Preparing to Teach Online Creates New Possibilities for Face-to-Face Teaching

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Preparing to Teach Online Creates New Possibilities for Face-to-Face Teaching

  1. 1. Carol McQuiggan The Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg 16th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning, Nov. 3-5, 2010
  2. 2. Final results of action research study:  Professional development program to prepare faculty to teach online  Effectiveness of various approaches employed  Changes in faculty’s assumptions and beliefs about teaching  Impact on face-to-face teaching practices  But first, some background. . .
  3. 3. Adult Learning Theory
  4. 4. Characteristics of Adults  More independent and self- directing  Reservoir of experiences  Readiness to learn related to life stage and social role  More problem-centered and want immediate application  More internally motivated  Need for relevance
  5. 5. Transformative Learning Theory  Process by which people are led to consider and question assumptions and beliefs that have previously been uncritically assimilated.  Perspectives and assumptions may be revised so as to be more open, permeable, and better justified. (Cranton, 2009)
  6. 6. Developing the Model  Conducted extensive literature review  Reviewed faculty development models awarded Sloan-C Excellence in ALN Faculty Development  Looked for attributes that support adult learning theory framework  Established essential attributes of faculty professional development program
  7. 7. Model July December
  8. 8. Pre-Interviews  Tell me how you came to the field of teaching (their subject) in higher education.  What are the events and experiences in your life that have made you the teacher you are today?  Tell me about your students.  Tell me about your teaching practices.  Tell me how you feel about teaching online.
  9. 9. Getting Started
  10. 10. Group F2F Session  Objectives determined from pre-interviews (needs assessment)  Discussed pre-readings  Building from Content to Community: [Re]Thinking the Transition to Online Teaching and Learning  VCU Center for Teaching Excellence White Paper  (My) Three Principles of Effective Online Pedagogy  Bill Pelz, JALN, 8(3), June 2004  Using the technology: ANGEL (esp. discussion forum)
  11. 11. Module 1: Reflection & Conceptualization Module 2: Interaction & Collaboration
  12. 12. Module 3: Activities & Assessment Module 4: Teaching & Managing
  13. 13. Resources
  14. 14. Classroom Observations  Would teaching practices match the assumptions and beliefs about teaching shared during pre- interview  Would observations match teaching practices described during pre-interview?  If changes observed, would they be able to be explained by their online teaching experiences and/or transformative learning?
  15. 15. Post-Interviews  Tell me about your preparations to teach online. What did you do?  Tell me about teaching online. Was your experience different than what you expected? How?  Did adding the online components change what happened in the classroom?  Thinking about the faculty development program, what did you find most helpful? Do you have any suggestions for its next offering?  The reflection journal had varied use. What are your thoughts on the use of a journal for reflection?  Consider your experiences with online teaching this semester. Using an amusement park’s rides and activities, choose a metaphor that reflects you as teaching. Teaching is. . . or I am. . . Would this metaphor have been the same or different at the beginning of the semester?  Did your prior beliefs or assumptions about teaching and learning change at all from your online teaching experience?
  16. 16. Research Question #1 Which aspects of the professional development activities do faculty perceive being most effective in helping them to reflect on and question their previously help assumptions and beliefs about teaching?
  17. 17. Finding #1:  Most effective in supporting change were opportunities for faculty to:  Talk to experienced online colleagues  Explore examples of online courses  Reflect on their preparations to teach online  One-on-one consultations
  18. 18. Provided by:  Group face-to-face workshop in computer lab  Synchronous online Adobe Connect session with experienced colleague  Access to a completely online course within course management system (CMS) participants were using  Program’s resources provided within same CMS  Continuous one-on-one support with faculty development specialist/instructional designer
  19. 19. Research Question #2 Do faculty experience changes in their previously held assumptions and beliefs about teaching as a result of learning to teach online and, if so, how does transformative learning explain the change?
  20. 20. Finding #2: Reflective writing and/or talking about preparing to teach online and teaching online opens up the possibility for changes in previously held assumptions and beliefs about teaching.
  21. 21. Finding #3: Reflective writing and/or talking about classroom changes resulting from online teaching help faculty become aware of changes in previously held assumptions and beliefs about teaching.
  22. 22. John  Not aware of any changes  Metaphor: “lift rider”  cross high above the amusement park  secure  flexible  open  able to see different things  the “steady ride” that provided info
  23. 23. Mick  “it reinforced and strengthened this notion of constantly evaluating what you do and the impact on students”
  24. 24. Mary  Believed that one’s philosophy of teaching must change to teach online  “Who am I inside of this new platform as a teacher whose whole goal is to facilitate learning?”  Had experienced successes online and was impressed with the work her students create  Have to pay attention to the differences in order to be effective
  25. 25. Kay  Moved away from PowerPoint lectures  Used online discussion as starting point for in- class discussion  Considered in-class discussion more student- driven  Provided students with more ownership of course
  26. 26. Lou  Expected student resistance  Expected online to be more time consuming  Surprised by:  How rewarding it was  How students were more objective online  How their learning seemed broader and had a greater impact on them
  27. 27. Ralph  “If I don’t lecture about it, how will they learn it?”  Through online discussions, students were able to make connections between:  Their readings  Online resources  Own experiences  Shared more personal aspects of their life online than in class
  28. 28. Beth  Had been “more rigid, not willing, and reluctant to try” anything new  Would have lesson plans set at beginning of semester  Now she was “more open and more flexible to exploring and experimenting”  Moved away from lectures  Insights about student understanding gained through online discussion used to determine what happened in class
  29. 29. Research Question #3 What impact does learning to teach online have on face-to-face teaching practices?
  30. 30. Finding #4:  Impact on face-to-face teaching practices:  Rethinking what they did and why  Move from teacher-centered to student-centered  Less reliance on lecture  More flexible and open
  31. 31. Finding #5: A lack of time to engage in faculty professional development, including reflective writing, can create a barrier to change. Alternately, more time to engage in preparations to teach online can provide more opportunities for reflection.
  32. 32. Finding #6: Faculty can experience difficulties in putting their teaching beliefs into practice in the classroom, but online teaching provides them with new opportunities.
  33. 33. The only real voyage of discovery. . . consists not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes. . . ~ Marcel Proust
  34. 34. Connect with me cam240@psu.edu http://del.icio.us/carolmcq http://www.slideshare.net/carolmcq http://www.twitter.com/carolmcquig http://www.linkedin.com/in/carolmcquiggan

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