Every once in a while, we have to tackle something outside of our comfort zone. Whether that something is running a marathon or teaching an online course after years of in-person instruction, everyone goes through moments of discomfort.
Katherine Dowdell, an instructor with over 20-years of in-person classroom experience, was thrown into an uncomfortable situation. Asked to teach an online-course at Des Moines Area Community College, Katherine was at first unsure if her students were “getting it,” or how she was coming across. After plenty of trial and error, and now with seven years of online teaching under her belt, Katherine is an expert. She even coaches colleagues on how to succeed in an online classroom! (Especially important since 58% of faculty said that the growth of online education made them more fearful than excited!)
Take a chance; don’t worry about what could go wrong.
So often, we worry about what could go wrong when trying new methods at reaching our students. Problem is, our students have changed. No longer can we stand in front of the classroom and lecture for 50 minutes. No longer can we simply upload a slide deck and expect our students to simply ingest the information. They want to be engaged and part of the learning process.
Ever wish you could get a pulse on how new technology will actually affect you before you adopt it? Well, here’s your chance! Chris Bray, Blackboard Administrator for University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, was a part of the beta program to test and provide feedback on the latest release of our flagship LMS, Blackboard Learn. Through the beta, Chris had hands-on experience with testing the upgrade process on his local test server and playing with new features, such as the content editor (formerly known as the VTBE), before the official release of Blackboard Learn Service Pack 10 a week ago today.
Maybe you’re interested in upgrading to the newest release of Blackboard Learn and looking for some answers as to what your institution should expect. Or, maybe you’re a fan of Chris’ blog or you follow him on twitter @zenandjuice. Either way, we hope this Tweet Chat will give you the opportunity to ask a few questions of a peer. Or get you one step closer to understanding Blackboard’s clients have influenced the future of technology.
The Ripple Effect
At Blackboard World this year, I spoke with training professionals from institutions around the world. One of the biggest challenges shared by all: getting faculty engaged in—and of course, completing— training.
I heard the frustration from instructional designers and professional trainers about how they invest significant time in designing training to increase instructors’ proficiency with developing online and hybrid courses. And yet, despite these “free” internal resources, some instructors simply don’t take advantage of them, and others may never complete the courses they do start.
We all know instructors’ ability to create engaging and exemplary online/hybrid courses is critical to the success of an online learning program. As the demand for online courses grows, whether by virtue of being part of your institution’s growth strategy, or due to increased learner demand, faculty must be ready and able to make the shift. The effects of poorly executed online sections can have a ripple effect—from impacting the academic success of students (and ultimately, retention) to influencing an institution’s brand reputation as a result of “poor reviews” via social media outlets.
Never has faculty adoption and proficiency with online learning been more critical.
Today we announce the launch of a new MOOC powered by the CourseSites Open Course Series, Designing an Exemplary Course.
If you’re not familiar with the term MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), read on to learn how the latest (free) trend in Professional Development can impact your classroom instantly.
The newest addition to the CourseSites Open Course Series centers around the Exemplary Course Program (ECP) Rubric, which is a useful guide created by distinguished educators and instructional designers that will empower you to improve your online teaching experience. Whether you are just getting started or are an advanced online educator, this course will provide you with a framework to help identify and disseminate best practices for designing engaging online courses. But you will not be alone in your journey!