From 0 to 100: Lessons Learned in the Move to Online Education and How We Found Our Potential to be Better Amidst the Pandemic

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Follow our 24 month journey of having 0% online presence to 100% remote learning.  In this session we will discuss the challenges and discoveries a small college made to transform its entire program into online learning modules.  See how the pandemic changed how we present concepts, assess outcomes, and engage students. 

Extended Abstract

For years formal education has primarily occurred in the classroom with the teacher sharing information with the students seated before them.  Today's education is not bound by the walls of the classroom nor the number of seats in the room.  Today we are able to engage students in online classrooms that know no boundaries.  In this session, we will share our 24 month journey from having a 0% online presence to having our entire curriculum 100% online and what we are doing now to apply what we learned to create online material that provides engaging and quality instruction.  We will share how our students and faculty adapted to the required changes brought about by the pandemic, and how we not only survived but thrived under the new demands that came with online learning and instruction. 

Experience makes for great teaching.  The past two years have shown this statement to be truer than ever. While navigating the obstacles of the abrupt transformation to online education, we were able to identify strengths and weaknesses in our perception of remote learning.  We are now utilizing what we have learned to transform our daily instructional design and have developed an instructor program for online course design applying the OSCQR Course Design Review Rubric from the Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard Suite.  

Over the past 8 months, the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at our institution has developed a course to help guide faculty in quality online course design. Through this course, the enrolled faculty member is exposed to best practices in re-designing courses to most effectively engage the online learner.  This program will help to create consistency in the quality and rigor of the online courses offered by our college. 

We will break down the 8 week faculty course, showing you how we utilize a modular approach to guide our instructors through training and instruction with the goal of producing a complete high quality online course upon completion.  While enrolled in the Online Course Development Project, each faculty member will be assigned a mentor from the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning or a trained designee. This mentor will coach the faculty member throughout the training and continue through the completed launching of the pilot online course.  The faculty member and their coach will continue to collaborate during the pilot quarter of their new online course and in the subsequent quarter immediately following.  Upon completion of the training and the pilot deployment of the new online course, the faculty member will engage in a full assessment of the online course utilizing the OSCQR Course Design Review Rubric from the OLC.  Upon completion of this assessment, the faculty member will provide a detailed report of "what worked" and actions to be taken for necessary revisions.  These revisions will be implemented before the deployment of the online course in the next quarter. In addition, the mentor and faculty member will revisit the faculty course to discuss any changes that need to be implemented to improve upon the curriculum within the Online Course Development Project.  Faculty engagement in this program will be compensated with a stipend to be distributed in three installments throughout the process.  The first installment will be issued upon completion of the 8 module Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning course.  The second installment will be paid once the completed re-designed course is deployed in the "pilot" phase.  The final payment will be made in the second quarter of the online course after the full course assessment utilizing the OSCQR rubric and appropriate revisions have been made.  

Throughout the design of the course, there are expectations for the instructor to fulfill certain roles and responsibilities.  The faculty member will actively design (or re-design) and develop the online course content. The course content must comply with copyright and accessibility guidelines.  Curriculum should be engaging for the online learner and assignments should encourage interaction with their online peers.  Assessments should be reflective of the course learning outcomes.  The instructor is expected to develop and implement a delivery strategy that engages the online learner.  Integration of best pedagogical practices in online teaching is expected to be utilized.  The faculty member must actively engage with their coach, be willing to learn and incorporate student centered learning strategies, and should adhere to a schedule and deadlines to insure that the pilot course is prepared for launching at the start of the next term.  Lastly, upon completion of the program, the faculty member is asked to review the process, share insight, and serve as an online learning coach for their colleagues wanting to participate in the Online Course Development Project. 

The role of the learning coach is to serve as a facilitator to the assigned faculty member as they progress through the Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning training course.  The coach will collaborate with the faculty member, assisting in review of content, identifying new technologies that can be utilized, and helping the faculty member stay on schedule so that the pilot deployment of the online course is on track to be released the following quarter.  Lastly the coach will act as a guide to the faculty member throughout the pilot quarter helping to identify any challenges or revisions that need to be made.  

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, "tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." Our program is designed to produce active learners not just in our online classrooms but also within our faculty team as they eagerly engage in the learning process, purposefully create a quality product, and enthusiastically share their training and experience with a colleague.  

Level of Participation:

During this session, participants will be encouraged to participate through question and answer.  They will also be encouraged to share best practices that they have encountered in their experiences of creating online higher education courses. 

Session Goals: 

After attending this session, attendees will understand the basics of how to develop and implement a program of faculty instruction in online course design.  These concepts will be introduced by both a course developer and a pilot member of the faculty instructional training program.  They will also be able to describe best practice strategies for selecting resources and collaborators in the development of their own online initiative.  Lastly, participants will be able to articulate the necessary support and compensation needed to leadership as they embark on designing quality online courses for their institutions.