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Top Ten Aspects (and Lessons Learned) of a Successful Online Faculty Training Program


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This presentation will be presented at the 2012 SLOAN-C International Conference on Online Learning and will share data, lessons, learned, and strategies for success for an online instructor training course offered at Madison College. See the full presentation details and description here:

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Top Ten Aspects (and Lessons Learned) of a Successful Online Faculty Training Program

  1. 1. Top Ten Aspects and LessonsLearned of a Successful Online Faculty Training Program Presenters: Jennifer Lewis Martha Schwer Tina Rettler-Pagel 2012 Sloan- CInternational Conference
  2. 2. About Madison College• Wisconsin Technical College System (1 of 16)• Total unduplicated enrollment = 40,030 FTE=10,671• More than 140 Associate Degree programs and certificates• Online offerings: • 7 fully online programs • 10 online certificates • ~208 unique online course titles; more than 400 online classes each semester. • Online class size 15-25.
  3. 3. How did we get here?• Call from Associate VP of Learning to develop “something” – led to a CQI Team• Find the right team members• Key areas of focus for the team• Get faculty input and buy-in – Run a focus group – Hire the right facilitator - use a Faculty Fellow• Development of a certification course (PTTO)
  4. 4. Lesson Learned #1:Course Content and Approach (2009) • Facilitate online activities • Create an online learning community • Encourage student engagement online • Conduct ongoing assessments appropriate to the online environment. • Design learning activities that are interactive, to fit different learning styles online. • Select a content format that suits your specific course outcomes, delivery strategy, and technology. • Utilize appropriate online course organization and structure. • Evaluate course effectiveness using MATC Online quality standards. • Manage online communication and interaction • Use a variety of communication tools and strategies. • Manage student questions, demands, and feedback effectively • Promote student to student interaction as appropriate • Develop group management techniques online as appropriate
  5. 5. Lesson Learned #2: Launching & RunningPTTO• Following Online Course Best Practices • Pre-course communication (critical)• Communicating with Leadership• Marketing the course• Tapping faculty who took the course to teach it; bringing in other content areas to facilitate.
  6. 6. Lesson Learned #3:Reflecting on the PTTO ExperienceOn a scale of 1 to 4, how relevant was PTTO for preparing you to teach online?
  7. 7. Lesson Learned #3:Reflecting on the PTTO Experience Of the topics discussed, which did you find most relevant to your teaching?
  8. 8. Lesson Learned #3:Reflecting on the PTTO Experience How many courses do you teach online at our college each semester?
  9. 9. Lesson Learned #4:Unforeseen Administrative and Operational Issues and Unsolved Dilemmas• Importance of administrative support and buy-in • Is training required?• Addressing grandfathering• Addressing vetting and prior experience
  10. 10. Lesson Learned #5:Unforeseen Issues: Intended vs. Actual Audience Is the course for people preparing to teach or people who want to teach...someday.
  11. 11. Lesson Learned #6: Importance of including Academic Integrity Content• Major concern for faculty entering PTTO• Differences between faculty and definitions of academic integrity• Emphasizing varied assessments and use of tools like SafeAssign
  12. 12. Lesson Learned #7: Moving Beyond the Course3-4 Major Items Instructors Want & Need:• Collection of general resources, templates and examples• Connections to technology training• Options beyond PTTO• Options for veteran, master instructors.How do we create ongoing communication amongonline instructors for updating?
  13. 13. Lesson Learned #8: Developing Quality Standards• Writing course quality standards• Implementation/Current State • Still in pilot phase
  14. 14. Lesson Learned #9: Addressing Faculty Issues• Contractual and Union Issues • Barriers to implementing best practices • Lack of consistent approaches to online courses (Blackboard not required) • Opening classes a week early• Culture of sharing (or not)• Multiple versions of a course
  15. 15. Lesson Learned #10:Adapting procedures, methods, and practices in the online classroom• Special Needs and Disability Resources• Proctoring
  16. 16. Thank you!For more information…Jennifer Lewis,,Skype: jennifer.l.nielsen, Twitter: GeoJenLewisMartha Schwer,,Hangouts & Skype:mschwer2Tina Rettler-Pagel,,Skype: tinarettler, Twitter: TinaRPagel