Examples of Faculty Development Pathways

This section will highlight several institutions and key elements of their faculty development programs. The programs reviewed made a direct connection to the work of the Jowallah, Futch, Barrett-Greenly, and Bennett 2016 model described above.

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida’s (UCF) approach to online faculty development is predominantly focused on supporting faculty in their transition to the online environment.  The unit that has responsibility for the training is the Center of Distributed Learning (CDL). This unit has two ‘flagship’ courses, ADL5000 and IDL6543. ADL5000 is a foundational noncredit course, which allows instructors to teach existing online courses or blended courses. To design and deliver an original online or blended course, instructors must complete IDL6543. Once participants are selected to enroll in IDL6543, they are assigned an instructional designer who will provide one-to-one consultation over the ten week duration of the course. These one-to-one consultations, along with course activities, are designed to allow participants to develop key knowledge of  online pedagogy, use of technology, and appropriate methods for online assessments. Participants are also expected to engage in critical reflection as they participate in various online discussions and peer review sessions. Successful completion of IDL6543 is necessary for staff to teach online.

One of the major objectives of IDL6543 is for faculty to demonstrate their ability to develop an online course. Completion of IDL6543 is marked by instructors showcasing one of the modules they have developed. Instructors who complete the program will be provided with ongoing support to develop their courses. IDL6543 allows for ongoing participant evaluation and the feedback is reviewed by an Annual Review Committee. Modifications are made for future delivery of the course using the feedback from faculty, . The model used by UCF allows for ongoing consideration to quality assurance, both internally and externally. For additional information on UCF faculty development programs, please visit https://online.ucf.edu/teach-online/professional-development/idl6543/ .

Florida Atlantic University (FAU)

Similar to UCF, Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has a unique model for developing courses for online delivery. Faculty must first demonstrate their interest in developing an online course by submitting an “e design Proposal Form.” Final approval or recommendations for proposals resubmitted are made by the Director of eLearning.  Once approval is granted, the faculty will work with an assigned instructional designer (ID) to develop their online course.  The faculty, who is a subject matter expert (SME), is required to meet with the instructional designer weekly. The Quality Matters rubric is used throughout the development of the online course. The instructional designer’s role in the process is that of consultant, through ongoing consultations with the faculty.  The planned consultations are designed to (1) set expectations and create a project plan; (2) create the course blueprint; (3) develop the course content; and (4) enable the peer review process.  For additional information on FAU faculty development program, please visit http://fauelearning.com/faculty/faculty-support/course-development/ .

University of North Florida (UNF)

The University of North Florida (UNF) offers a cadre of courses designed to meet their institutional needs. These courses are designed within a blended course design (taught online and face-to face). Below are the five courses used by UNF– (TOL4100 and TOL6100 are core requisite for some of the courses):

  • TOL4100: Teaching Online Tools Essential, is designed to allow faculty to familiarize themselves with the LMS and design online courses;
  • TOL5100: Online Course Delivery is designed specifically for adjuncts;
  • TOL6100: Teaching Online Seminar is designed to prepare instructors to develop and teach distance courses;
  • TOL7100: Teaching Online Seminar is a self-managed course, designed to prepare instructors to develop and teach courses within a Quality Matters framework;
  • MOT: Master Online Teaching Certification is an 18 months course that certifies participants who demonstrate knowledge in the areas of online course design,  instruction, and teaching pedagogy. The certification is issued by the Illinois Online Network, which is an external organization.

While the above courses form the foundation of UNF’s training, there are also pathways for ongoing professional development, offered by their Center for Instruction and Research Technology. For additional information on UNF faculty development program, please visit http://www.unf.edu/cirt/TOL/Faculty_Development_Model.aspx.

Penn State World Campus

Similar to UNF, Penn State World campus offers a catalog of courses. From this catalog, five online courses form the basis of the Certificate for Online Teaching. The five courses include:

  • OL100: Introduction to the World Campus. This course allows participants to gain knowledge of the resources available and an awareness of World Campus commitment to students.
  • OL1800: Accessibility allows faculty to have knowledge of various accessibility issues in higher education and provides guidance on how these accessibility issues can be addressed using best practices.
  • OL1900: Prove it! This is a self-paced course designed to allow faculty to develop competency in using the Learning Management System (LMS).
  • OL 2000: Effective Online Teaching. This course focuses on preparing faculty for the implementation of sound online teaching and learning pedagogy.
  • OL2700: Online presence. This course highlights the need for the importance of instructors’ presence within the online environment. The course outlines strategies that instructors can use to create or enhance their online presence.

For additional information on Penn State Online faculty development program, please visit http://wcfd.psu.edu/certificates/ .

The Open University UK

The Open University, founded in 1969, serves the region of United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. All materials for programs are developed and produced by the Open University Press. The majority of the teaching staff are part-time workers and are classified as associate lecturers. Associate lecturers work in the region that their students reside. In order to support associate lecturers’ effective practices, an induction program is implemented to guide the associate lecturers on their roles and responsibilities online. During the induction process, associate lecturers are appointed an experienced mentor. Supervising the mentor, will be the line manager, a full-time staff tutor or regional manager.  The role of the mentor is to offer continuous guidance to the newly appointed associate lecturer. At times, both mentor and mentee will have meetings. There are no requirements for the mentor and mentee to meet face-to-face. The mentor will review samples of assignments from the mentee and provide feedback to the mentee and the line manager. The line manager on receiving the feedback, will review and provide formal feedback to the mentee. This monitoring process occurs over a two year period. The Open University also offers extensive technical support to all teaching staff. The Open University has continued to produce a high volume of research that guide their process and practices for online teaching and learning.

Independent Faculty Training

  • Higher Education Academy in UK
  • OLC USA

While it may be standard practice for most educational institutions to have internal training and development programs, there are external organizations that offer staff development program for online instructors. For example, The Higher Education Academy (HEA) in the UK offers a variety of professional training and development specifically tailored for higher education. In addition to these training, Higher Education Academy offers consultancy services to institutions in the UK as well as internationally. HEA also offers recognition and accreditation with the focus of recognizing teaching quality. Like HEA, The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) offers a certificate program, which focuses primarily on preparing faculty to teach online or improve their online courses. Please use the links below to access additional information on these independent faculty training providers.

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