A Totally Online Comprehensive Program of Online Faculty Training and Support

Author Information
Author(s): 
Dr. Mary Jane Clerkin
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Berkeley College
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Our online faculty are busy individuals who appreciate training and support that is totally online, always available, and even instantaneous. In order to make workshops more convenient, we have, therefore, developed completely online--anywhere--anytime--beginning, advanced, and instructional design workshops. In the first beginning workshop, we present prospective new online professors with pedagogy: web-based strategies and effective practices; videos from experienced Berkeley College online faculty, the Library Director, the Director of the Academic Support Center, and the Help Desk Director; technological information; and the opportunity to try out some of the basic applications that they will use as they develop or modify their online classes. They are also sent the text Teaching Online: A Practical Guide,which is an excellent introduction to online teaching. They have the opportunity to think carefully about the best way to take their onsite effective strategies and practices and translate them to the online environment. They also have the opportunity to discuss these with other prospective online faculty in discussion. They have a good introduction to our Berkeley practices and procedures. For example, they find out that our onsite and online classes maintain the quality, integrity, and consistency of the curriculum. They use effective practices to assure the acquisition of essential information; to foster reasoning and critical thinking, collaboration, and good communication and technical skills. As in our onsite classes, our online classes should also create an environment that promotes the successful achievement of student learning outcomes. All of our newly developed totally online workshops are designed to assist faculty in doing this. In the advanced workshop, online faculty are presented with advanced teaching strategies and the additional videos of our Berkeley College online professors speaking about how they use advanced teaching strategies to enhance their online teaching. Once again, this is a workshop and all online faculty members are free to contact me or our instructional designer, whenever they have any questions, problems, or concerns. All online faculty also have the opportunity to take our instructional design workshop, and work closely with our instructional designer to apply all that they have learned, add additional material that he may suggest, and produce a truly quality online class. To continue to support our online faculty, they have access to the Berkeley College Online Faculty Resource Center. Here online faculty members attend all of their online faculty meetings with the Dean, Online. Here are posted special discussions led and moderated by online faculty on a variety of subjects of interest to them. Here they may also meet in group discussions according to discipline. They may also join in using their own voices in the Wimba Voice Discussion Board. This is a very interactive site where online faculty may share ideas and effective practices and also share their challenges as they teach online. All discussions and faculty meetings are archived in the Center so faculty may refer to them at any time. All of the practices and procedures of the College are posted in the Center. Online faculty may access the Faculty Handbook, the Checklist for Quality Courses, Berkeley’s policy on academic integrity, a letter each quarter from the Coordinator of Online Faculty Support, the calendar for each quarter. Also posted are all links to important organizations and conferences. A link to the Chronicle of Higher Education is posted daily. All of the updated directions for using the course management system, as well as the currently used software, are also listed. There are sample courses by discipline. There is even an online faculty book club. In addition to a short tutorial, Road to Success in Online Teaching, as well as the beginning, advanced, and instructional design online workshops, and The Berkeley College Online Faculty Resource Center, and the regular open labs-- the coordinator of online faculty supports and the instructional designer work with online faculty whenever they have any questions, problems, or concerns through e-mail, phone calls, WebEx and Pronto. WebEx provides the opportunity of working with online faculty while sharing a screen. Pronto is most helpful when online faculty want a quicker feedback. Wimba’s Pronto is an excellent instant message took. Not only can the coordinator and the instructional designer text in answers to questions, problems, or concerns, but the “Talk” feature works extremely well. We have had online faculty from all over the world use Pronto to “talk” to us. Although we are always available onsite, our online faculty members are busy individuals and appreciate the fact that our training support is totally online and they can access anywhere and anytime either at length or instantly.

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

Each year Berkeley College conducts an online faculty survey. All of the faculty replies for the coordinator of online faculty support, the instructional designer, the Online Faculty Resource Center received high grades.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Faculty training and support is extremely important to any Online Program. Any college or university interested in a very comprehensive program of faculty training and support would be interested in our practices. Our online faculty surveys have showed high marks for our training and support.

Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Mary Jane Clerkin
Email this contact: 
mjc@berkeleycollege.edu