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Online Education: An Essential Innovation

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Online Education: An Essential Innovation

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  1. Online Education:An Essential Innovation Suzanne G. James, Ph.D. David Binder, MBA

  2. Rapid Growth of Online Learning • 2008 Sloan survey (Allen & Seaman, 2007) : 12% increase in online education over the past year • Community colleges lead: Over 90% of community colleges offer online courses: “Two-year associate’s institutions have the highest growth rates and account for over one-half of all online enrollments for the last five years.” • More online students at associate’s institutions than all others combined

  3. Rapid Growth of Online Learning Definitions:% Content OnlineCourse Type 0% Traditional <30% Web enhanced 30% to <80% Blended/Hybrid > 80% Online (Allen & Seaman, 2007)

  4. Rapid Growth of Online Learning • Increasing need for effective faculty (Waiwaiole & Noonan-Terry, 2008) • Reliable and effective training is rare (Ko and Stevens, 2004) • Nature of current training varies from • No formal training • Platform based training only • Few address faculty as adult learners • Student outcomes strongly affected by quality of faculty

  5. Problems related to rapid online growth • Faculty may resist change • Faculty must adapt to new way of teaching and communicating • New skills and pedagogy needed … effective online teaching is different than traditional classroom • Lecturer becomes facilitator

  6. Teacher-centered vs. Learner-centered Style • Teacher-centered style focuses on transmission of knowledge • Learner-centered style refers to “instruction in which authority for curriculum formatting is jointly shared by learner and practitioner” (Conti, 1985). • Retention is higher when faculty focus on learners (Carr, 2000)

  7. Community College Faculty • Charged with engaging all types of learners • Faculty must have skills and knowledge to • Teach • Mentor • Engage students “Sage on the stage” does not work online; think “Guide on the side” • Professional development dollars may be scarce

  8. Community College Faculty Development Fugate & Amey (2000) found: • Typical community college faculty development includes: • faculty orientation • master teacher workshops • Brown bag sessions on teaching and learning • video conferences on learning • Typical institutional resources: • Educational technology center/department • Center/Department/Institute for Teaching and Learning

  9. Community College Faculty Development Fugate & Amey (2000) identified additional needs such as: • opportunities to update technological skills • workshops on diversity • pedagogical implications of the changing student population

  10. Community College Faculty Development • Pankowski (2004) reported: • Faculty report lack of training on pedagogy • Only 20% received training in active learning and student collaboration • More recent studies have tended to confirm these and similar issues (Haber & Mills, 2008)

  11. Community College Faculty Development • Barrett, Bower & Donovan (2007) looked at teaching styles of community college faculty • Teacher-centered focused on transmission of knowledge as in lecture • Learner-centered classes had shared participation of faculty and learners • Higher student retention in learner-centered environment.

  12. Principles of Adult Learning • Active involvement • Opportunities for dialogue • Regular feedback • Incorporation of life experiences • Relevancy • Application immediacy • Creation of a social environment

  13. The Walden University Model • Over 400 faculty employed in the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership • Faculty are addressed as adult learners through faculty development stressing • Collaboration • Mentoring • Application immediacy • Supportive environment and community • Reflective practice

  14. The Walden Model – Part One • New Faculty Orientation • A four week course • Faculty are introduced to the history, mission, values, goals and educational philosophy of Walden • Faculty participate as students as they collaborate on assignments and participate in discussions and reflective practice • A sense of community is fostered

  15. The Walden Model – Mentoring • Lead faculty member in each course • An expert in subject matter • An experienced teacher • Understands the online modality • Holds periodic phone conferences • Promotes sharing of experiences • Provides positive feedback and coaching

  16. The Walden Model – Post NFO training • A second four week course • Designed on adult learning principles • Provides opportunities for faculty to interact • Course must be successfully completed before a faculty member can serve as a doctoral committee chair • Faculty participate in teams to evaluate sample capstone papers

  17. The Walden Model – Monthly Faculty Meetings • Evening toll-free telephone meetings • Both full-time and part-time faculty participate • Attendance not required but encouraged • Faculty suggest agenda items • Goal of meetings is to foster a sense of belonging and community, to provide mentoring from experienced faculty, and to provide opportunities to collaborate

  18. The Walden Model – Monthly Newsletter • Electronic newsletter called The Q and A • Addresses FAQs sent by faculty • Responses have been very positive • Contributes to sense of community

  19. The Walden Faculty Development Model -- Summary • Through a variety of experiences, faculty development at Walden University incorporates collaboration, mentoring, application immediacy, sense of community and reflective practice. • Regardless of the course modality, the most important variable for course success is the instructor (Miller & King, 2003).

  20. Summary Each community college is unique: • Adapt Walden’s approach to your institution • Benchmark others, most folks will share if asked • Development of online faculty should be part of a total faculty development program, not stand alone • Apply Adult Learning Principles (faculty are adults too J) • Use your successful online faculty as models and mentors … focus on process, not content (Barczyk, Buckenmeyer & Feldman, 2010)

  21. References Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2007). Online nation: five years of growth in online learning. Needham, MA: Sloan Consortium Barczyk, C., Buckenmeyer, J., & Feldman, L. (2010). Mentoring professors: a model for developing quality online instructors and courses in higher education. International Journal on E-Learning, 9 (1), 7-26 Barrett, K R., Bower, B., & Donovan, N. (2007). Teaching styles of community college instructors. The American Journal of Distance Education, 21(1), 37-49. Carr, S. (2000, February 11). As distance education comes of age, the challenge is keeping the students. The Chronicle of Higher Education, XLIV (23), A39-A41. Conti, G. J., 1985. Assessing teaching style in adult education: how and why. Lifelong Learning, 8 (8), 7-11, 28

  22. References Fugate, A. L. & Amey, M. J. (2000). Career stages of community college faculty: a qualitative analysis of their career paths, roles, and development. Community College Review, 28 (1), 1-22 Haber, J. and Mills, M. (2008). Perceptions of barriers concerning effective online teaching and policies: Florida community college faculty. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 32: 266–283 Ko, S, & Rossen, S. (2004). Teaching online, a practical guide. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin

  23. References Miller, T.W., & King, F.B. (2003). Distance education: pedagogy and best practices in the new millennium. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 6(3), 283-297 Pankowski, P. (2004). Faculty training for online teaching. THE Journal, September 1, 2004. Retrieved from Waiwaiole, E. N. & Noonan-Terry, C. M. (2008). The need to equip, prepare community college faculty has never been greater. Retrieved from cache/print.php?articleId=10597

  24. For More Information… Online Education: An Essential Innovation Contact: Thank you

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