A Global Initiative to Provide Professional Development to Educators New to Online Learning: the International Advisory Board for Online Learning
This presentation introduces an opportunity to become involved in a global initiative that provides support for educators new to online learning. A community of practice has developed for online learning and innovation in teaching at a distance. There are over one-hundred global members from sixteen countries involved in the initiative.
This presentation provides attendees with an opportunity to become involved in a global initiative that provides support for educators new to online learning. This initiative is focused on the formation of a global community of practice that seeks to push the envelope for "global online education innovation". While the number of committed members is growing every day and is now over 100 global members from sixteen countries, the larger group is divided into smaller directorates/specialty groups based on areas of expertise.
An Advisory Board was formed from global experts in areas of expertise such as instructional design, online pedagogy, DEI concepts, innovative teaching techniques, groundbreaking technologies and tools, and alternative audiences (adult learners, special ed students, young learners PK-5, differently abled students, spectrum students, and ESOL students). The goal was to form directorates/committees that could tailor professional development support from each area of expertise and collaborate between directorates to provide a holistic learning experience for educators. Those directorates/specialty groups are spearheaded by a leader who will recruit further members and concentrate on the focus of the area within that particular specialty group as their mission.
The initial pilot study concentrated on a small cadre of seventy faculty serving a very diverse student body of 650 gifted students. Professional development was in the form of webinars, one-on-one virtual conference sessions, and an asynchronous learning experience that educators could learn at their own pace and on their own time. Best practices for professional development were employed such that educators could learn on demand from experts in areas of concentration regarding online teaching in a variety of formats.
From the initial study, feedback and data were gathered on what best served faculty in developing their online learning experiences. Feedback was compiled on what tools were most productive and effective in presenting inquiry-based and problem-solving methods of online pedagogy.
Future goals of the initiative include presentations at conferences and events, publications in peer-reviewed journals, professional webinars, a virtual library of resources, and the publishing of an evolving e-book to support educators. Grant proposals to fund expansion of the organization along with sponsorships, partnerships, and global connections is the vision for sustainability and development through the future.
The initiative is open to all who feel they can contribute to the effort. The time commitment for members is based on their own schedule and what they feel they can contribute. Should their schedule not allow, others will fill in because of the sheer size of the group. Dedicated time is completely flexible, and members can contribute as they see fit according to the mission of a given directorate. Attendees here at OLC Accelerate are encouraged to contact the members of the Advisory Board to become involved and circulate the flyer at https://tinyurl.com/IABOL2021 to attain a larger involvement on a global basis.
Leaders of directorates are responsible for assembling their own global team members in their area of expertise. Directorates are unlimited in size and can tap into tremendous resources over a wide geography.
Larger, more outreaching initiatives will be formulated by the advisory board members in time as new pathways originate organically. The overall philosophy of the initiative is that board members, as experts in their craft, will be empowered to drive this initiative in the direction they see fit. The opportunities for collaboration between the community of practice members and beyond is unlimited as the expectation for numerous publications, presentations, and other products to be forthcoming.