Creating an Interdisciplinary Intentional Learning Community for Online Faculty

Concurrent Session 6

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Brief Abstract

At the University of Arizona, an institution with hundreds of online instructors working across dozens of departments, creating opportunity for professional growth in online teaching is a challenge. We will address how faculty and staff—working with minimum time—can form connections within their discipline as well as outside of it to share resources, ideas, and experiences in online teaching. We will also think about how to maintain an ongoing community so that new instructors are supported and our online program as a whole benefits.  


Josie serves as an instructional designer for the University of Arizona's Office of Digital Learning, focusing on the development of online STEM courses. Before joining ODL, she spent seven years teaching high school chemistry, biology and physical science, and worked in plant genetics laboratories. She is passionate about learning and especially interested in facilitating online education that is relevant, engaging, and enhances critical thinking skills. Josie has a BS in Biology and an MA in Teaching & Teacher Education with an emphasis in science from the University of Arizona.
Dr. King de Ramirez is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and online education coordinator at the University of Arizona. Her current position entails online curriculum development for the department of Spanish & Portuguese as well as providing virtual pedagogy training for faculty and graduate students. Dr. King de Ramirez has published several articles on Spanish for the professions, online FL education, and service learning.
Joshua Steele is the Senior Director of University of Arizona Online, partnering with centralized student services to ensure that students who attend 100% online have the necessary resources and guidance to be successful.
Janet Smith serves as an Instructional Designer leading quality assurance initiatives at the University of Arizona with the Office of Digital Learning. She manages a multitiered and collaborative quality assurance process to ensure that courses developed for UA Online are designed for student success and engagement. Janet works with partners across campus to integrate best practices around course design, copyright, UDL, and accessibility into the instructional design process and leads the Quality Matters program for the university. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona, her master's degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education from Northern Arizona University, and a graduate certificate in Educational Technology from Northern Arizona University. In her free time, Janet enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and practicing and teaching yoga.
Asst. Director for instructional design in support of the University of Arizona's fully online campus. Oversees the general education academy and UA Online's instructional design team. Currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. Areas of research interest include instructor presence and its impact of a sense of community and student success in online learning.