Focus on the Essentials: A Flexible Model to Prepare Hundreds of Faculty for Online Teaching in Just a Few Weeks

Concurrent Session 1
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Brief Abstract

Creation of new faculty development programs can be a lengthy process and may be limited to small enrollment. However, circumstances such as the recent pandemic presented the need to quickly prepare large amounts of faculty to teach online. This presentation will explore a model used to quickly create a quality faculty development course focused on the essentials of online teaching, which can be scaled based on individual institutional needs.

Presenters

Trudian Trail-Constant is an Associate Instructional Designer at CDL. She holds an M.Ed. in Instructional Design and Development from the University of Georgia and a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Bethune-Cookman University. Her technical background along with her experience in Instructional Design in the business and higher education arenas have allowed her to possess a great balance and understanding of both technology and education. Her research interests include learner motivation and knowledge retention through unique, interactive learning environments and her expertise in the field has allowed her to present at multiple regional, national, and international conferences. Trudian also has a passion for all things creative and in her free time, she enjoys photography, interior decorating, event planning and even creating escape room games.
Corrinne Stull is an Instructional Designer at the University of Central Florida's Center for Distributed Learning (CDL). Corrinne holds a B.A. in Digital Media with a focus on Web Design and previously worked in web development. Her interest in combining technology and education to design and create online learning experiences led her to pursue an M.A. in Instructional Design & Technology, focusing on Instructional Systems. In her current role, Corrinne specializes in personalized adaptive learning software and strategies. Other research interests include online course accessibility, active learning strategies, quality in online courses, and the use of OER materials. Additionally, Corrinne is the coordinator of CDL's Faculty Seminars in Online Teaching, standalone seminars offered periodically for collegial dialogue around best practices in online teaching.

Additional Authors

Kathleen Bastedo is an instructional designer at the University of Central Florida. She earned a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida and has been working as an instructional designer for the Center for Distributed Learning at UCF since 2006. She assists faculty with the design, development, and delivery of online courses. Her area of specialization is about universal design for learning (UDL) and the accessibility of digital course materials. Her online research interests include accessibility to online materials for individuals with disabilities, simulations and training (VR and AR), and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning.
Sue is an instructional designer (ID) with the Center for Distributed Learning at the University of Central Florida. Sue collaborates with other IDs to deliver professional development opportunities, applies best practices with her faculty when structuring online course design, and offers consultation and instructional design/delivery guidance.  She also project manages graphics, media development, and emerging technology implementation as well as assessment and research considerations for fully online and blended courses. Sue's areas of interest and research are Project Management for IDs in Higher Education and Mobile Learning.
Jackie has worked for the Center for Distributed Learning since March 2013. Previously a technical support assistant for Webcourses@UCF Support, she now works as a web content specialist for the Instructional Development team. She transcribes video recordings for closed captioning, assists in the creation and support for non-academic web-based courses, and edits online training materials and performance support documents. Concurrent to her employment at CDL, Jackie received her B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her studies in English have strengthened her skills in writing and editing, and she employs these skills to create content that is clear, consistent, and grammatically correct. In 2016, she received the Information Technologies and Resources Outstanding Service Award. Jackie's ambition for quality and creativity extends beyond her work at CDL. In her spare time, Jackie performs and competes as a ballroom dancer.
Joseph Lloyd is an Instructional Designer at the University of Central Florida’s Center for Distributed Learning (CDL). Joseph earned a B.S. degree in Information Technology from the University of Cincinnati in 2003. After completing his B.S. degree, his love of teaching led him to move to Florida in 2006 to begin his career in Education. While teaching, he pursued an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Middle Childhood Mathematics, which he earned from UC in 2009. Prior to joining the CDL team, Joseph taught in both Volusia and Seminole County Public Schools for twelve years. He spent most of those years as an Educational Technology Facilitator, and he also taught 4th, 5th & 6th Grades Math & Science. His love of the blending of Education and Technology, especially in the STEM disciplines led him to UCF where he joined the team that specializes in Personalized Adaptive Learning software and strategies.
Charlotte Jones-Roberts, M.A., is an Instructional Designer at the University of Central Florida. She is the Lead of ADL5000, an online faculty credentialing program which focuses on part-time and adjunct faculty credentialing. She strives to create a culture of Quality, lead dynamic virtual seminars, and wears many hats behind the scenes of TOPkit - Teaching Online Preparation Toolkit. She is pursuing her EdD in Curriculum & Instruction, focused on humanized online learning and anxiety in online courses.
Tina Calandrino has worked as an educator in higher learning for over 25 years. She began her college career as Faculty at Miami-Dade College, and later St. Petersburg College. She has embraced what technology can do for students, and sought to share that knowledge with other educators around the world. Currently serving as Instructional Design Faculty at the University of Central Florida's Center for Distributed Learning, her research currently focuses on Competency Based Education, and Faculty Development for Online Learning.

Extended Abstract

Creation of new faculty development programs can be a lengthy process and the resulting programs or courses may be limited to small enrollments. However, circumstances such as the recent pandemic presented the need to quickly prepare very large amounts of faculty to teach online. This presentation will explore a model used to quickly create a quality faculty development course focused on the essentials of online teaching, which can be scaled based on individual institutional needs.

The primary motivation that led to the development of this model -- and resulting professional development course -- was fueled by the current global pandemic and the immediate need to quickly prepare large amounts of faculty to migrate to more flexible formats (online and blended) as needed while also maintaining student access to quality instruction, and to encourage student satisfaction and reduce disruptions (Thompson and Moskal, 2020). 

At our institution, faculty need to be credentialed to design and deliver online or blended courses and during the initial impacts of the global pandemic in the spring 2020 semester, 354 faculty (22% of the faculty teaching in the spring term) had not completed any of the existing digital learning credentialing programs (Thompson and Moskal, 2020). Consequently, there was a need to prepare hundreds of faculty members to transition face-to-face courses to quality online/blended modalities as a result of the impacts of the pandemic. However, the existing credentialing programs are also not designed to accommodate large faculty enrollments.

The traditional process for the development of a new faculty development program is typically very arduous and can span very lengthy periods. However, the current global pandemic presented a unique opportunity where inventive practices could be employed to rapidly design quality and successful faculty development courses. Agile practices, which are rooted in effective project management principles, were adapted by a small team of instructional designers to produce a brand-new, quickly-completable faculty development course that would enable hundreds of faculty members to successfully design and deliver new online and blended courses. The model utilized can be summarized into three primary phases – planning, development, and implementation – which was adapted from multiple models for rapid project management and course development (Pappas, 2015; Read, Morel and Hennington, 2015; Trust and Pektas, 2019).

In this presentation, we will explore this model used to develop the new faculty development course. The presenters will focus on the model employed rather than the newly-developed course itself, though the course will also be briefly discussed. Each of the three primary phases of the model will be detailed in the presentation, along with challenges & “lessons learned” as well as outcomes & data. The presenters will also discuss potential modifications for practitioners looking to adopt and implement this model, which can be scaled up or down based on individual institutional needs -- whether faced with a crisis or not.

References