Graduate Teaching Assistant Online Course Design Boot Camp: Peer-to-Peer Onboarding and Training
Concurrent Session 4
As graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are often responsible for online course design, there is a need for targeted training to ensure their success. This panel gathers GTAs, designers and administrators in a discussion around the creation of a boot camp on online course design, designed and facilitated by the GTAs.
With the ubiquity of online course offerings, there is a fundamental responsibility to our students that we design learning environments that offer the same level of engagement, collegiality, collaboration and academic rigor as the face-to-face (F2F) offerings on campus. In that our graduate assistants are often tasked with the aforementioned responsibility of shouldering the design of fully-online courses, there is a need for targeted support and resources to help them to be successful. In Spring of 2016, a group of graduate teaching assistants at The University of Arizona were asked to answer two key questions for their peers related to the aforementioned challenge:
- What does an effective, well-designed online course actually look like?
- What resources are available at The University of Arizona to support the design of a good online course?
Featuring members of the UA Online community, including administrators, instructional designers, and graduate teaching assistants, this panel will discuss the experience of mobilizing a team of graduate students in providing to their peers critical instructional support for the design and development of online courses. Under the guidance of the UA Online instructional design team, the students constructed, deployed and measured the effectiveness of a series of interactive, user-centered learning modules, which were offered fully-online within the learning management system D2L. The students sought to address common myths and misconceptions of online course design held by their peers, offer best practices for effective design work, and connect their fellow graduate teaching assistants to the myriad technology tools currently available at The University of Arizona.
This high-energy, interactive panel discussion will invite participants to explore the following questions relating to the redefining and support of graduate teaching assistants designing and facilitating online courses:
- How can we effectively prepare our graduate teaching assistants for the challenges and opportunities afforded by the task of designing online courses?
- How can we support our graduate teaching assistants in reimagining the online classroom as a constructivist, student-centered learning environment?
- How can we enrich our graduate teaching assistants' professional and personal growth with a student-voiced and student-facilitated resource?
- What innovative approaches and emerging technology can we leverage to support our graduate teaching assistants in accomplishing all of the aforementioned tasks?
In addition to posing questions to the members of the panel, participants will be encouraged to share their own challenges and successes in successfully onboarding and mentoring graduate teaching assistants in designing and facilitating fully-online courses. Backchannelling will be encouraged using the polling tool Sli.do so as to support a lively discourse amongst participants, and keep the conversation alive past the session and conference end. Ultimately, participants in this session will leave with new perspectives on the essential effective practices to implement at their home institutions.