Do not feed the fears. With change comes fear. Too often, in education, changes automatically increase fear levels in faculty. Leadership, to quell these fears, must be willing to suggest, integrate, ecnourage, and build forms of professional development for staff to access, particularly in the e-learning field.
For quality standards in OLEs,WICHE (2013) suggest high quality rubrics, staff development (prior to starting a course online), collaborative teams, student engagement, reflective practice, and students support in place. For faculty this could be “brown bag” sessions at lunch, pushing the envelope for engagement in an e-learning environment (possibly trying a synchronous live session), and reflecting on positives and negatives, with other faculty members, upon successful completion of a course.
Several points in Forssman’s (2013) video, spoke of my own experience of post secondary online learning and 7-12 education experience: faculty adoption. If faculty are not willing to risk failure, new technologies will not ubiquitously integrate into e-learning environments. For example, this spring semester, I did a synchronous live e-class using Adobe Connect. Several students in the class did not have a mic so that group activity that we had planned failed to the point that I had to bring everyone back to the large room, continuing a planned presentation. What I took away from this experience was to add the importance of a working mic and headset on the course outline and to have experience troubleshooting prior to meeting the online classroom.
If faculty are not willing to take risk, new technologies will not see the light of day. Similar to classroom based technologies that have become fully adopted (e.g. IWBs, document cameras), instructors need to take risk within the context of e-learning to increase engage, promote risk, and pursue learning outcomes, using advancing technologies that are available to all.
Forssman, V. (2013). Exploring leadership issues in educational technology implementation (D. MacLachlan, Interviewer) youtu.be/9ohOYOU1wK4
WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (2013). Managing Online Education 2013: Practices in ensuring Quality. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike license.
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