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Taking Shape: A Collaborative, Comprehensive Faculty Development Plan for Our Online/Hybrid Instructors

Karen Nichols (Xavier University of Louisiana, USA)
Anil Kukreja (Xavier University of Louisiana, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 2:45pm
HBCU Innovations (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Asia 2
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 3

Mid-course reviews and mentors are two faculty development services among many. Let's share our offerings and create a comprehensive list of support for online faculty.

Extended Abstract

Even though HBCUs lag behind the national average in the number of online courses and programs we are offering to our students (Flowers, et al., 2012), Xavier University of Louisiana, in recent years, is responding to the growing demand from students to offer online courses. A discussion and comparison of this situation on other campuses will take place before presenting Xavier's professional development for online faculty.
Xavier began the distance education initiative by researching and developing a strategic plan to ensure course quality and a positive student experience. Xavier has been growing its online and hybrid course offerings by training the faculty to develop the courses rather than use adjuncts or contract with an outside provider. At the heart of the distance education initiative is Xavier's Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT), now in its twentieth year. When it was decided to make a concerted effort to offer online and hybrid courses in 2012, CAT took stock of the existing professional development for traditional faculty and set out to shape comparable services and resources for the online faculty. Steps taken thus far to provide continuous development opportunities for Xavier's online faculty will be presented. The forms and documents as well as assessments being used will be provided over the course of the session. Attendees will be invited to participate by sharing the professional development opportunities from their institutions as well. By the end of the session, the group will have molded into shape a comprehensive list of faculty development offerings from all campuses along with a blueprint for getting started or adding to services already offered. The list will be shared with participants, posted on Xavier's CAT blog, and hopefully our newly-formed networking relationships will help to shape the future of faculty development and online learning at our HBCUs.

Lead Presenter

Karen N. Nichols is the Distance Education Coordinator at Xavier University of Louisiana. She holds a doctorate in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been involved in distance education for over twenty years at the secondary and post-secondary levels. She has developed and taught online courses in French and Spanish and has conducted numerous workshops and mentoring training sessions for online instructors on such diverse topics as accessibility, providing excellent student feedback and using avatars. She holds memberships in POD (Professional and Organizational Network of Higher Education), TAAA (Text and Academic Authors Association), Quality Matters, the Online Learning Consortium, LaCUE (Louisiana Computer-Using Educators) and the Centre Francophone des Amériques. She is part of Xavier's Center for the Advancement of Teaching, that is celebrating its Twentieth Anniversary this year with the theme of Sustainability. (http://cat.xula.edu/). In this capacity she provides workshops and professional development opportunities for Xavier's online and hybrid instructors.