Summer 2020 Faculty Development Opportunities and Resources

Updated on June 3, 2020

SPCS Hybrid/Online Teaching Professional Development Course

A three-week, asynchronous faculty development course designed to support online and hybrid teaching. Beginning with the end in mind, faculty will review the course development process, focusing on desired learning outcomes. Teaching best practices will be considered, emphasizing the creation of an active and engaging learning community.

Topics will include: eLearning Theory, Diversified Instruction, Leveraging Blackboard Tools, Assessments and Rubrics, Student Engagement (Discussions, Asynchronous and Synchronous Lectures, Zoom, Feedback), and more

Course Dates: The June and July cohorts have filled, but they may be able to accommodate a few additional participants upon request.

Time Commitment: Approximately 3.5 hours per week to complete activities.

Cohort Size: 25

Questions? Email John Zinn.


Effective Online and Hybrid Teaching

In three linked sessions, this short course will engage instructors in topics important to student and faculty success with online and flexible courses. This course is a collaboration between the Faculty Hub with Dr. Claire Major. Claire Major is a Professor of Higher Education at The University of Alabama. Her teaching and research interests center on instructional approaches and instructional technology. She has authored or co-authored ten books including Interactive Lecturing, Learning Assessment Techniques, Collaborative Learning Techniques, Student Engagement Techniques, and Online Learning: A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice.

Session 1. Creating an Engaging Course: Strategies for Online and Flexible Course Design

Online and blended courses can provide students with an inviting and engaging learning environment. In this session, participants will learn about practical strategies for designing dynamic online and LMS-supported classes.

Session 2. Learning Together While Apart: Tips for Creating Community Online

Research shows that one of the greatest challenges for students in online environments is the feeling of isolation. Establishing connections with others is key to student success and learning. Participants in this session will learn about strategies for creating community in online and blended courses.

Session 3. Assessment for Learning: Techniques for Promoting Student Learning Through Assessment in Online and Blended Courses

Finding a good balance between low stakes and high stakes assessments can be a challenge in any course, including those that are blended or online. In this session, participants will consider a range of options for assessing student knowledge and skills that simultaneously improve student learning.

Course dates: June 15, 16, 18 (M, T, Th) from 10-11 a.m. (Note: This course is full, but we have added an additional course on June 22, 23, and 25 from 10-11 a.m., with unlimited enrollment.)

Time Commitment:  This is a fully synchronous course in Zoom (one hour per session) with activities and breakout sessions. There will be a short reading and homework due for each session (less than one hour of homework per session). Full participation in all three synchronous sessions will produce the greatest learning gains.

Registration: Registration is now open for the June 22, 23, and 25 sessions: https://urfacultyhub.corsizio.com/c/5ed66383b626a66a1ea36afd.

Questions? Email the Faculty Hub.


Professional Development in Responsive and Flexible Teaching

A three-week online course with synchronous components and the option of participating fully asynchronously. The course will mimic a highly flexible course delivery where faculty experience this from a student’s perspective. This online course will be led by the Faculty Hub and will include sessions with one or more online learning experts.

This course is under development. Anticipated learning goals are:

  • To familiarize faculty with good practices in backward course design for online and highly flexible teaching
  • To introduce faculty to approaches for establishing and maintaining an online learning community
  • To help faculty consider options for assessments in online and highly flexible learning environments
  • To help faculty develop pedagogically sound approaches to synchronous and asynchronous discussion
  • To help faculty develop strategies to address the special challenges of starting a class remotely/online and/or having some of the students face-to-face and others participating asynchronously

Course dates: This will run for three consecutive weeks in July. Specific dates are TBD, we expect to begin on July 6 or July 13.

Time Commitment: Modules will include up to five hours of homework each week including a requirement to participate in discussion in one of several formats.

Cohort size: 25

Registration: Information will be communicated from the Faculty Hub by June 17. Based on interest, a waitlist will be created and the course may be offered again beginning the latter half of July.

Note: The asynchronous components of this course will also be made available as single-use learning sessions for faculty development.

Questions? Email the Faculty Hub.


Additional Offerings from the Faculty Hub in June and/or July – Dates TBD

The Digital Whiteboard: Strategies and Tools for Teaching Equation and Diagram Intensive Courses Online

Workshop participants will:

  • Discuss challenges and opportunities associated with teaching equation- or diagram-based courses online
  • Identify the essential components of a course that require a new tool or approach.
  • Learn tools and workflows that take advantage of a digital whiteboard to optimize these essential components.
  • Develop a new digital whiteboard workflow and receive feedback on that plan within breakout groups
  • Receive tip sheets for all the tools and workflows that we cover during the workshop and an opportunity to join a Slack workspace to share ideas over the course of the coming academic year.

Questions? Email Andrew Bell.

Ready When You Are: Engaging Learners Through Asynchronous Discussion 

Whether utilized within online, hybrid, or face-to-face learning contexts, asynchronous discussions provide opportunities for individual reflection, deep engagement with course content, and collaborative learning. In this workshop, we will consider how discussions can be designed to facilitate three types of online interaction: student-to-self, student-to-content, and student-to-student. After participating in this session, participants will be able to:

  • Design an effective asynchronous discussion assignment
  • Identify and select tools that meet their learning objectives
  • Implement appropriate facilitation and assessment strategies

Questions? Email Ryan Brazell.


Additional Professional Development Opportunities

The Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) will be hosting workshops and working groups to help instructors prepare for teaching in (1) hybrid courses with some remote/online components, (2) fully remote/online courses, and (3) socially distanced face-to-face courses. Some topics are relevant to many disciplines (such as incorporating writing, asynchronous discussion approaches, whiteboard animation), others are relevant to specific disciplines (such as languages, performing arts, science labs, music). All resources will be made available for use by members of the consortium.

ACS faculty and faculty development centers are creating these workshops for delivery in June and July. The sessions will be synchronous, using Zoom, and will include a deliverable/product for participating faculty. We hope to have an initial schedule available in early June.

Questions? Email the Faculty Hub.


Online discussions via a Faculty Hub-hosted Remote Teaching Workspace

Throughout the year, the Faculty Hub will be sharing information via our Slack workspace called Remote Teaching. We encourage faculty and support staff to share resources and seek support via the many different channels within the workspace. If you want to join this workspace, please click here.


Recommended Additional Readings/Activities


1 on 1 Faculty Hub Consultations

The Faculty Hub offers 1-1 support for discussions about pedagogy, including identifying appropriate strategies and tools to help faculty meet their specific pedagogical goals. To schedule a consultation, email the Faculty Hub.

Please note that technical training for Blackboard, Panopto, Zoom and other university-supported software is done by Information Services.  If you need technical support, the HelpDesk is one way to initiate this or click on the button for SpiderTechNet to get started learning about technological tools and software needed for working remotely.

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