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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Blended Learning Faculty Development Practices & Models in Traditional Higher Education Institutions

Liz Ciabocchi (Long Island University, USA)
Amy Ginsberg (Long Island University, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2013 - 3:00pm
Areas of Special Interest: 
Institutional Initiatives
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research Study
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Featured Session
Regency B/C
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 3
Virtual Session

The presenters will provide an overview of faculty development practices for training and/or certifying blended instructors in traditional higher education institutions.

Extended Abstract

According to Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States, 2011, published by the Babson Survey Research Group in collaboration with Sloan-C and others, 65% of the 2500+ reporting institutions stated that online learning was a critical part of their long-term strategy. Moreover, the 10% growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the < 1% growth for the overall higher education student population. Thirty-one percent of all higher education students now take at least one course online.

With this proliferation in online education, it is logical and necessary to inquire about how the faculty is being trained to teach in this medium. Going the Distance revealed that there is no single institutional training approach to online teaching, but the vast majority of institutions (94%) do have some kind of training or mentoring. The most common training approaches for faculty teaching online or blended courses are internally run training courses, followed by informal mentoring. Other approaches include formal mentoring, certification programs, and externally run training courses. Institutions of various types were far more likely to use internally vs. externally run training courses. This presentation delves into the types of internal training provided at nonprofit private and public higher education institutions offering online and blended programs in addition to face-to-face programs, and explores:

  • Whether faculty training to teach blended or online courses is optional or required and the rationale for this decision;
  • The faculty training format-- face-to-face, online or blended - and the rationale and relative advantages/disadvantages of the different approaches;
  • Who is responsible for the training, i.e., the institutional office that finances, staffs, and provides training;
  • Incentives for faculty participation in training - rationale and mode of implementation;
  • Processes for determining faculty readiness and demonstrating proficiency in online teaching

Our goals for the presentation are:

1) To provide an overview of the vast range of current faculty development practices at US institutions to prepare online and blended instructors;

2) To engage in discussion with participants about faculty development models for blended and online teaching at their institutions, and,

3) To suggest resources for creating faculty development/certification programs
in blended and online teaching at their institutions.

The presenters will discuss their findings re: faculty development practices and certification programs for blended and online teaching faculty in traditional institutions, and possible implications for similar higher education institutions. The format will include dialogue with the audience regarding certification programs and practices at their own institutions, followed by open question & answer with the audience.

Lead Presenter

In her current role, Liz provides leadership for the development and maintenance of a successful blended and online learning operation at LIU. Her responsibilities include alignment of resources to ensure quick and effective online services and support; administration of operational and capital budgets for blended and online learning; development of budgeting practices and benchmarks for blended and online program development and formulation of academic policies in compliance with relevant regulations and accreditation requirements. She participates in the development of business and financial plans for new blended and online academic programs; oversees instructional technology budgets, and works collaboratively with Marketing Services, Admissions staff, deans, and faculty to develop effective marketing strategies and coordinate marketing efforts for blended and online programs to maximize enrollments.

Liz also provides leadership and direction in identification and implementation of appropriate faculty development opportunities to promote, support, and advance excellence in teaching throughout the institution and assist faculty in deepening their knowledge of current teaching practices, exploring new teaching methods and delivery systems, and incorporating new technologies into their teaching. Through the LIU Teaching & Learning Initiative (TLI), she supervises University-wide and campus-based faculty development events including the annual 4-day Summer Teaching with Technology Institute, New Faculty Welcome & Orientation, and Brown Bag Lunch discussions on teaching and learning. In addition to oversight of Instructional Design and Academic Multimedia Support staff, Liz also chairs the LIU Joint Task Force for Online Learning and serves on a number of other University committees and task forces.

Prior to joining LIU in fall 2002, Liz served as a faculty member and an administrator at the New York College for Health Professions in Syosset, N.Y. and at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York Campus, in Manhattan. She holds an Ed.D. in Higher & Post-secondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a D.C. from New York Chiropractic College, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Scranton. She also holds a Sloan-C Online Teaching Certificate (Administrative Track) and completed the Sloan-C Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) in 2010.