Faculty Engagement in 3 Facilitation Models of Online Professional Development Workshops

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session Best in Track

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Join us as we compare faculty engagement in a set of online pedagogy workshops utilizing various types of facilitation. We’ll look at how faculty utilize the workshops sites, how they interact with their facilitators, how they interact with one another, and their overall satisfaction with the different facilitation models.


Lynn Wahl is an Instructional Designer in the Center for Teaching and Learning. She partners with faculty in the redesign or development of blended and online courses. Lynn is passionate about leveraging technology and QM design standards to create innovative and successful student learning experiences. Lynn received her M.Ed in Instructional Technology from Idaho State University and her M.A. in English Literature from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Additional Authors

Bruce is the Senior Learning Solutions Designer at Realizeit; an adaptive technology learning solutions provider. Bruce is primarily responsible for providing design, development and implementation services to corporate and higher education clientele.. His interest is in exploring how existing and emerging personalized learning technologies can be used to enhance the successful transfer of knowledge for learners and instructors/trainers alike. This position as a Senior Learning Solutions Designer provides Bruce the opportunity to put into practice the practical application of cognition, educational psychology, information technology,instructional design, and problem solving; all leading to the intentional use of technology in teaching and learning for learner success. His goal is to apply the lessons of instructional design towards coaching and instructing all learners in the use of instructional technology in online, blended, and personalized learning environments.

Extended Abstract

Providing online pedagogy workshops can help to make training more available for busy faculty or faculty that are not able to attend face-to-face sessions. Online workshops also offer deeper learning opportunities for participants by allowing more time for application, feedback, and reflection on concepts. Choosing the correct facilitation model for the topic and the amount of support available and required for facilitation is vital to both the success of the workshop and the participants.

The Center for Teaching & Learning at a large urban university began delivering online workshops in spring semester 2017. The first online workshop was created as a training for a specific learning gap amongst faculty to assist them in preparing for a larger development initiative. The workshop was successful in helping instructors to build necessary skills around learning objectives, and the workshop was added to the certificate program offered by the CTL called the Essentials of Teaching & Learning. This program allows faculty to take seven pedagogy workshops and receive a certificate of completion for their participation. The certificate itself has been immensely popular both amongst faculty and graduate students looking for professional development specifically for teaching.

Feedback from the first online workshop was very positive. Faculty requested more online workshops and specifically mentioned appreciating the experience of an online “course”, the feedback received, and the applicability of the subject matter to their work. Using this feedback, two more online offerings for workshops in the certificate were developed.

All three online workshops utilize different facilitation models:

  1. Introduction to Learning Objectives and Backward Design: facilitated by an instructional designer with auto and manual graded self-checks, discussion, and an application based assignment.

  2. Syllabus 101: resource based with optional auto-graded self-checks and a culminating discussion forum.

  3. Using Feedback to Improve Teaching and Learning: Discussion based

Facilitation models for the three workshops were based on analysis of faculty need around each of the topics. The learning objectives workshop helps faculty practice a difficult skill and get feedback. The syllabus workshop provides valuable, previously unknown information to faculty in a “just-in-time” resource based model that supports questions from faculty. The feedback workshop encourages discussion between participants and sharing how they overcome challenges in providing feedback in their own courses.

Another factor in the facilitation model selected for each workshop is facilitator workload. The facilitation cost of the learning objectives workshop is very high, as the last assignment requires a half an hour to an hour for an instructional designer to provide feedback. These assignments require scheduling and balance of instructional designer workload on the front end. However, this high facilitation also results in high faculty perceived usefulness of the workshop. Syllabus 101 was specifically developed to be less resource intensive for the CTL, but still share valuable information. The Feedback workshop was originally designed to be more asynchronous, but it was determined the topic itself would not support that model and so was launched as a discussion based workshop despite the facilitation cost.

This presentation will summarize the different facilitation models, facilitation costs, faculty satisfaction, and observations about faculty interaction between the three workshops. We will discuss faculty interaction and engagement with the workshops using built-in Canvas analytics including page view tracking and analysis, discussion forum mapping, survey results, and revisions based on these results.

Participants will leave with a better understanding of how to pair facilitation models in online workshops with workshop topics, facilitation costs, and faculty needs. Participants will also leave with a better understanding of how learning analytics can be used in online delivery models to fine tune online instruction.

The presentation will contain interactive audience polls for sharing current practice and a small group activity for brainstorming a starting place and plan for online workshops at their own institutions. Participants will leave with handouts and tools based on the information in the presentation, as well as instructions for accessing a free Canvas Analytics workshop and links to example online training courses available free through Canvas Commons.

By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe different facilitation models that may be used for online training workshops for faculty

  • Explain faculty engagement practices across different facilitation models

  • Develop a plan for one online workshop that documents topic, facilitation model, and required support