Our Annual Online Teaching Institute

We just wrapped up our annual institute…a part of our year-long Online Course Development Initiative.  Again this year, we have 20 faculty who joined our eLearning Team this week at the VCU Center for Teaching Excellence to focus on teaching and what teaching means in an online environment.

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During our final lunch, we all discussed what this week meant.  Many suggested that they came to the week expecting to learn about online courses, but left reconceptualizing teaching in general.  It was an intense forty-hour week, yet they left with more energy than they had the first day!  For that, I thank my team mates who once again made a huge difference.

I made good use of Prezi this week – here are five sessions I led:

Growth and Evolution of eLearning

[Un]Packing the LMS

How People Learn

Building Community

Choosing Digital Tools

All in all, a great week.  Now, the five of us in our eLearning team each have four faculty whom we will work with over the next year to develop and teach online classes!

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2 comments to Our Annual Online Teaching Institute

  1. Jane Chaillie says:

    What an interesting and important initiative. I see this initiative has been going on for several years. What type of outcome measures are being used? It is fantastic that participants also receive financial support to help them develop an on-line course. That certainly acknowledges that on-line class design requires additional effort and that e-learning is valued by the university. What are some of the common challenges participants have encountered as they apply their learnings to design and deliver e-learning courses?

  2. Britt says:

    Thanks, Jane, We use a modification of a Univ of Minn instrument – http://bit.ly/13dm0aF – which looks at domains of practice.

    You are right – this is a $75,000 a year investment in faculty that signals that VCU is serious about the quality of online teaching.

    As to challenges, time is the big one. Each participant has unique challenges, but the combination of a built-in community and our consultancy seem to help overcome these.

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