Multidimensional Faculty Training to Create Exemplary Online Courses

Concurrent Session 3

Brief Abstract

This session describes a multidimensional training institute for new and experienced faculty focused on developing exemplary online learning experiences. The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) model serves as the conceptual framework. A systematic process of data collection describes outcomes and supports replication and use by others


Dr. Linda Feeney is Director of E-Learning at Stockton University. She is responsible for overseeing the instructional design staff, promoting faculty use of the learning management system, promoting faculty exploration and use of innovative instructional technology, and organizing and delivering digital pedagogy training programs, In addition to her management responsibilities, Dr. Feeney has taught online for three years. She has served as a reviewer for the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program. Dr. Feeney also collaborates with faculty in researching effective pedagogy and instructional delivery.

Extended Abstract

Brinkley-Etzkorn (2018) describes current research supporting the influence of higher education training programs on teaching quality with the need for online faculty to receive thorough and ongoing support. This need for faculty support was addressed at Stockton University with a multidimensional training institute designed after consideration of best practices available in the literature (Baran, Correla & Thompson, 2011; Brinkley-Etzkorn, 2018; Roman, Kelsey & Lin, 2010; Shelton, 2011).  The training program described in this session incorporates live and online resources to promote faculty acquisition of personally relevant skills critical to teaching online. 

Faculty training provides an opportunity for faculty participants to select and evaluate a course with the goal of creating an exemplary learning experience. Training activities focus on interdisciplinary faculty participants selecting a single course to review and revise with pedagogical, technological and instructional design support.  The training is designed to increase faculty effectiveness in teaching online in a manner that increases student engagement, success and satisfaction with online experiences. 

The summer institute for faculty training includes pre and post-institute work completed in a self-directed manner online for a total of 10-15 hours and three live workshop sessions over the course of three weeks for a total of 18-20 hours.  Between live sessions, faculty participants work on information discussed and plans made in the face-to-face workshop sessions.  Eleven faculty participants engage in rubric-guided course assessment, reflective thinking, interviews, consultation, active discussions, self-paced Blackboard modules, peer mentoring, self and peer course review, and technology support.

The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) approach developed by Mishra and Koehler (2006) guides development of the institute training and assessment activities.  Specifically, TPACK indicates training faculty to teach online requires integration of technology, pedagogy and content in the institute activities. During training evaluated in a study by Brinkley-Etzkorn (2018), integrating pedagogy and technology in practice was not completely successful following training activities.  Brinkley-Etzkorn notes that changes in technology are frequent and rapid outpacing changes in pedagogy in a manner that creates challenges when integrating technology and pedagogy in practice.  It is vitally important that faculty training programs focus on the integration of pedagogy, technology and content.    

Assessment data collection discussed in the session represents a portion of a program assessment model of the faculty summer institute training program using mixed-methods design.  Data discussed during the session includes information on (1) pre and post-training faculty and peer assessments of a faculty selected course using Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Program rubric, Universal Design for Learning Guidelines, and the Cornell University Syllabus Evaluation Rubric, (2) pre and post training survey questions and (3) progress on individual faculty goals and course planning.

Review and analysis of the data provides an evaluation of the participant’s satisfaction with training, rating of course effectiveness, rating of teacher effectiveness, changes to selected courses and impact of course changes on teaching and learning.  Within the TPACK framework assessment of course pedagogy, technology and description of the skills and knowledge developed for pedagogical practice are examined.  

This presentation session will incorporate active learning methodologies to promote participant learning including discussion and interactive hands-on activities.  The presenters will discuss the training institute program design and implementation and share research and assessment data available through October 2018. The learning outcomes for this session are (1) participants will discuss effective faculty training based on a TPACK conceptual framework, (2) participants will evaluate training outcomes, and (3) participants will apply information from this session to personal training needs or programs.


Baran, E., Correla, A., & Thompson, A. (2011). Transforming online teaching practice: Critical analysis of the literature on the roles and competencies of online teachers. Distance Education 32(3), 421-439. Doi:10.1080/01587919.2011.610293

Brinkley-Etzkorn, K.E. (2018) Learning to teach online: Measuring the influence of faculty development training on teaching effectiveness through a TPACK lens. Internet & Higher Education, 38, 28-35. Doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2018.04.004

Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation (n.d.), “Syllabus Evaluation Rubric”, Retrieved from Rubric.pdf

Gordon, D., Meyer, A., & Rose, D. (2016). Universal Design for Learning. Peabody: CAST Professional Publishing.

Mishra, P., Koehler, M.J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054.