This ten-week online course exposes VCU faculty to best practices in both course design and online instruction, as well as introducing faculty to a variety of technology that fosters engagement, such as VoiceThread, FlipGrid and Google tools. Faculty revise or create new learning objectives, create a course rationale and welcome video, design assessments and engagement activities for their own courses, explore who their students are and the challenges they face, and submit a complete course grid for their own online course. Faculty that successfully complete the course receive a certificate from VCU's Academic Learning Transformation Lab.
This four-day, asynchronous online course on best practices for managing and instructing an online course was designed for faculty teaching online courses that are already designed and built for them. I emphasized strategies for successful feedback, engagement and instructor presence. Versions of the course can be tailored for specific department needs.
This five-week online course exposed Loyola faculty to best practices in course design, online instruction strategies, and the use of a variety of learning technology. Faculty walked away with more confidence teaching online, a renewed sense of community with colleagues, and actual materials to use in their own online courses, such as revised or new learning objectives, orientation videos, course templates, and a completed course grid. I instructed multiple sections of the course over the span of a year, ushering more than 150 Loyola faculty through the course successfully.
Strong learning objectives or outcomes provide the learner with specific goals. Objectives should be written from the learner's perspective and rely on performative and measureable terms. In this video, produced with the help of ALT Lab's Media Team, I explain how learning objectives can be written or revised to be more effective. This video is part of a lesson on writing learning objectives that's in a faculty development course at VCU.
Faculty aren't the only ones that can have misconceptions about online courses. Sometimes our students assume online courses are easier and can quickly find themselves overwhelmed once the semester has progressed. Online courses can be more convenient but that doesn't mean they're easier. Compared to traditional, face-to-face courses, students need to rely on some different organizational and communication strategies in order to succeed.