Supporting Faculty Through The Transition Online: The Collaborative Creation and Implementation of Faculty Development in Response to COVID-19
Concurrent Session 2
Panelists from a large urban research university share their experiences participating in an innovative faculty professional development initiative in response to COVID-19. This initiative provided the opportunity for various groups across campus to come together and support faculty’s transition to online, hybrid, and blended instruction in preparation for the Fall 2020 semester.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only impacted students’ readiness for online learning, but it has also had a profound impact on faculty’s readiness to teach online. The rapid expansion of online course offerings has challenged faculty to transform how they teach and deliver their courses like never before. During this online transition, providing adequate professional development to faculty has been critical to promoting student success. Educators need to be familiar with the learning management system and provided with adequate pedagogical resources to promote student success in a digital environment.
As such, university leadership at a large urban research university created an initiative to provide such support to faculty during the summer of 2020. Leadership reached out to instructional designers and instructional technologists on campus to provide training and resources for successfully designing, developing and delivering courses in an online learning environment. While all online program faculty are regularly provided training and support, this professional development was the first comprehensive online training of its kind made available to all faculty on campus, regardless of their online teaching experience.
The purpose of this particular professional development program was to introduce all faculty to online course standards in order to ensure consistent quality across all online/remote/blended courses as well as create a community of support for faculty as they continued to navigate the transition online. As such, the professional development program, Faculty Summer Institute, was designed to provide professional development specific to the university’s online design, development, and delivery standards while also providing faculty with a solid support system as they built or modified their Fall 2020 courses. University leadership encouraged all faculty to register for the Institute and provided compensation for completing the professional development.
Instructional designers created the professional development experience and worked with instructional technologists to train six hundred faculty on evidence-based instructional practices as well as technology tools. Faculty fellows were recruited by leadership and instructional designers to provide additional faculty support and a level of mentorship/community. While the roles of university leadership, instructional designers, and faculty fellows were uniquely different during this initiative, the Faculty Summer Institute provided an experience for stakeholders to come together and support faculty across campus.
What exactly did the Faculty Summer Institute look like? How was it designed? What were the outcomes? Has the Institute influenced other initiatives on campus? How can you leverage support teams across your campus to continue assisting faculty during this unique time in higher education? During this panel discussion, these questions and those of attendees will be answered by representatives who participated in various ways during the 2020 Summer Institute. Come join us to learn more about lessons learned and the impact of this innovative faculty development initiative. By participating, we hope you will leave our session with practical ways you can implement a supportive online faculty development experience that continues to prepare faculty with the strategies and tools needed to design, develop, and deliver quality online, hybrid, and/or blended instruction in response to the current health crisis.
Participants will gain insight into various stakeholders’ involvement in the creation and implementation of the 2020 Faculty Summer Institute.
Participants will engage in dialogue with the panelists regarding challenges and successes of designing and offering this type of faculty development.
Participants will have access to the following materials during the presentation:
Demo account to review components of the 2020 Faculty Summer Institute Course