Leslie A CORDIE, Auburn University, US
For colleges and universities across the world, the main response to the pandemic has been to shift learning to fully online environments, yet many faculty were not prepared to teach online or with a blended learning modality (Brooks and Grajek, 2020). In this article, we describe the use of an experiential learning model (Kolb, 1984) to aid development of faculty online skills. This challenge was prompted by a collaborative discussion between administrative faculty at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC), West Indies and a member of the Adult Education Program at Auburn University (AU), USA. Recent global events have accelerated the need to provide CFBC faculty with suitable paths for enhanced development of their web-enhanced or online learning knowledge base. In this regard, CFBC is taking the initiative to provide a framework for significant and ongoing support of faculty and instructors, not only due to the pandemic but for sustainability of learning for students now and in the future. To assist in creation and implementation of these paths, a collaborative research project has been initiated. This article outlines our approach to the creation of the faculty development program using an experiential learning framework. Our goal is to implement online faculty training for use in Fall 2020, with follow up assessments planned throughout the academic year. Using Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning model, we propose to develop an online faculty development program that focuses on effective teaching strategies to engage students and promote learning in both blended and online learning. The experiential learning model will guide the training of instructors on effective instructional methods by utilizing simulated field experiences, reflection, and peer learning. Using this approach, with its emphasis on with critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork skills, faculty will be prepared to fully engage students in the blended learning environment and to implement various instructional strategies that had better prepare students to enter the complex workforce. Thus, this project hopes to establish a systematic, online and effective faculty development program to support learning with technologies in both blended and online environments. In order to develop the faculty program, a baseline survey will be developed to collect information on faculty background, experiences and knowledge with instructional technologies. In addition, a SWOT analysis will be conducted on the institutional resources to conduct blended learning. The information and data will be used to design a blended faculty development program. By use of online instructional videos, lectures and a learning management system, we hope to provide faculty with not only useful information but all practice with the very technologies they will employ themselves in their courses. In this article, we will describe the model and necessary design steps, along with the proposed research methods and survey. Brooks, D. C. and S. Grajek (2020). Faculty readiness to begin fully remote teaching. Educausereview. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2020/3/faculty-readiness-to-begin-fully-remote-teaching. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Prentice-Hall.
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