- Written by Dani Babb Published: 24 March 2016
The common threads and take-aways for administrators:
- Faculty don’t like being micromanaged. Hire faculty you trust to do the job, provide guidelines and training, and let professionals do their thing.
- Pay appropriately, and give notice if you are canceling a course.
- Set expectations clearly, and communicate with faculty in the same tone you’d expect; assume the best not the worst.
- Include adjuncts as part of your team.
- Compensate when job duties increase.
- Handle student issues quickly, make sure prepared students enter programs (particularly in graduate work).
- Move away from the “gotcha mentality” into an inclusive, people-make-mistakes, “we are all in this together” model.
Here’s what some of the faculty who agreed to have their comments posted had to say about what lowers their morale:
- Sean-David McGoran noted that students allowed to bully faculty, repetitious and unnecessary training and unreasonable deadlines at final and midterm examination time can be demoralizing.
- Linda Chilson said that pay, curriculum that doesn’t make sense, student behavioral issues and school districts funding unnecessary training are issues, as well as lack of support for out of the box thinking.
- Leah Murray noted that micromanaging every little detail is demoralizing – and understandably added, “why not teach the class yourself if you are going to pay that much attention“. She also noted that lack of positive reinforcement and others taking credit for work you did is troubling.
- Mary Kay Westgate-Taylor cited poor new faculty orientation, unclear expectations, micromanagement and lack of support from administration regarding student issues as concerns.
- Dr Steve Woodsmall noted open admissions – too many graduate students who aren’t able or willing to do graduate level work or have a sense of entitlement (paying tuition guaranteeing a degree) and complaining when they receive clearly deserved failing grades causes low morale.
- Quiana Bradshaw noted that schools acting like adjuncts don’t matter causes low morale. Adjuncts often work hard with no promotional opportunities with no mentoring or encouragement, and only veteran individuals offered promotions. Not including adjuncts as part of the team or micromanaging adjuncts with reports and comments is concerning.
- Jeanie Rogers-Street noted that education not being the driving force of education (instead, finances being the main focus) is a cause of low morale.
- Christina Krepinevich Houston noted rude emails from supervisors as a cause of low morale.
- Stacie Williams commented that supervisors or administrators with a lack of experience in curriculum design and hiring skills dismissing the experience and knowledge of instructors is demoralizing.
- Traci Schneider Cull noted that not having support from online higher-ups or fixing issues in courses/not responding causes low morale.
- Nicki Favero Puckett cited continuous increases in workload without additional compensation as a cause.
- Terri Hennessy Craig stated that severely under, or unprepared, students and canceling classes (particularly without notice) is a cause of low morale.
- Maria Toy noted micromanagement and an increased workload with no additional compensation as a low morale cause
this conversation continues in this LInkedIn discussion group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2774663/2774663-6341436320048648193
more on online teaching in this IMS blog
company or group who is doing online program evaluation?
this information is extracted from the Blend-Online discussion list
Do you know any company or group who is doing online program evaluation? Our school is seeking a consulting group to come to review our online programs and identify areas relate to online learning that we need to improve.
Carrie Halpin, Ph.D. Professor/Instructional Designer & Technologist eLearning & Instructional Technology (eLIT) Virginia Western Community College 3095 Colonial Ave. SW, Roanoke, VA 24015 Office: Brown Library 102 Phone: 540-857-6636 Fax: 540-857-6138 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
will do both of those things using a fee-for-service model versus a revenue-sharing model like Academic Partnerships or 2U. I have no personal experience with any OPM, but iDesign is the only one I know of that offers that ala carte type service.
more on evaluations regarding online teaching in this IMS blog
How did your institution decide which courses should be converted or designed to be blended and or online? Did you have a particular process, form, or department who made those decisions?
Dana Gullo, M.S.I.T. Senior Instructional Designer York College of Pennsylvania 441 Country Club Road Office: PAC 181C York, PA 17403
Hi Dana: Here at Albright College we have 2 processes. For the traditional program, faculty must get the course approved by the dept chair before it can be offered online. I just need an email from the chair before I will sign a course development agreement with them. Payment is another story. Normally there is a development stipend but if the faculty member wants to keep sole ownership of the course, no stipend is paid. If the administration feels the course would not get good enrollment, they can also decide to not give a stipend. Courses in the traditional program can only be offered online during J term or summer, not fall or spring. For now.
For the non-traditional program, the Director of the program gives approval for courses to be offered online and they can only be gen eds which are offered online here. But if they are designed for the non-traditional, they will need permission to be offered online on the traditional side.
Sounds confusing but we are only in our 3rd year of online courses. There are many more processes and procedures we have developed. If you want to chat, email me off list.
Michele Mislevy Director of Digital Learning & Innovation Information Technology Services
Albright College 610-921-7542
At Binghamton University, academic departments decide if a course should be offered in a blended or online format. There is no process or form that I am aware of, unless individual departments have one. We do not have a separate online or distance learning office that oversees all online courses like some other universities. LMS support is provided by ITS; pedagogical support is provided by the Center for Learning and Teaching.
Most of our online courses are offered in the winter and summer terms. I believe there is only one certificate program in the social work department that is fully online, everything else is just individual courses. This is changing now, as our nursing school is deciding to create some online programs.
Instructional Designer Center for Learning and Teaching
Binghamton University LN 1324A (607) 777-5099
more on online learning in this IMS blog
he EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv
Quick poll – do you require your faculty to be trained how to teach online before they are allowed to teach an online course at your institution?
Kristen Brown, Assistant Director, UofL Online
YES. Our faculty are required to complete two classes. One on using the LMS and the other is a 5-week moderated course called Teaching Online. Both courses are offered online.
Linda C. Morosko, MA Director, eStarkState Division of Student Success
Chad Maxson, EdD │ Dean of Online Learning, Olivet Nazarene University │ Center for Teaching and Learning One University Avenue │ Bourbonnais, IL 60914
Gina Okun Assistant Dean, Online Berkeley College 64 East Midland Avenue, Suite 2 Paramus, NJ 07652
The online academic program director (i.e. MBA, M.Ed.) and I meet with each new instructor to go materials that cover providing instructor presence and best practices in general. I also ask that they sign something that lists 14 online teaching practices we expect as an institution. They also have to complete some LMS training so that they can post announcements, participate in discussions, and manage their gradebook.
We are currently designing a more formal 6 hour online training that is required.
Course design is separate and that’s a 16 week process with our designers.
Tex Brieger Director of Distance Education (814) 871-7134
Absolutely. Also, we give them a stipend to attend the training and develop and online course.
Linda S. Futch, Ed.D. Department Head, Course Design and Development Center for Distributed Learning University of Central Florida
I think the bigger need is for ongoing training for recertification to teach online as technology and online pedagogical models evolve over time.
Kelvin Kelvin Bentley <timelord33@GMAIL.COM>
At Suffolk yes, we do. Over time that went from essentially “how to make the LMS work” to a Faculty Academy where faculty spend an entire semester working as a cohort to examine online pedagogy and best practices. The latter works much better for sound course development.
Doug Kahn College Assistant Dean for IT Operations Suffolk County Community College 533 College Road Selden, NY 11784
I can’t speak of other accrediting bodies, but SACS-COC is fairly clear in its documentation that faculty should be adequately trained before teaching online. Prior to my arrival at U of R in 2015, I worked for 20 years at E. Carolina U. which has a large assortment of online programs and courses. I assisted in the process of designing several online training modules that were to serve as “basic training” (with assessments) for online instructors…directly due to needing to meet accreditation guidelines. As part of documentation for reaffirmation/reaccreditation, had to provide documentation showing that faculty had successfully completed the training. I believe it is required to complete every three years.
Michael Dixon, Assistant Director Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology University of Richmond
I wish we did, but we do not. We run up against contract issues with. Certainly, this could be changed with institutional will but would require a shift in how our agreements with the faculty union.
TRAVIS FREEMAN, MFA EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPER FACULTY AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (FCDC) Office Location: 113 McCaul St, Room 501 T 416 977 6000 x3358 E email@example.com
more on online teaching in this IMS blog
online learning attitudes
Students match their preference for hybrid learning with a belief that it is the most effective learning environment for them.
Despite the fact that faculty prefer teaching in a hybrid environment, they remain skeptical of online learning. Nearly half do not agree online 45% learning is effective.
Students asked what technologies they wish their instructors used more, and we asked faculty what technologies they think could make them more effective instructors. Both agree that content and resource-focused technologies should be incorporated more and social media and tablets should be incorporated less.
more on the use (or not) of ed technology in the classroom in this IMS blog
College deans predict higher-ed is in for remarkable changes in 10 years
By Laura Ascione, Managing Editor, Content Services, @eSN_Laura
September 4th, 2017 New survey reveals more than two-thirds of college deans believe institutional change is on the horizon
The survey findings are from the responses of 109 deans of four-year colleges and universities in March and April 2017. Of the respondents, 61 percent were from public universities and 60 percent have been in their jobs at least five years.
Deans were divided on whether faculty members get enough support in teaching courses online–43 percent said faculty are getting shortchanged in how much help they get in rethinking their courses and teaching with technology, while 40 percent said they believe they are getting enough support and 14 percent are neutral.
One-third of deans agree online courses are comparable to face-to-face courses, and roughly the same proportion said they disagree.
Thirty-seven percent of college deans surveyed described the pace of change at their own institutions as “too slow.” Deans surveyed cite lack of money being the biggest hurdle to change, followed by resource constraints on faculty and staff and a resistance or aversion to change.
university presidents about future in this IMS blog
Nobody’s Watching: Proctoring in Online Learning
There is no single best way to handle proctoring for digital courses, as this community college system pilot discovered.
By Dian Schaffhauser 07/26/17
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 lays out the rule: An institution offering “distance education” needs to have processes in place for verifying student identity to ensure that the student who registers for a class is the “same student who participates in and completes the program and receives the academic credit.”
OLC (Online Learning Consortium) Innovate conference and shared the solution: a combination of the use of an automated proctoring application and the creation of a network of colleges across the state that would provide no-cost proctoring on their campuses for students attending any of the member schools.
put together an online proctoring working group with “lots of faculty representation,” said Hadsell, which “paid off in the long run.” Other participants included people from testing centers and learning centers. Proctorio, the proctoring solution eventually recommended by the working group, is a web service that can be deployed through Canvas and installed by students with one click
more on proctoring in this IMS blog
Quickly Dictate Notes in Multiple Languages on Dictation.io
Dictation.io is a good tool to add to yesterday’s list of free tools for dictating notes.
Dictation.io doesn’t require students to register in order to use it. It also supports more than two dozen languages. Those two aspects of Dictation.io make it accessible to students who don’t have Google Docs accounts and to those who don’t speak English as their first language.
Mic Note is a free Chrome and Android app that allows you to create voice recordings, text notes, and image-based notes
Evernote users can make audio recordings on iOS and Android devices. Follow Evernote’s directions available here to learn how to dictate a note on an iOS device.
more on voice recognition in this IMS blog
Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning
José Antonio Bowen, president, Goucher College
Technology is changing higher education, but the greatest value of a physical university will remain its face-to-face (naked) interaction between faculty and students. Technology has fundamentally changed our relationship to knowledge and this increases the value of critical thinking, but we need to redesign our courses to deliver this value. The most important benefits to using technology occur outside of the classroom. New technology can increase student preparation and engagement between classes and create more time for the in-class dialogue that makes the campus experience worth the extra money it will always cost to deliver. Students already use online content, but need better ways to interact with material before every class. By using online quizzes and games, rethinking our assignments and course design, we can create more class time for the activities and interactions that most spark the critical thinking and change of mental models we seek.
more on online teaching in this IMS blog