore Web 2.0 tools that I am already using?
A. Absolutely! If you are already familiar with a resource, this is a good opportunity to use the exercises to explore alternative tools and/or consider how these tools might best support student learning. It is expected that - using the discovery exercises and resources - you will use this opportunity to extend your expertise and practice.
Q. I am already adept at using Web 2.0 tools...may I still participate?
A. If you are using a range of web-based tools for your own productivity - and integrating them to support student learning - we encourage you to participate. The project is designed primarily for folks who have not yet made the leap into using them in their own practice. However, if you have comfort and skills that you are willing to share - and would like to participate - we welcome your involvement. In TOEP, your experience can be customized to (a) focus on areas where you may wish to grow; and (b) we support the exploration of other participants through collegial exchanges in our Google+ Community.
Q. Does the TOEP site change?
A. Yes. First, we have upgraded and updated the website from Phase 1 to Phase 2. Second, we all know that technology changes are continuous. As a result, we will make necessary updates as the project proceeds. Most of these changes will be invisible to you. However, some may be evident. For example, when a tool that we have featured changes in its access, format, name, we will make those changes. When a comparable tool becomes available, we may add it to our discovery activities and/or background information. In addition, the TOEP team takes suggestions on ways to improve the project seriously; therefore, you may notice some minor organizational changes to the site, as you progress.
Q. I don't feel comfortable with colleagues reading my public posts. May I participate anonymously?
A. Yes and no… since you control all the information that you share, you may choose to use a screen name that does not identify you personally. However, in order to be eligible for the completion certificate and incentives, you will need to send an email to the TOEP Team to identify yourself when you first register.
Q. How do I manage all of these new usernames and passwords?
A. As you participate, you will be setting up user names and passwords for several new tools. These identifiers should NOT be your campus user name and/or password. Although most identifiers, such as usernames and passwords, are easily retrieved from the sponsor of each of the tools, we encourage you to explore options in the TOEP digital identity/footprint section of the website.
Q. Who has built TOEP?
A. There are number of people who have helped TOEP become the great resource that it is. We appreciate their significant contributions! Check out the list of Project Partners and others who have helped TOEP grow into a great resource. To contact the TOEP Team, use the Contact TOEP page on this site. To contact any of the TOEP Fellows or your campus representative, please check out the TOEP Project Partners page.