Reviewing Our Digital Pedagogy Workshop for Faculty: Successes & Future Improvements

Concurrent Session 6
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

With a recent University-wide focus on providing high quality hybrid and online teaching, our institution offered an intensive 2 week digital pedagogy workshop for faculty who were interested in converting a traditional course to the hybrid or online environment.  Sessions focused on course design, pedagogical approaches, and integrating “web-based” innovations.  

Presenters

Dr. Kelly Keane is the program director for the Educational Technology at Loyola University Maryland. She teaches graduate level educational technology courses to practicing teachers and her teaching style is based in active and collaborative learning. She is a QM certified peer reviewer and passionate about Universal Design for Learning in the online classroom. Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola, Dr. Keane was a lecturer at Towson University for the Department of Educational Technology and Literacy. While at Towson University, she also worked as the assistant manager for the Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) Grant. She began her career as a classroom teacher and has taught in award winning elementary schools in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Extended Abstract

About the Digital Pedagogy Workshop
With a recent University-wide focus on high quality hybrid and online teaching, our institution recently offered an intensive 2 week digital pedagogy workshop for faculty who were interested in converting a traditional course to the hybrid or online environment.  Nine faculty were chosen to participate and each received a stipend of $2500 in partnership with the University’s Office of Academic Affairs and Technology Services.  Workshop sessions focused on coherent course design, utilizing the University’s Learning Management System (Moodle), pedagogical approaches that increase communication and collaboration among students, synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, and deepening student learning through the integration of “web-based” innovations.  The workshop occurred over two weeks and support was provided by instructional designers and faculty experienced with instructional technologies.  Workshop sessions occurred on campus as well as in a synchronous online environment, where participants received experience in the live sessions from both a student and teacher perspective.  See following screenshot of the Schedule for the first few sessions.

Overall, the Digital Pedagogy Workshop focused on collaboration among the nine participants, who represented all different content areas across the University, and daily instruction was organized around the Understanding by Design process (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) and the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000).  Best practices of online and hybrid teaching were modeled throughout.  Additionally, at the conclusion of the workshop, the participants as well as the team of workshop leaders formed an ongoing professional learning community to share experiences, ideas, questions, and to explore new approaches as workshop participants began implementing what they learned.

Success of the Digital Pedagogy Workshop
Successes of the workshop included the hands-on sessions focusing on particular technology tools including Panopto and Adobe Connect, and learning how to navigate the more complex features of the University’s learning management system.  Participants expressed an appreciation for the interactive and collaborative nature of the workshop and additional content area that was successfully shared focused on writing high quality measurable learning objectives, information about copyright and fair use for teachers, and the Community of Inquiry.  Ultimately, all participants of the workshop developed at least one high quality module complete with learning objectives, relevant formative and summative assessments, and high quality learning activities that utilized various web-based tools and resources.  Participants developed their modules in Moodle and presented them to each other on the final day, which was also a success, not just because of the hard work and effort that went into learning how to build these modules, but because the participants had become a very collaborative and close group.  Lastly, the formation of the ongoing professional learning community was also a major success of the workshop.  

Areas for Future Improvements of the Digital Pedagogy Workshop
Areas for future improvement include additional time to explore topics like the Community of Inquiry Framework and Quality Matters rubric, and more exposure to high quality examples of modules.  Future content for a similar workshop might address accessibility in greater detail and provide additional time to revise syllabi according to provided guidelines.  Overall, the Digital Pedagogy Workshop was a remarkable experience.  It improved the quality of these courses at the University and provided a necessary foundation for justifying not only the shift of instruction from the traditional classroom to the online environment to meet the needs and preferences of current students, but the need to spend money and time on such an endeavor.  The impact of the Digital Pedagogy Workshop was widespread across the University and sharing details about its structure and implementation will allow for future replication at our institution as well as others.  

Purpose of Presentation and Session Outcomes
The purpose of this presentation is to share an overview of this rich experience and commentary about its success as well as areas for future improvement.   Upon attending this presentation, audience members will have:

  • an understanding of how and why the digital pedagogy workshop was held.
     
  • specific information about the scope and sequence of content shared at each session.

  • an appreciation for best practices of teaching faculty who were not experienced with online and hybrid teaching.

  • ideas for designing instruction for the online environment while adhering to high quality standards.  

  • a starting point for developing a similar workshop.

  • basic knowledge of the Understanding by Design process (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) and Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000).

Engaging the Audience
The presentation will use a multimedia design and seek audience participation for sharing experiences and predictions.  Additionally, evidence of the successes and areas for future improvements of the Digital Pedagogy Workshop will be shared in the form of anecdotal records, video clips, audio clips, and pictures.  These artifacts will provide the audience with a personal connection to the experiences of both the workshop participants and the team that developed, designing, organized, and led it.  

References
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher educationmodel. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.
Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005).  Understanding by Design (expanded 2nd edition).  Alexandria, VA: ASCD.