Summer 2020 Faculty Development Opportunities and Resources

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:

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.

End of Fall 2019 Updates

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

Congratulations on completing another fall semester and best wishes for your winter break.

The Faculty Hub would like to make you aware of our spring term opportunities and highlight some successful programs from fall term. Please see the Faculty Hub website to register for spring programs or email us if you have any questions.

NEW – Faculty Hub Associates – Deadline for application is January 29, 2020

The Faculty Hub announces a pilot program for faculty to share their areas of expertise related to enhancing excellence in faculty teaching and/or scholarship and creative works. Please see the attached call for applications for the new Faculty Hub Associates program. Questions may be directed to Linda Boland, Director of the Faculty Hub.

Sign up now for Faculty Hub events in January

On January 9, the Faculty Hub welcomes Michael Palmer, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Virginia, for a workshop on learner-centered syllabi. Registration is required for Creating Syllabi for Courses You’ll Love to Teach and Your Students Will Love to Take. Please join your colleagues for post-new year coffee, tea, and bagels at 9:00 a.m. plus a chance to make a significant change to your teaching in just two hours (9:30-11:30 a.m.). We hope you will join us!

From January-March, we are running a Faculty Hub Book Group to explore how intentional utilization of technology can help students achieve course learning objectives. Two discussion groups are being formed, and we still have some openings in the breakfast group. Please sign up on our events page, and we will send you our guide book Intentional Tech (Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt University).

Other spring term events

The Faculty Hub Talks program got off to a great start in the fall term with two sessions led by Nicole Maurantonio and Doron Samuel-Siegel. In the spring term, we welcome David Wilkins, Chris von Rueden, Corey D. B. Walker, and Rana Dajani. Hub Talks start at 12:12 p.m. with an 18-minute presentation followed by a discussion that outlasts the duration of the talk! Faculty are finding these to be a useful form of community-building and engagement across disciplines. Please register here. We offer lunch, so you can visit, eat, and learn — all in one hour!

We are planning ahead for a faculty professional development event on Wednesday, May 6. We have invited Claire Howell Major, a frequent speaker at faculty development conferences and author of many books on pedagogy. She will be working with us on approaches to active learning and engaging our students — all faculty will find this useful. We are working out the details and registration will be available soon.

NEW – We are working on a concept for a pre-summer Faculty Hub Institute beginning on the Tuesday after Commencement, just before the time period when many faculty re-focus on summer scholarship or creative works. We are brainstorming about short, intense (2-2.5 day) learning experiences that will have immediate impact on faculty scholarship and/or teaching. This year’s focus is Data Visualization Using Tableau. Our approach will be a cross-disciplinary experience to help faculty develop new skills to make data presentations more dynamic, engaging, clear, and interpretable. Likewise, this in-house institute will help establish a community of faculty learners. We aim to rotate the Hub Institute topics annually and may be able to offer a small stipend for participation. Would this type of learning experience benefit your work? Please share your thoughts with Technology Consultant Andrew Bell. Our planning process depends on your input.

Highlights from the fall semester 2019:

  • We ran our first Teaching Squares program to facilitate peer observation and self-reflection about effective teaching across disciplines. Early feedback has been positive, and a January gathering of this cohort will help share the value of faculty participation in the program.
  • We initiated an Early Career Faculty Seminar program; the inaugural cohort focused on inclusive pedagogy in the fall term. We will continue our work together this spring with a focus on small-scale changes to enhance teaching and student learning. All early career faculty are invited to join us. Please contact Linda Boland if you are interested.
  • Other successes this fall included several inclusive pedagogy trainings, one-on-one academic technology consultations, development of video training modules, planning for upcoming space renovations for the new Faculty Hub in Boatwright Library, and other behind-the-scenes development of procedures and plans within the Hub. We are excited to continue to expand and improve programming and opportunities to help faculty grow in their professional development.
  • We developed a Faculty Hub statement about confidentiality with respect to individual faculty consultations; please see our website for details.

The Faculty Hub initiated its work in the fall term of 2019 with the goals of fostering excellence in teaching, cultivating cross-disciplinary interactions for scholarly exchange, and promoting professional development for faculty at all career stages. We encourage faculty to contact us if you have ideas and needs that we might help service, or if we can connect you to campus partners who may also be able to assist you.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season from the Faculty Hub!