Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Faculty Development: It is more than technology training!

Johns Hopkins Monument, Johns Hopkins Universi...Image via WikipediaI am interested in this because we have a lot of issues around professional development at College of the Redwoods.

At Hopkins, Denille works in a graduate engineering program. The teachers are adjunct. She has 9 on staff. Previously, they had outsourced instructional design, used WebCT, and had no pedagogy instruction. No targeted faculty development. They created 30-35 courses in five years. Online instructors had different needs: tech, distant, pedagogical, changing roles, and misconceptions. The changing roles were "sage on the stage" to online facilitator. There was no consistent quality online. Faculty and students were very frustrated.

They needed ongoing development - they hired additional staff, designed a course dev process, offered more training to faculty.

They adopted the quality matters rubric.

They used a cohort-based course development process. They put up tutorials but still not thinking about a formal faculty development program.

After five years there was increased quality and consistency, knowledge of tech increased.

A survey after five years of faculty said that they felt their needs were not being met, 100% thought that targeted prof dev would be useful. They wanted opportunities to learn teaching skills and best practices.

How to meet the demands? Improve the course dev process. They put together a course that taught online course development. Focused on best practices, not technology. Subliminal goals - teach them the tools by using them.

The course consisted of 6 modules
Intro to online teaching
online course component
writing learning objectives
preparing content
learning activities

They found that 2 weeks was not enough time, enjoyed interacting with their peers, caught on quickly, prepared for course development, more open to new ideas.

Room for improvement: More examples, less eduspeak, extended duration. Increasing dev opportunities, we shouldn't stop here; consider the muddiest points.

Redesign Intro to Online Development (FA 11)
Revised learning topics, learning activities, added periodic and final deliverables.

Next steps: evolve standards, increase faculty dev, increase fac dev for retention, need more just-in-time opportunities, and create blended and peer-led opportunities.

Later will create courses such as Engaging Online Learners, Learning activities, Creating better Assessments.

The cohorts are 12 faculty. They are paid - part of the development stipend is that they have to take this course. The faculty receive a generous stipend.

Why is faculty development important?
Most faculty were not trained to teach.
Faculty are important to student retention and recruitment.

In the conversation, we talked about sharing professional development resources: denille@jhu.edu

Denille Williams (Johns Hopkins University)

Faculty development is critical to the quality and success of online programs. The quality of development and delivery of online courses can be greatly enhanced by providing opportunities for faculty to learn best practices and increase faculty knowledge of online teaching and learning. During this session you will learn about the evolution of faculty development for online instructors at Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals as we present the past, present, and future of the JHU-EP online faculty development efforts. JHU-EP will also share our findings and experiences as we work to transition our faculty development program online using Sakai to deliver a course on best practices for online course development and plan future courses to enhance online teaching skills. After learning about online faculty development at JHU-EP, share in an open discussion about the faculty development efforts at your institution and ideas for the future of faculty development.

bios: Denille Williams: Denille Williams is an instructional designer at Johns Hopkins University, Engineering for Professionals. Denille has over seven years of experience in working with faculty and students in online education, specializing in the development of online science and engineering courses. Denille is a Certified Faculty Developer and has an M.S. in Higher Education (Academic Development, Instruction, and Technology) and a B.S. in Legal Studies. Her research interests include adjunct faculty development and promoting active learning in the online environment.s)
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