Preparing Faculty to Teach Online

Ana LopezThe eCert program at Pasco-Hernando State College is a 10-week, 30 contact hour program for faculty to be certified to teach online courses. The certification is good for 3 years, and there is a recertification program that is a smaller program. The recertification focuses on tools rather than pedagogy.Ana is willing to give the course content export file for any organization looking to implement a certification course at their location. There is an Open-Canvas site to give you a student perspective of the course.https://my.phsc.edu/courses/1283913Here is a picture I took of the structure of the 10-week program.https://twitter.com/evinsmj/status/833767518108020737There are some key assignments in the program

  • Demonstration of skills
  • Mentor experience
  • Synchronous session
  • Meet with a designer

The last step, meet with a designer, is only required if the instructor is going to be teaching an online course. I’m not sure why, but it seems like everyone going through this program would be teaching an online course. However, they have a requirement that anyone looking to receive a continuing contract is required to take the program. That’s an interesting requirement, especially if the faculty has no interest in teaching online.The activities that the instructors are completing are all done in a sandbox environment. Every instructor has a sandbox environment that allows them to reorder navigation menus, etc. That certainly makes it easier for people to get used to their own environment; however, I’m sure that it’s added work for the instructional designers to go into each sandbox site to check off that instructors completed the assignments.One of the things that they do during weeks 4-6, they offer a number of synchronous sessions. The instructors are required to attend 1 of the sessions. During this session, the IDs showcase tools and a model course. Week 7 is focused on UDL. In this week, instructors are told to record a 30-60 second video of themselves and then have to caption the video manually. It helps emphasize the importance of captioning. They also cover how to create accessible headings in Canvas.Overall, this is a great way of teaching faculty how to teach online. If I had people developing and teaching online classes, this certification program would be incredibly helpful. I may get a copy of the open course to hang onto in case I ever need it.I almost missed this session, but I’m really glad I didn’t. While the content isn’t applicable to me now (since I don’t teach faculty how to teach online), it’s always good to see how people structure Canvas sites, use Canvas Commons, etc.

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