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Bearings: News and Perspectives for Academic Affairs

Bearings: News & Perspectives for Academic Affairs

eFaculty: The “e” is for “extra effort”

Oct 29, 2012, 12:26 am - Carey Adams

My Armstrong Experience

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending a showcase featuring presentations by several participants in the Summer 2012 Teaching Fellows Program for Online and Blended Learning.  Faculty from six different departments demonstrated the best practices they have implemented in their online courses.  More than one presenter commented that what they had learned about teaching effectively online had helped them to improve their face-to-face classes, as well. The Teaching Fellows program will be repeated in Spring 2013 as part of our expanding efforts to equip faculty with the latest knowledge and tools for teacing with technology.

Another resource is the eLearning Faculty Status for Online and Blended Learning course.  This is a four-module online course that teaches the basics of online course design as well as requirements for compliance with accreditation and federal regulation requirements.  I am one of the "students" in the course this fall, so I am getting to see firsthand the great work that Krisen Betts and Kathryn Propst have been doing in this area of faculty development.  Although I have taught online and hybrid courses for a number of years, I am discovering I still have much to learn.

The infrastructure we are building to support faculty teaching online truly is impressive.  I hope many faculty will expand their skills repertoire by taking advantage of these opportunities.  I liken the experience of teaching online to learning a new language.  I learned more about English grammar by taking Spanish than I ever did in my English classes, because I had to look at the structure of the languages from outside the implicit knowledge of a native speaker.  Learning to teach in an unfamiliar format can have much the same effect on how we understand what we so long have taken for granted.  The same can be said of many other faculty development activities, and I also ecnourage faculty to learn more about additional resources offered through the Faculty Development Office, directed by Teresa Winterhalter.

Have a great week!

Carey