Thriving in the Gray - Preparing Residential Faculty for Online Instruction

Concurrent Session 9
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This session provides deans and faculty with an opportunity to explore the notion that online and residential instruction share the same academic core teaching practices as well as the tools and training necessary to take their traditional teaching methods to new heights in the virtual classroom.

Extended Abstract

The most recent report from the National Center of Educational Statistics (NCES) indicated that student enrollment in at least one online course has increased by 5.7%.  Additionally, the Babson Survey Research Group explained that online learning is on the rise. As of 2016, 5.8 million students were enrolled in online courses nationally. Ironically, faculty are less confident than ever before in online courses and their ability to teach effectively in this modality.  Having faculty properly prepared and supported to successfully teach online courses will be critical to meet the evolving needs of these students.

In an age where institutions are offering more online courses to accommodate the changing needs of students, it is important to consider the onboarding strategies necessary to transition on-campus faculty into online instruction. This is a very different skill set than what is required in more traditional face-to-face classrooms, and the creation and honing of these skills becomes an essential component of the faculty development and transition process. As academic administrators and leaders, we frequently hear cries of, “I can’t do that online.”  It is our responsibility to help our faculty discover that yes, they can and in most cases, more effectively than in the past.

  1. Create Buy-In (15 minutes)

    1. The creation of buy-in allows deans the opportunity to help faculty understand that best practices they thought would only work in the on-campus classroom may be modified for successful implementation online. The activity below is detailed from the perspective of a dean transitioning a group of faculty from the on-campus classroom to the online environment. Faculty benefit from this session as they are exposed to a variety of questions encouraging critical thinking and reflection that should aid them in their transition.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Residential Practices Can Work Online:  Activity Guidelines

      • Have your team consider the following question:how do you create engagement in your classroom and what keeps you engaged as a student? Individually brainstorm as many as you can and jot them down.

      • Have your team split their results into four buckets:Teaching Residential/Teaching Online and Learning Residential/Learning Online.Consider the following questions:which methods of engagement/teaching best practices seem to overlap? Which methods of engagement/teaching best practice only belong in residential or online?Why?

      • Break your team into pairs for an opportunity to share their engagement ideas and buckets. Encourage them to take all the things that they have listed for creating engagement and see if they can find any recurring themes. Ask them to document each theme and include each engagement tool that aligns with that theme?Are some themes more important than others in terms of student learning and outcomes?

      • Bring your team back for a group discussion:Online classrooms can be as robust as face-to-face, but it may require some adaptation and creative thinking.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   NOTE:  This activity will be talked through as an example of what deans/faculty managers might do to help faculty see the potential for traditional best practices functioning successfully in the online environment.

  2. Honing Your Online Skills Set  (25 minutes) Consider the following campus based teaching components and how they might translate to the online environment:

    • Teacher/Student Engagement:Content Focused Announcements and Effective Feedback

    • Discussion: Quantity v. Quality: Crafting an Effective Online Discussion Post

    • Lecture: Virtual Meeting Rooms, Webcams, Storytelling, and Student Engagement Strategies                                                                                                                                                   

      **Presenters will provide attendees with a wide range of resources and technology to aid faculty in their transition from residential courses to online courses.

3. Q&A (5 minutes)