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  1. 1. Preparing to Teach Online: MarylandOnline's Inter-Institutional Faculty Training Project (COAT) Bobbi Dubins MarylandOnline COAT Project Director AFACCT ’14 Conference Session 4.10 Thursday, January 9, 2014 3:10-4:20 Prince George’s Community College
  2. 2. Presentation Outline An overview of MarylandOnline’s COAT course, which was originally designed for adjunct faculty who are transitioning to online teaching. The course is now available to all. COAT Overview Future Plans Research Course Competencies/ Objectives Copyright 2013MarylandOnline Participant Feedback
  3. 3. What is MarylandOnline? MarylandOnline is a consortium of community colleges and senior institutions in the state of Maryland. The organization was founded to promote and support the distance learning communities of its member colleges.
  4. 4. COAT History Year 1 2008-2009: Research Conducted Year 2 2009-2010: Design and pilot course Year 3 2010-2011: Implementation – Course offered to anyone who was interested regardless of institutional affiliation. Years 4, 5 and 6 2011-2014: Expansion and continued research. Interest outside Maryland grew.
  5. 5. Year 1: Research (2008-2009) Research Goals: 1. 2. Was there an interest in a shared training among colleges? If so, what would that training look like? Three types of research was conducted 1. 2. 3. Survey of Maryland higher education institution training needs Literature review of online teaching competencies 17 existing online teaching courses/trainings Dubins, B. H., & Graham, M. B. (2009, August). Training instructors to teach online: Research on competencies/best practices. Paper presented at the 25th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, Madison, WI. Retrieved from Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline
  6. 6. COAT: Year 1 Course Recommendations • Delivered fully online • 9-week, cohort, paced training with assessments • Modularized – reusable across LMS • Focus on teaching online, not course design • Targeted to adjunct faculty (where most surveyed institutions were having trouble) but available to all Copyright 2011 MarylandOnline
  7. 7. Who Was COAT Originally Designed For? Adjunct faculty who are: •Teaching f2f in higher education • Preparing to teach an already fully designed online course (focus on delivery not design) Why adjuncts? •Portable training to multiple institutions •Asynchronous training for easy access •Pool of trained adjuncts for administrators 7
  8. 8. Year 2: (2009-2010) Design, Develop and Pilot COAT Course Collaborative, tea m approach which consisted of 6 people from 6 Maryland institutions Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline Inter-Institutional: 6 Maryland institutions Diverse members, skill sets, and experiences – Experienced online instructors, designer s, and administrators
  9. 9. COAT Design Highlights and Key Features 1. Meets Quality Matters course design standards. 2. Considers different learning styles/preferences 3. Makes use of resources from various sources/types (textbook, interactive software, self check games, external web sites, Youtube, wiki’s etc.) 4. Includes formal assessments 5. Models good teaching practices 6. Intended to be example of what an online instructor may encounter in teaching online 7. Provides resources for additional study if desired 8. Participants build a portfolio while progressing through the course. 9. Includes topics specific to adjunct instructors 10. Strong focus on social process and presence and building a learning community 11. Includes group activity 12. Incorporates active learning strategies
  10. 10. Institution-specific and Legal Managing Assessment Social Processes and Presence LMS Skills* COAT Research Results: Eight Core Competency Areas Pedagogy (Teaching and Learning Theory) Other Technical Skills (Computer Skills)* Orienting Students Instructional Design Basics *See the project web site for a detailed list of competencies Copyright 2010,2014 MarylandOnline
  11. 11. Competency Area – Computer Skills 1. 2. 3. Assess your current knowledge of computer technologies Identify sources for improving computer technical skills Identify institutional source for computer technical support. Competency Area – Learning Management System Skills 1. Assess your current knowledge of LMS technologies 2. Identify sources for improving LMS skills 3. Identify institutional sources for LMS technical support. Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline *partial list – For full list of competencies see
  12. 12. Competency Area – Orienting Students* 1. 2. 3. 4. Methods of orienting students to the online learning environment Manage student expectations and explain instructor roles Required technology skills for students Communicate to students institutional information about where they may get help for academic, student, and technical problems. 5. Provide clear guidance for new online learners: study tips, syllabus, time expectations, etc. Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline *partial list – For full list of competencies see
  13. 13. Competency Area – Instructional Design Basic Principles* Identify, explain, and apply basic instructional design principles. Determine if course/course components: a. Help students meet the stated objectives b. Fit together as a coherent whole (content, assessment, communication)? c. Assume appropriate time on task (judge time on task) Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline *partial list – For full list of competencies see
  14. 14. Competency Area – Pedagogy (Teaching and Learning Theory)* Teaching Strategies 1. Explain what is unique/different about student learning online 2. Engage and motivate students 4. Facilitate active learning 5. Utilize learning theories appropriate to your discipline in an online environment 6. Express the theoretical framework(s) on which your teaching methodologies are based (constructivism, behaviorism, etc.) 7. Facilitate collaboration Learning Styles 1. Demonstrate an understanding of different learning styles (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc.) 2. Identify characteristics of each learning style 3. List effective learning strategies for preferred learning style(s) 4. List examples of how to accommodate different learning styles 5. List characteristics of non-traditional student learning styles/preferences/needs 6. List examples of how to accommodate non-traditional students’ learning styles/preferences/needs *partial list – For full list of competencies see
  15. 15. Competency Area – Social Processes and Presence* Social Process and Presence 1. Provide feedback to online students both one-on-one and whole-class 2. Give examples of methods of motivating students 3. Establish student private space 4. Promote student-student interaction 5. Set up and facilitate social presence activities – Group activities, discussion board, etc Facilitating Online Discussions 1. Utilize LMS features to establish, guide, and maintain interactive discussions 2. Deal with “difficult” students/inappropriate posts 3. Set up discussion expectations in terms of quality, quantity, netiquette 4. Create guidelines for instructor participation and frequency in discussion board 5. Facilitate student collaboration 6. Utilize guest speakers *partial list – For full list of competencies see Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline
  16. 16. Competency Area – Managing Assessment* 1. Utilize LMS features to create different assignment (assessment) types 2. Provide assessment feedback to online students 3. Maintain assessment integrity (proctored exams, academic honesty, etc.) 4. Assess student participation in the discussion board 5. Create grading rubrics 6. Use rubrics to assist students in knowing how their work will be assessed 7. Provide student self-assessment opportunities 8. Facilitate students’ ability to monitor their progress 9. Assess student engagement in group assignments Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline *partial list – For full list of competencies see
  17. 17. Competency Area – Legal Issues* 1. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 2. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it applies to teaching (vs. design). 3. Copyright •Define copyright law. List the conditions for copyright law to be applied. •Define fair use and the factors to determine fair use. •Identify resources that can and cannot be used in online courses according to copyright law (the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the TEACH Act.) Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline *partial list – For full list of competencies see
  18. 18. Competency Area – Institution-specific policies, procedures and resources* Do you know your institution’s policies and procedures for things such as… 1. Policies 1.“Attendance” 2.How to handle student discipline problems 3.Faculty response/turnaround times 4.Testing (proctor required?) 2. Procedures 1. LMS procedures (drop/adds, semester rollovers, etc.) 2. Distribution of official class rosters 3. Mid-term and final grade posting 3. Resources 1.LMS training and support for faculty and students 2.Technical support for faculty and students 3.Faculty mentoring opportunities Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline *partial list – For full list of competencies see
  19. 19. Discussion COAT Competencies Let’s talk about the COAT competencies 1. What are your thoughts? A. Which ones do you think are most important? B. Do you have any questions about how we address these competencies within the course? C. Do you think there are any important competencies missing? D. Do you think any of the competencies are not important? Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline
  20. 20. Participant Feedback What participants say about the course •Extensive course and module evaluations are conducted throughout the course. •Evaluations include both quantitative and qualitative data. Continuous improvement: Extensive course and module evaluations are conducted and used to inform course improvements.
  21. 21. A few participant quotes…
  22. 22. Selected course evaluation data (From 127 participants who successfully completed the course from fall 2010 through fall 2011. Results are representative of all years.) The majority of respondents strongly agreed or agreed •the course met their needs to prepare them to teach online. •the instructor provided a positive model on how an online course should be facilitated. •the course met or exceeded their expectations. Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline
  23. 23. The majority of respondents strongly agreed or agreed •they would recommend the 9-week cohort training to a colleague. •the overall course objectives included what they wanted to study in order to prepare to teach online. •the course helped them understand what a quality online course can look like. Copyright 2013 MarylandOnline
  24. 24. Participant Demographics • Total enrollment in the course since inception is over 500 people. • Enrollment included participants from 24 states of residence and 5 countries (USA, Australia, France, Nigeria and Canada) • Participants were affiliated with 51 different institutions.
  25. 25. Alumni research results (partial) Participants reported that the most important benefits of the course were: 1. 2. 3. Experiencing being an online student Reflecting on personal teaching role as an online instructor Being part of a community of learners Participants reported that taking the COAT course also led to: 1. 2. 3. (Re)designing /tweaking their online course(s) Impact on their F2F teaching Impact on their non-teaching practices Source: “The Impact of COAT's Online Teaching Training Course on Alumni's Subsequent Teaching Practice” Presentation – Maryland Distance Learning Association Annual Conference, 2013 – Shattuck and Dubins. 25
  26. 26. Initiatives RESEARCH INITIATIVES Research is a vital part of COAT. • K-12 - Currently conducting research on the appropriateness of the COAT course for K-12 educators. (Pilot courses.) • Continuing Education - Currently running pilot course customized for Continuing/Adult Education instructors. • Alumni follow up - Research was completed in 2013 related to COAT alumni and how taking the COAT course impacted their teaching practices. RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS COAT was approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for K-12 teacher license recertification. (3 credits) 3.
  27. 27. Plans 1. A new and exciting web page! • Private alumni community • Free downloadable articles, white papers, and educator resources/news. • Opportunities for alumni to publish and share resources • Expanded information on COAT’s contributions to knowledge in the field of distance education. 2. Additional training modules for COAT alumni as they become more experienced. 3. Continue to be prepared for new opportunities and challenges! Suggestions or ideas?
  28. 28. 2014 Course Schedule: • • • • • • January 7 March 4 May June July Dedicated sections for large groups 2014 Additional Courses: • • K-12 Pilot Course Continuing Education Pilot Course Visit our web site to… •Join our “Interest” list or be notified of upcoming courses •See the course syllabus •See publications and articles about COAT •See results of research conducted by COAT •See new initiatives Copyright MarylandOnline 2014
  29. 29. Publications and Articles • Articles/Publications - Were the focus of Dr. Julie Shattuck’s doctoral dissertation in 2013. The Journal of Distance Learning Administration. – International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (2011, Vol. 12, #2): “MarylandOnline's Inter-Institutional Project to Train Higher Education Adjunct Faculty to Teach Online.” – Distance Education Review, Feb. 15, 2011: "From Quality Matters to COATS: MarylandOnline Rolls Out Its New Faculty Development Program" – Featured on the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) web page. “Challenges and a Solution for Training New Online Adjunct Faculty” hosted by Dr. Russell Poulin. – 25th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, Madison, WI. “Training instructors to teach online: Research on competencies/best practices. “ Paper presented at the
  30. 30. Thank You!