Diving in: Scaffolding the Online Design Process for Accelerated Change

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

This presentation describes the accelerated design process undertaken by a senior faculty member new to online teaching;an exemplar model for continued faculty design partnerships.


Dr. Avani completed his Ph.D.in Educational Psychology in 1985 from Michigan State University. Dr. Avani holds four K-12 teaching credentials. Dr. Avani has been a high school teacher, a community college instructor, and an educational consultant with the Michigan Department of Education and for the USAID - USA Aide For International Development. Dr. Avani was a Professor at Lehman College/CUNY from 1986-2002. Currently, Dr. Avani is a Professor of Educational Psychology, in the Department of Secondary Education, at San Francisco State. Dr. Avani is past President of the International Mentoring Association (2004-2007). Dr. Avani is on the Executive Board of the SFSU Chapter of the California Faculty Association (CFA) and is also an elected member on the National Council of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

Extended Abstract

The focus of this presentation will be on the accelerated design process of an online course by a senior faculty member, new to online teaching. I have been a Professor for over 32 years. If I may modify the clichÈ, yes, old dogs can learn new skills. This in many ways describes me and the huge learning curve I was confronted with in making the decision to develop this fully online course. I have been told by instructional developers that my online course is exemplar and what would normally have taken two or more years to develop and perfect, I have done in less than nine months. I alone can't take all the credit but given the partnership with an instructional design consultant, the support of other experts and access to additional support staff in our Academic Technology unit, we can all take some credit. Oh, and having access to some small, but none the less, funding was also helpful.

How the design process for my course was accelerated, will be just one of the highlights of my proposed presentation. Other highlights will include a "tour" of my online course, so that presentation attendees will see evidence of the richness in instructional design innovation, multiple uses and applications of technology by both professor and students, and how through such resources as the Qualtrics survey tools, valuable data can be captured for both immediate and future changes. Data from these survey tools will be shared as well as the survey instruments.

Some background as to why the importance of this course redesign. The course that was transformed from the classroom to a fully online course was previously, a traditional lecture course, with enhanced use of technology. By enhanced technology I mean I would use an occasional power point presentation, YouTube video, and/or show an occasional web site. Often students in the class would jump the gun and find a resource or web site related to the topic on their laptop, tablet or phone and contribute it to our discussion. The course is required for teacher licensure in California. The Department of Secondary Education at San Francisco State University, where I am a faculty member, prior to the development of my online course, had no online courses in its single subject credential program. The credential program at SFSU did not offer alternate course delivery options to potential students, therefore our program was not competitive with other credential programs in the Greater SF Bay Area at a time when there is a great need for licensed public school teachers .

Our credential program was not positioned to attract students that could only enroll or participate in a credential program unless alternate course delivery options were made available. Unfortunately, we were behind in the development of online courses compared to what was happening in teacher preparation program in California and across the country.

As I saw the problem, the faculty in my Department needed to see a quality online course, and this course needed to be one close to home. So no better place to start than a required course that a senior faculty member (I) taught, SED 800 Adolescent Development.

Redesigning this course led to numerous benefits.
1. Redesigning to an online format means that credential students spent one less day on campus, save on commuting costs, and have more flexibility to manage their learning time.
2. Redesigning the course reduced the intense on-campus requirements of the program overall. This is expected to help improve recruitment by making the program more accessible and attractive. Even in the first term it was offered, this online course enabled at least 6 additional students to begin the credential who otherwise would not have been able to do so.
3. The course redesign is serving as a model for other faculty in the teacher credential programs at SF State to redesign their current courses to online formats.
4. Modeling to student's effective technology-integrated pedagogic strategies will also inform and improve the students' own teaching practices with technology.
5. This online course is also available to serve students of any CSU campus' single subject credential program because a course in adolescent development is required for all teaching credential programs by CCTC (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

As I had shared earlier, data was collected that would be shared with the faculty in the Department. Data that showed not only exceptional success with this online course but recommendation by the students for more online courses.

This presentation will be of interest to faculty, instructional designers, and administrators who work together to build online courses and programs, and who would find value in accelerating the pace of change within traditional academic programs and among their faculty.

1 The New York Times
Teacher Shortages Spur a Nationwide Hiring Scramble (Credentials Optional)
By: Motoko Rich, August 9, 2015

The Huffington Post
Where Have All the Teachers Gone?
By: Steve Newten, September 29, 2015