We are reviewing our online learning policies and are looking to see what everyone is doing SUNY wide.
The two main issues seem to be training for all online instructors and course reviews every few years.
Do you have mandatory training for all online instructors? Is this incentivised through course release or stipends? Or is the flexibility of teaching online the incentive?
And how often do you peer review online courses? Are your faculty peer reviewers incentivised in any way?
Another way to ask this question, is how do you ensure and enforce a high standard of course design and delivery in your online courses?
At Binghamton, we do not have mandatory training for all online instructors. Courses have no mandatory reviewing for quality by anyone. One of our colleges does require that online instructors go through three 2-hour long sessions, but currently they do that on their own without the Center for Learning and Teaching's involvement. There are no course reviews as part of this program. We will be taking that over in the near future.
We do have a certification program that we ran for the first time in the spring for around 65 faculty and graduate student instructors. It is a multi-step process that we are revising for next spring. Last spring, they had a day of Blackboard Training, a day of online course development with a pedagogy focus, meetings with their assigned ID, course design review with OSCQR, and course content review with a department chair (or faculty member for graduate students), and a final two-hour long community of practice meeting. We are working making the two day-long events online. We are also working on making it so their courses have to meet some sort of quality standard. We wrongfully assumed that when we used the OSCQR rubric and gave suggestions on how to improve courses, instructors would implement the suggestions that we made. This did not happen in all cases. Several instructors simply just attended the workshops and meetings but made no actual changes to their courses or applied anything they learned in the workshops to their course design. Obviously, this is a problem, and we are working on the solution.
Completion was incentivized with a stipend.
Hi Andrea, you wee the first one to reply to me, but i just took the time to read and digest your reply.
I really like the idea of a two day event. Everyone is there, and the work gets done. I developed an online self-paced course, but it could take a month of someone took their time. I like your 2 day idea better. Even online, a two day event, with mixed, synchronous and asynchrounous activities could work really well. This way the instructor sets aside two full days, and most of the work is done.
I think its great that you have 65 instructors show up. would you mind telling me what kind of stipend they recieved? you can private message me if you prefer. Most course development stipend i am seeing are around 1,000$. I can see smoke coming out of my (most) provost's ears if i asked him to cut a check for 65,000$ for a two day evet.
Sorry so late to respond. Did not check back.
Faculty get $1,000, grad students get $500.
Great question, Ian. I hope others give their answers. I know Herkimer pays a small stipend for course review, and I'm pretty sure Finger Lakes does as well. It goes a long way to ensuring quality, but I know not every institution has the budget for that sort of thing. I'm curious to hear what others are doing.
one person I spoke with had a good point, that stipends might invite the wrong kind of online teacher.
Maybe.... I like to get paid when I do work. I don't think too many people will choose to participate because they are getting a few hundred extra dollars. And if a better course is the end result, is that money well spent? You might be right...I'm just thinking....
I got a ton of replies on the FACT2 elist. If you did not see them I will send them to you, let me know.
I'm not on that elist....I would be interested in seeing the replies.
At NCCC we have a voluntary peer review process. Due to faculty contracts we can’t make this mandatory. What we are trying to do is make sure a faculty member has a course go through the peer review before they develop a new online/hybrid course. We use a slightly modified version of the OSCQR rubric for our peer review process. This process is fairly new (approx.. 5 years) at NCCC but I am finding that if a faculty member has gone through this process in the past they are starting to come back to go through the process a second time.
As for mandatory training we do require that every “New” online/hybrid instructor go through some form of training. In the past it was the 3 two-hour session through SLN. Last semester we used the N2OL from Open SUNY and at times we used a course offered through Magna Commons.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions please let me know.