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Prepare for Takeoff: Implementing Your Online Course

Eileen Stuyniski (University of Connecticut, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 1:45pm
Faculty and Professional Development & Support
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Discovery Session
Atlantic Hall
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Discovery Session 1

This discovery session shares our faculty lunchtime seminar materials and resources to help online faculty self-assess their own teaching effectiveness.

Extended Abstract

Are you looking for faculty development initiatives to help your faculty improve the facilitation of their online courses? This discovery session may be "just the ticket" for you. We will share with you how we created a two-hour lunchtime seminar that helps faculty "Prepare for Takeoff" as they get ready to implement their online course.

We use Prezi to facilitate our visual metaphor which compares teaching an online course to flying a plane. We emphasize that teaching is still teaching, but that we are flying a different type of plane needing some different considerations. For example, faculty can build the best flight plan (course design); perform all the necessary safety checks (build and review the course site); and verify that everything is designed to provide you and your passengers with a fabulous flying experience (review for quality and alignment), but that doesn't necessarily guarantee a successful flight (the learning experience). This lunchtime seminar focuses on "flying the plane" (the learning experience). Can the instructor jump in and fly the plane and the passengers (students) safely to their destination (learning). Are the instructors ready for takeoff? Can they fly the plane and land it?

By the end of the "Prepare for Takeoff: Implementing Your Online Course" lunchtime seminar, online faculty should be able to:

- assess their online teaching concerns;
- discuss the importance of strengthening and maintaining a community of inquiry during implementation;
- identify their four major roles of an online facilitator;
- discuss the shifting roles and best practices of an online facilitator during the four key time intervals of an online course;
- locate and use implementation tools and resources to best meet their personal style and needs.

Some highlights from the 2-hour "Prepare for Takeoff" lunchtime seminar include:

- resources from the Humboldt University's TIGERS Project and the Community of Inquiry Model (COI);
- ice-breaker video clip from the movie Airplane.
- physical classroom space set up like an airport. We create "gates" and group faculty in certain "gates" based on the four roles of an online facilitator (i.e. Managerial; Pedagogical; Social; Technical)
- airplane/flight image as the Prezi template background for visual metaphor
- active Google Doc displayed in the front of the classroom to reveal the "gates" ideas for their assigned roles' key considerations and tasks throughout the four time intervals (i.e. before; first week; during class; and last week). Groups present out with Google Doc.
- gates discuss "most important", "most interesting", "most helpful", and "most unexpected" key considerations and task in their report outs.
- an LMS course site for the lunchtime seminar. Faculty attending the lunchtime seminar are enrolled as students in an LMS course site titled "Prepare for Takeoff: Implementing Your Online Course" so they can access resources and links (baggage claim) from the lunchtime seminar and email other class members to continue conversations.
- paper airplanes are distributed to faculty participants with eCampus contact information.

Lead Presenter

Instructional Designer for online and blended learning