People often ask me how did you do it – train 5,000 online faculty? We did it one instructor at a time. Every new online instructor has legitimate questions and concerns. They need to feel/be heard. If they don’t they will not move forward in their development as online faculty. Give them the opportunity to feel heard. I have an online all faculty conference where ALL new instructors meet in the role of students in an online course and the first discussion centers around letting them feel heard about what concerns them most about online teaching and learning. You need to build trust and build on the success of individuals. So, showcase and celebrate individuals. Let them and their courses speak for the effectiveness of your support.
In terms of Faculty Development “workshops”…
- Provide food.
- Give them little gifts, like thumb drives, mouse pads, t-shirts, note pads, pens, that recognize their accomplishments, time, etc.
- Give them handouts, manuals, materials, resources, checklists, links to these things if you don’t want to kill trees.
- Give them the opportunity to talk and share what they know and experience.
- Use exemplar faculty to lead workshops instead of you.
- Provide examples and courses for observation, and experienced faculty mentors, so faculty can see and hear for them selves what online courses and faculty look like.
- Provide student perspectives.
- If you don’t teach online, you need to, so that you can be a “peer” instructor.
- Set up roundtables where experienced online faculty are recognized and given the opportunity to share their “best practices” with new online faculty.
- Set up roundtables where experienced online faculty can talk about what worked and what can be improved in the delivery and design of their online courses.
- Provide certificates of accomplishment for going through all your trainings.
- Consider using badges to recognized faculty achievements.
- Provide a variety of options in terms of deliver: online, f2f, webinar, handouts/self-paced, one on one, peer mentoring, just in time, video/screen casts, etc.