Driven by Teaching: Promoting Pathways for Faculty Development in a 1-Day Self-Paced Course

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In this session, we’ll discuss the design of a 1-day course for online and hybrid faculty. We’ll cover course elements and share feedback received from our target audience as well as anticipated course outcomes. By participating, you’ll walk away with practical ideas for implementing an efficient and engaging online faculty development experience.

 

Presenters

Dr. Katie Sharpe is an instructional designer with a background in both education and research. Katie currently supports faculty with the design, development, and delivery of both online and on-ground courses. Her focus is on maintaining a high level of instructional impact by incorporating best practices in instructional design and creating positive learning experiences for students and faculty. As such, her research explores potential avenues to increasing students' educational experiences.

Extended Abstract

Join us for a discussion on our latest online faculty development course, Driven by Teaching. During the session we’ll cover outcomes and lessons learned related to the conceptualization of the course, feedback that led to course development, breakdown of content, and course design elements. We’ll also dive into input received during the course planning and development stages, as well as anticipated course outcomes and feedback received from our target audience. Throughout the presentation, you will have an opportunity to ask questions and reflect on your personal experiences with online faculty development solutions. Our goal is for you to walk away with practical concepts for systematically designing, developing, and delivering (a) efficient and flexible online faculty development solutions and (b) courses that facilitate the advancement of online and hybrid instruction.

 

As a result of a campus-wide move to online instruction in spring 2020, our instructional design team developed and facilitated a 2-month professional development program for faculty who were new to teaching online courses. Resulting from this course was a wealth of data regarding how faculty learn in online environments and what they find useful and beneficial in self-paced professional development opportunities. Most recently, these opportunities have been critical in helping faculty differentiate emergency remote teaching from evidence-based online teaching practices and effective instructional design methodologies. Our overall goal was to provide faculty new to teaching online courses a meaningful professional development solution that (a) efficiently moves them from novice to intermediate level within a predefined period of time, and (b) effectively motivates them to apply new approaches in their teaching, both during and immediately after the program.

To support institution-wide training to quickly advance faculty online teaching skills, we redesigned a portion of the 2-month professional development program as a 1-day self-paced professional development course. This redesigned course, titled Driven by Teaching, focuses specifically on online and hybrid teaching methods with goals of helping faculty more effectively and efficiently: (a) deliver online, hybrid, and blended course content with evidence-based practices in mind; (b) implement online student support solutions; (c) use key learning management system and course delivery tools; and (d) collaborate with support teams and peers in the delivery of online, hybrid, and blended courses. These goals were determined based on prior outcomes of faculty development solutions and increasing needs to close institution-wide skill gaps pertaining to online and remote instruction.

While building this new course, we incorporated feedback from the prior 2-month program, including participants who were new to teaching online and/or hybrid courses. This feedback helped us identify pathways for course redesign around key areas such as: course readiness, setting expectations, progress tracking, navigation, time management, and various content recommendations. Participants also frequently highlighted their preference for a simple and efficient learning experience, specifically in the context of rapidly changing teaching expectations and expanding academic responsibilities.

The course content was broken into five units, each covering topics and skills relevant to teaching online, remote, and/or hybrid courses. Course activities and assessments were designed to encourage participants to (a) compare and contrast different modalities for online instruction; (b) identify approaches for integrating online content, activities, and/or assessments; (c) recognize evidence-based approaches for online, hybrid, and blended teaching; (d) identify key online teaching tools; (e) understand the basic purpose/function of key online teaching tools; (f) identify strategies that support student engagement; (g) recognize the varied responsibilities of being a course instructor; (h) identify student support resources; and (i) understand the roles of various support teams and resources.

Based on prior feedback received on online faculty development initiatives, we anticipate early trends and improvements related to flexibility, ease of use, and time management. Feedback from reviewers of the course also suggests participants are likely to recommend this course to other faculty or recommend it be required by their department. In our session, we’ll do a deep dive on the full design of the course as well as opportunities to consider in future iterations.

With this course as an example, we look forward to sharing our perspectives on faculty development pathways and discussing ways to build robust, yet simple and sustainable online faculty development solutions on your campus.