As faculty move to teach online, ensuring high-quality courses and online learning experiences remains a challenge and an imperative. Responding to this challenge is difficult within limitations of staffing and faculty time. Virginia Tech created a scalable process resulting in faculty who are successful teaching online and are empowered to continue revising and developing their online courses. Faculty are also offered the opportunity to become mentors and reviewers for others developing online courses, thereby expanding and strengthening the community of practice for online teaching and learning across disciplines.
This session presents the cohort approach to facilitator-led professional development structuring the process in which instructional designers provide guidance and assistance to faculty developers. This project-based learning allows for; a highly interactive experience, the modeling of best practices, a collaborative approach to faculty concerns, and the opportunity for faculty to experience online teaching and learning including large and small group work. The process results in the development of an online course, the consideration of teaching strategies for that online course and both peer and departmental review for quality assurance. Faculty have the opportunity to learn from each other as well as from instructional designers and facilitators, resulting in new and creative approaches and uses of available technology.
Participants in this session will; develop an understanding of the process used at Virginia Tech, discuss the opportunities and challenges of applying and/or participating in this approach at their institution, and have the opportunity to share in research on the effectiveness of this approach.
Dr. Lujean Baab holds an Ed. D. from Pepperdine University in Educational Technology and is certified as Instructional Technology Specialist K-12 in PA. She has worked in online learning for K-12 and higher education as a teacher, faculty member, and administrator for nearly 15 years.