2 blended programs3 online programs3 instructional designers10+ new online courses each term1100+ faculty and students
I think it is important to start by explaining the Online Course Lifecycle at the Adler School.Ideally, and with our newer courses, we start with Course Design, followed by instructor training, course supports during the term, supervisor monitoring of instructors, and then revisions to the courses.In the less ideal situations, typically with our older courses that have not gone through a recent course design, we focus on the instructor training, course supports during the term, and supervisor monitoring.
Every instructor who wishes to teach online at the Adler School is required to take our in house Online Technology and Pedagogy Training Course.The course covers the Technology of teaching within Moodle, the pedagogy and best practices of teaching an online course, and the policies that online instructors will need to follow when teaching at the Adler School.
There are a lot of factors that go into a quality online course. One of the most important foundational components is the course design. At the Adler School, we have instructional designers who work with course authors to build out master course shells. Then each time a course is offered, the master course shell is imported into the section on Moodle. Instructors are allowed to make changes, pending permission from one’s supervisor. Some of our programs are more “locked” than others.By starting with a well designed course, instructors are better prepared to be successful in teaching their course. All of our master course shells include notes about the course design, tasks the instructor will need to complete, and information about unique features within that course.
For each technology topic, we have directions (text and video); practice (simulations); and assessments (either simulations or live practice). Most of the videos and simulations were made using Adobe Captivate. We allow unlimited attempts, but require a 100% on each assessment to proceed.
For Pedagogy topics, we provide readings, some that we create ourselves and others that are published. We attempt to model all of the skills we are teaching in our facilitation. We also allow the participants to practice what they are learning. Sometimes we have hypothetical situations, other times we have them craft a sample announcement or welcome message. We even have them integrate the technology skills by incorporating a video message.
For policies, we have links to the actual policies for participants to review. We offer opportunities for them to ask questions about the policies and discuss concerns they may have in meeting those policies. Finally, in some cases, we assess their understanding of the policies and important timelines via a quiz.
Our training course strives to integrate the three components of technology, pedagogy, and policies throughout each module. The six modules we use are Welcome to Moodle and Teaching OnlineCourse Layout and Welcoming StudentsAdding Resources and AccessibilityCreating and Facilitating InteractionsGrading and AssessmentCourse Wrap-Up, Feedback, and Evaluation
In Module 1, Welcome to Moodle and Teaching Online we cover Moodle navigation, profiles, and file managementTime managementAnd important policies for online instructors
Preparing, Supporting, and Monitoring Online Instructors
Adler School of Professional Psychology
Welcome to Moodle and Teaching Online
Course Layout and Welcoming Students
Adding Resources and Accessibility
Creating and Facilitating Interactions
Grading and Assessment
Course Wrap-Up, Feedback, and Evaluation