Faculty Development Institute

From the New Media Consortium's 2013 'Future Of Education':

Reimagine Online Learning - The demand for online learning is challenging us to rethink what learning via the network can and should deliver -- whether the provider represents one of the world's leading universities, a for-profit provider of skills or business training, or a school system trying to meet the needs of increasingly disengaged learners. Simply delivering content is no longer enough. Students expect learning that matters; learning connected in timely ways to the real world; learning that engages their interests; and learning experiences that see them as entire persons, not just consumers of content. Online learning owes its heritage to distance learning, but in today's world, online learning is something even residential students want and expect. How to make online learning realize its full potential is a wicked problem because we are not even sure of the qeustions we need to ask so we can begin to understand what to refine, and what to improve. More experimentation, more data about every dimension of online learning, and new fresh ideas are needed to even begin to define the directions in which development should be taking place.

Faculty Development Institute

Is your department thinking about offering online classes? Or, perhaps you are thinking of converting a few of your own? While online education has been developing for over a decade, recent years has seen a substantive increase in both course offerings and available technology at institutions. Contrary to what many instructors initially suspect, there is nothing quick or easy about developing online courses and programs -- it takes a great deal of time and work to do it effectively, and establishing an online degree program really does take a village. Check out the cautionary tale above.

The Faculty Development Institute (FDI) started in 2012 as a multi-week training seminar in which faculty learn the basic principles and tools of teaching in an online environment, and the educational film above was produced to promote its launch. In recent times, it has evolved into a four-week online training session for online course design, offered to faculty each semester.  

During the course, faculty participate in an online community with fellow learners, interacting via discussion threads with each other, as well as faculty development moderators, while working through course modules and assessments. Through a variety of media, faculty are introduced to numerous tools and methodologies for online course design, all the while engaging in discussion with the community. And, while participants are no longer required to undergo Quality Matters certification, many of the core principles of QM are underscored in the FDI.

Department chairs, directors or individual faculty interested to learn more should contact the CITL at citl@radford.edu or 831-5974 to arrange a consultation. Announcements will be made via faculty email when registration opens for the FDI. Space and time is limited, and our trainers and developers are kept busy year-round so the earlier contact is made, the better.

In addition, the FDI may also be used for topics other than online instruction -- if you or your department has a specific need, give us a call and let's talk about it.