Following-Up: Assessing Online Faculty Development Programs

Concurrent Session 3

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Brief Abstract

In this Emerging Ideas session, I plan to showcase and discuss the process and results of a survey used to assess a faculty development program to prepare instructors to design and teach online.  The specific purpose of the survey was to follow-up with faculty who completed the program to assess: (1) what they applied from the program to their online teaching, (2) how what they applied from the program impacted their student’s learning or ability to learn online.
 

Presenters

I work as the sole instructional designer at Montana State University, with an emphasis on preparing faculty to teach online. When I am not instructional designing and supporting faculty, I enjoy many of the outdoor activities Western Montana has to offer, including hiking, fly fishing, backpacking, skiing, and mountain biking. I am originally from Upstate New York and completed my master's degree in educational technology from the University of Arizona. While in Arizona, I was also an instructor at Northern Arizona University, teaching both face-to-face and online courses.

Extended Abstract

Although there has been an increase in the assessment of faculty development programs, there has been a dearth of assessment data or research on faculty development programs that prepare faculty to teach online.  In the fall of 2016, the Center for Faculty Excellence at Montana State University launched a newly revamped and more robust Teaching Online Program that includes a self-paced basic-level course covering the fundamentals of designing and teaching online courses.  After 2 years of offering the program with 25 instructors completing the basic-level course, we decided to assess the program for practices or strategies that have been applied or implemented and their impact on student learning. 

 

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved survey instrument consisted of 33 peer reviewed and validated Likert scale questions that focused on 3 key fundamental areas of online teaching: course organization, instructor presence, and building a community of learners.  Although the survey reached a small sample size of 8 instructor responses, it yielded some interesting results that can inform future faculty development programs, such as how often online group discussion forums were used or how sending weekly announcements impacted learning.  Copies of the survey and results will be provided and discussed at the session.