First HRER On line Faculty Development Workshop
On Sunday, June 22, twenty five of our on line instructors got together at the Atherton Hotel in town to discuss on line teaching techniques. Instructors from both our undergraduate and graduate programs attended, with many traveling long distances (California, Florida and even Denmark!) to attend. This was the first of what we hope will be an annual faculty workshop where our faculty can learn some new teaching techniques, exchange best practices and just have the opportunity to "talk shop" with other members of our geographically diverse teaching staff.
After opening comments from the staff covering areas like student advising and our efforts to assist students from the now closed National Labor College, the sessions began with talks on basic learning principles and on line instructional techniques from Dr. Angela Linse, Director of the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence and Dr. Larry Boggess, the World Campus Director of Faculty Development. Both were warmly received. They were followed by Dr. Brian Redmond of the PSU Psychology Department, an on line instructor with significant experience. who gave the group a basic tutorial on producing personal You Tube videos for our online classes. We believe that can add a more personal touch to the on line learning environment.
The afternoon sessions featured group discussions on key areas of concern such as feedback techniques and grading practices, followed by an examination of best practices for team and group assignments. There were a number of productive thoughts raised that will be distributed to the rest of the online faculty.
The faculty sessions were then followed in early evening by a reception and welcoming dinner involving students coming in for our summer "hybrid" courses' one week residential sessions. Preliminary feedback on the faculty development workshop has been overwhelmingly positive and our hopes are to do an even bigger and better session next summer.