An Open, Online Class to Prepare Faculty to Teach Online
Professional development opportunities are too limited for faculty who are learning to teach online. Preparation is typically provided in the form of technology training, with little focus on the pedagogy of teaching over the web. In addition, most professional development programs offer their workshops on campus instead of providing an opportunity for faculty to be learners online. The Program for Online Teaching Certificate Class created a possible model for better preparation with a free, open, year-long online class focused on pedagogy and tool choice, with participants engaged in active reflection as part of a community. Participants in the 2011-12 class were surveyed regarding several objectives, including whether their learning goals were achieved within the framework of the class. Participants, including 16 who earned a certificate through full participation, overwhelmingly indicated the achievement of their personal learning goals, satisfaction with the community developed within the class, and increased confidence in their ability to build online classes around their pedagogy rather than being led by the technology tools. The results of the study indicate that an open, online class may be an effective model for faculty development in online teaching.
Journal of Educators Online