2. (38) Instructors are prepared to teach online education courses and the institution ensures faculty receive training, assistance, and support at all times during the development and delivery of courses.
Not Observed Insufficient Moderate Use Meets Criterion Completely
SLIS faculty preparation and support begins very soon after hiring and continues through each subsequent semester.
When faculty members begin to prepare their first course, they must complete the Teaching Online course, an online course taught by our Assistant Director for Distance Learning. They study technical and pedagogical topics and begin to develop their course site with close supervision and guidance. The Teaching Online course consists of eight units, which cover the technology instructors will use, as well as the pedagogy of teaching online. New faculty members also participate in at least one web conference session associated with the class to discuss possible uses of this synchronous communication platform
To manage curricular review and promote consistency among instructors who teach the same elective course, we use a course-cluster method of coordination and supervision. Each course cluster encompasses a group of related courses under the leadership of three to five full-time faculty members with expertise in these areas. Course Cluster Coordinators review the electives in their cluster as part of our curriculum review process, checking on currency, Student Learning Outcomes, and assignments. With this approach, at least one full-time faculty member is connected to every class offered by SLIS. Full-time faculty who are part of a course cluster also work with part-time faculty on an individual basis, assisting them with their course design and answering questions.
To view the course clusters and associated full-time faculty leads, as well as a list of all courses in each cluster, view this interactive web page.
SLIS provides generous support for use of the D2L learning management system. The School has its own D2L administrator and additional staff to support faculty use of the LMS. Support features include:
- SLIS Technical Support Form (responses are handled within 24 hours, often much more quickly)
- SLIS D2L tutorials for instructors (login with username: d2l and password: teaching)
- D2L student assistants to help every faculty member with all aspects of their course site development and functioning
Each semester, all faculty members who are teaching are enrolled in a faculty course site in Desire2Learn, the learning management system. This site contains information needed for all aspects of teaching an online course and functions as an important communication hub for current news, questions, and reminders. The Associate Director sends emails at key points of the semester with instructions about what needs to be done. The online faculty handbook provides reference material to guide faculty members through a broad range of topics related to their online teaching. See the Faculty Handbook.
Once each year, faculty members are invited to attend the two-day Faculty Institute in San Jose. The School covers travel and lodging expenses associated with this event. The Institute focuses on pedagogic and technology topics associated with online teaching.
Faculty members are encouraged to email or IM additional questions to school administrators for individual assistance. The Associate Director and the Assistant Director for Distance Learning answer questions about administrative policies, individual student situations, and strategies for carrying out course objectives. The Student Services Coordinator handles administrative questions such as those related to adds, drops, and withdrawals.