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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

Making an imPACT on Faculty Training and Development

Matthew Otremba (Rasmussen College, USA)
Session Information
October 15, 2015 - 9:15am
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Theory/Conceptual Framework
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Northern Hemisphere C
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 5

Rasmussen College developed a faculty training framework called P.A.C.T. (which stands for Presence, Alertness, Caring, and Timeliness) based on best practices that improve student outcomes.

Extended Abstract

Over the past year, Rasmussen College has centered its faculty development efforts on the theme of "Fostering Presence: The Human Element in a Digital World." As the college continues to grow its online course offerings and students continue to request online courses in high numbers, there is a need to ensure that the human element is front and center in this modality. While online learning has proven to be as effective as or even more effective than residential learning (Jaschik, 2009), online student retention at Rasmussen and across higher education lags behind residential students, and the human element and fostering presence has been shown to be an effective means toward improving online retention and academic outcomes (Kowlowich 2010). When it comes to fostering presence in online learning modalities, utilization of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework has proven to be particularly effective at improving student outcomes (Joo, Lim, & Kim, 2011; Boston et al., 2009). Initially, Rasmussen made the CoI framework a major component of faculty development connected to its human element theme. However, in March of 2015, Rasmussen developed its own framework (one that incorporates CoI) for promoting attitudes, behaviors, and skills that research suggest lead to student persistence and success. This framework is called P.A.C.T, and the acronym stands for Presence, Alertness (to warning signs), Caring, and Timeliness.

A faculty training guide was developed around the P.A.C.T framework. This online guide consists of an overview of pertinent research supporting P.A.C.T, as well as twenty-two faculty-made videos or VoiceThreads describing examples of these best practices. Additionally, game-based and social collaboration tools were used to engage and motivate faculty, along with badging. To date, over 670 faculty and staff have completed this training, and over 98% of those who completed the training agreed that the guide was useful and engaging (and of those over 86% strongly or very strongly agreed). This session will outline the P.A.C.T. framework and prominent literature supporting it. Furthermore, a virtual tour of the P.A.C.T training guide will be provided, and design principles for the guide and faculty motivational strategies will be discussed.

Works Cited:

Boston, W., Diaz, S., Gibson, A., Ice, P., Richardson, J., & Swan, K. (2009). An exploration of the relationship between indicators of the community of inquiry framework and retention in online programs. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(3), 67-83.

Jaschik, S. (June 29, 2009). The Evidence on Online Education. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/29/online

Joo, Y., Lim, K., & Kim, E. (2011). Online university students' satisfaction and persistence: Examining perceived level of presence, usefulness and ease of use as predictors in a structural model. Computers & Education, 57 (2), 1654-1664.

Kolowich, S. (March 29, 2010). The Human Element. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/03/29/lms