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					Faculty as Authors of Online Courses:
               Support and Mentoring

                  Gail Matthews-DeNatale, Ph.D.
                  Senior Instructional Designer

                  Deborah Cotler, Ed.M.
                  Instructional Designer

                  Simmons College




                                           Educause, 2004
Overview of Today’s Presentation

   Introduction
   Preliminary concerns of faculty (video)
   What first timers need to know
    –   Faculty perspective (video)
    –   Support Framework (developed out of patterns of need)
   Two case studies
   What’s helpful?
    –   Faculty perspective (video)
    –   Support Strategies (building on what faculty say is helpful)
   Institutional framework (roles and guiding questions)
                              Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Our Present Context

   It’s not just pioneers – “second wave” are
    asked/expected to develop hybrid and fully-
    online courses
   It’s not an either/or
    –   Faculty who are “second wave” in relationship to
        technology may be pedagogical “pioneers”
   We need listen to mainstream faculty to hear
    that perspective and identify patterns of need
                          Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Mary Jane Treacy, Honors Program




             Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Vicki Bacon, SHS (Adjunct)




              Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Bob Goldman, Mathematics




            Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Preliminary Concerns



       See “Preliminary Concerns” Video




                    Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Faculty: Preliminary Concerns

   Loss of quality
   Loss of control
   Failure

   The person with few preliminary concerns
    was taken aback by the difference between
    her expectations and the actual experience.

                      Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Online Authoring: What’s Different?

   Posting of a session is distinct/separate from
    “teaching” the session
   Metaphor: session as musical score
    –   Tone
    –   Part
    –   Timing
    –   Structural flow
   Requires faculty to develop a new skill set
                          Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
What First Timers Need To Know



       See “What First Timers Need To Know” Video




                    Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Faculty: What Peers Need to Know

   You’re teaching in a new medium
   Look at models, consider what will/won’t work for you
   Your writing needs to be both explicit and inviting
   Because this is authorship, revisions and versioning
    are part of the process
   Think ahead and clarify the plan
   Your role will feel different



                         Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Online Courses Require New Skills

   be explicit in writing up assignments
   write with a familiar tone that conveys both meaning
    and personality
   sequence online learning activities
   phrase and sequence questions that prompt
    meaningful discussion
   integrate formative assessment into pilot offerings,
    and use that assessment to make constructive
    revisions

                         Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Support Framework (patterns of need)

Instructional Designer helps faculty learn:
   How to author a coherent, integrated learning
    experience
   What needs to be composed in advance and what
    can be improvised
   How to attend to emotional needs of online learners
   How to keep students engaged and oriented online
   To consider what the course looks like from the
    students’ perspective (formative assessment)

                         Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Formative Assessment Questions

   How many hours did you spend working on this
    module?
   What are your suggestions for improving this module?
    Please also fill us in on problems you encountered
    with technology, directions, or organization of
    material.
   Considering the objectives for this module, what do
    you think is the most important thing you learned?
    What questions remain?

                         Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
The Framework in Action

Two Case Studies:

   Sports Psychology (Vicki Bacon)
   WebStat (Bob Goldman)




                     Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Sports Psychology




        Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
         Pilot: Formative Feedback


   Student engagement lagged
   Key concepts not grasped
   Students unclear about tasks




                     Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
The Evolution of an Activity

 First Assignment: Construct Your Genogram




               Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Sample Genogram




       Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
WebStat




          Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
         Pilot: Formative Feedback

   Minor in-line modifications made to
    sequencing
   Course lacked “community”
   Technology underutilized




                      Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
         Revised Version

   Focus on interactivity and community
   Required group assignments
   Chat and “whiteboard” tools incorporated
   Increased use of multimedia




                     Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Version Two Improvements




        Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Faculty: What helped?

   Planning, guidance, feedback, editing
   Feedback from instructional designer who’s
    knowledgeable, but not a subject matter “expert”
   Mapping things out
   Formative assessment
   Moral support (companionship)

… Hear it from them

                      Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
What Helped?



      See “What Helped?” Video




                   Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Support Strategies

Building on what faculty say was helpful:
 Establish optimal conditions for dialogue
 Clarify goals for students understanding and
  skill development
 Brainstorm ideas
 Work with faculty as writers and as revisers




                    Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Suggested Authorship Process

   Articulate a template
   Model a sequence of authorship that begins with an
    analysis of students’ ideas (including misconceptions)
   Encourage faculty to have someone else read
    material, looking for areas that need clarification
   Help faculty recognize their voice and find that voice
    in writing
   Set up a process for revision (versioning) that draws
    on formative assessment and peer feedback

                         Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Avenues for Support

Building a “community of practice” through:
 Annual Tech Fair
  (with posters of exemplary faculty work)
 Workshops, conferences, and a faculty institute
 Theme-based Faculty Lunch Series
  (designing groupwork, facilitating discussions,
  increasing student engagement, formative
  assessment)
 Fellowships and Mini-grants


                       Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Final Words

 Recognize    that support for online learning is a
  systemic issue (institution-wide)
 There are many questions that Academic
  Administrators and Program Directors may
  not know to ask
 Be proactive in providing guiding questions
  and in clarifying role expectations
  (see handouts)

                      Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004
Visit us on the web


http://my.simmons.edu/services/technology/ptrc

Go to “articles & newsletters” for this presentation




                      Faculty as Authors of Online Courses, Educause, 2004

				
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