By Lexi Schlosser, Faculty Developer of Online Learning
Exciting New Changes
For nearly twenty years, the OTL has been well known for its supportive, innovative, and responsive short courses for faculty development, like the Teaching Online Short Course and Teaching Online Advanced Practice. With over 500 faculty participating in these courses, a team in the OTL decided it was time to give these courses a refresh. Through faculty reflections and feedback, we are hearing that faculty want opportunities to engage more deeply with specific online teaching and learning topics, like building community online and digital accessibility. One faculty anonymously shared, “I love these short courses and wish there were more!” Another highlighted, “There is so much to cover with each of these topics! I think each module could be a standalone course. I would like a deeper dive into each topic.” Thus, our new short course model was born.
First, let’s outline our definition of short courses to eliminate any confusion. Short Courses in the OTL are typically two-week-long, fully asynchronous courses hosted in Canvas. This bite-sized design will help faculty focus on specific topics that align with their teaching goals. Faculty from all ranks, titles, and disciplines are invited to participate. Typically, there is a small stipend available upon completion.
OTL Short Course Catalog
This new short course model will include more consistency, transparency, flexibility, and opportunity for deeper learning. Faculty participants will have the opportunity to enroll in courses that align with their personal and professional goals. This design will also help faculty focus on very specific teaching and learning topics. For instance, our new Designing for Online Short Course will walk faculty through the backwards course design process beginning with one specific learning outcome and following it through to designing assessments and other learning activities. Our new Facilitating Online Courses Short Course will introduce scholarship related to instructor presence and providing effective feedback online. Each course allows faculty to create learning materials and activities directly applicable to their teaching practice.
For this new model, each course will be facilitated asynchronously over two-week periods, with potential opportunities to engage face-to-face or synchronously online. We are anticipating that the courses will be offered twice a year, once in the summer and once throughout the academic year, although scheduling will be dependent on participation and funding. The courses will continue to be offered across disciplines, allowing faculty connections across campus to continue to grow. Depending on interest and availability we are also willing to offer department specific cohorts as well. There is no required sequence for enrolling and completing the short courses. However, our staff of Faculty Developers and Instructional Designers can offer recommended pathways based on interest and experiences with online learning principles. Consider these opportunities as a way to choose your own adventure!
The image below shows a glimpse into the catalog. You can browse through each short course listed in the table of contents to the left. Within each course, you can find valuable information to help you determine if the course is right for you, including target audience, learning outcomes, deliverables, and more.
Introducing the Teaching and Learning Online (TLO) Micro-Credential Badge Program
The new short courses can be combined with additional programs to earn a digital badge. In addition to new and improved short courses, we are excited to pilot a new micro-credentialling program called Teaching and Learning Online (TLO)! The TLO program will allow participants to complete a set of criteria to earn digital badges. For the Foundational Badge, participants will select two short courses from our catalog to earn their badge. Digital badges allow earners to showcase skills, competencies, or achievements gained directly from their learning experiences. Interested in learning more about this program and/or joining the Summer 2023 Pilot Cohort? Email Lexi.Schlosser@du.edu or OTL@du.edu for more information. Or visit the TLO webpage, which outlines the skills, earning criteria, application, and FAQs.