“It appears to be moving from the early adopters to the mainstream,” said Rebecca Griffiths, a senior researcher in SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning. “It’s not just the adjuncts who may not have a choice anymore.”
More Teachers – Teaching Online
42% of instructors are now teaching at least 1 online course according to the Inside Higher Ed‘s 2017 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology.
In addition, “increasing experience may be among the factors driving growing confidence in online learning”, in that as faculty begin to have experience teaching at a distance, their experience helps to shape their perspectives as to what is possible and what the benefits of online learning provides students.
Online Enrollment Growth at GVSU
For the Fall 2017 semester, GVSU offered over 300 online/hybrid courses, representing a one-year increase of 17% (from Fall 2016). Additionally, there has been a 78% increase in online enrollment since 2013. In fact, 17% of all students at GVSU are taking at least 1 online or hybrid course, with 12% of all classes now being offered via distance education. Additionally, in Fall 2017 courses, 173 faculty members taught the 5,318 students enrolled (4,180 unduplicated).
This growth of online and hybrid enrollment, along with university’s 2021 Strategic Plan objectives 3.D.2 and 3.D.3, which provide a goal of 30% of courses offered in innovative format underscores the importance of support for faculty in the design and delivery of distance education courses. The instructional designers as part of IDeL in eLearning provide support that includes facilitating the Foundations training, along with additional ongoing support for course design and development for all faculty teaching in these programs.
Foundations of Online and Hybrid Course Development and Delivery at GVSU
The Foundations of Online Hybrid Course Development and Delivery training is an intensive workshop offered at least 2-times each semester (6-times/year). Foundations involves significant preparation and set-up for each session. It is offered in Blackboard as either a 2-week hybrid course (meeting in-seat twice) or a 4-week fully online course.
There is a high response rate to join Foundations and faculty actively participate. The university has a total of 774 faculty members who are certified to teach online and hybrid courses, of which 227 most recently completed the required Foundations training this previous year.
According to the survey: “A strong majority of those who have taught online, 71 percent, say doing so has helped them develop skills and practices that have improved their teaching both online and in person.
More than seven in 10 say online teaching has enabled them to think more critically about how to engage students with content, better use multimedia content and better use the learning management system. Roughly half say they are more comfortable using active learning and project-based learning techniques and better at communicating with students outside class.”
Indeed, the experience of faculty attending Foundations often provides skills, pedagogies, and practices that can be applied to traditional classes. The IDeL team provides support to faculty in the creation of online and hybrid courses and the adoption of technologies to enhance pedagogy.
Enter OER – Open Educational Resources
A campus wide initiative led by the library and supported by eLearning and Emerging Technologies, OER is gaining momentum.
In fact, according to the survey: “More than nine in 10 faculty members and digital learning leaders say textbooks are priced too high. The vast majority of both groups also say instructors should significantly consider price when assigning course readings and should assign more open educational resources.”
And further: “Faculty respondents overwhelmingly (93 percent) said they believed that course materials were too expensive, that instructors should make price a “significant concern” when assigning course readings (82 percent), and that professors should assign more free open educational resources (90 percent).
Join an Online and Hybrid Faculty Learning Community
Get engaged, get plugged into everything online and hybrid! The Faculty Teaching and Learning Center provides “Faculty Learning Communities” (FLCs) to bring faculty together to foster a 1-2 semester-long conversations on a topic of mutual interest and to encourage an application of the knowledge gained.
The eLearning team supports Online & Hybrid Faculty Learning Communities through facilitation by IDeL with the purpose of engaging faculty in a variety of innovative teaching practices and topics to enhance teaching and improve student success.
eLearning and Emerging Technologies – We’re Here for You!
The mission of eLearning and Emerging Technologies is to support faculty, contribute to teaching excellence, and to enhance student success through:
- Exemplary Instructional Design – IDeL
- Effective Application of Instructional Technologies – Teaching with Technology
- Learning Management System Enhancement – Blackboard
- Interactive Digital Media Development – Digital Studio
- Innovative Emerging Technologies – Technology Showcase
According to the article: “A majority of instructors, though, say their institutions provide adequate technical support for developing and teaching online courses.”
Further, a “solid majority, 62 percent, strongly agree (29 percent) or agree (33 percent) with the statement “I fully support the increased use of educational technologies.” Just 8 percent disagree or strongly disagree.”
In short, the eLearning team is here to support YOU as a faculty member in your use of technology to generate new possibilities in teaching and learning.
What about you? How can we advance student success through technologies while providing flexible learning options to meet students’ needs, while ensuring quality? How can eLearning and Emerging Technologies better support YOU as a faculty member here at GVSU?