Saturday, March 6, 2010

Moore's Law and Faculty Certification for Online Teaching

I've recently been "thrown into the fire" so to speak by being asked to teach faculty at my campus how to teach effectively online. A new policy that REQUIRES faculty be approved to do this got approved (the faculty were sleeping at the switch on this one if you ask me) and it appears no one knows what that REALLY means. So they asked me. A technologist, with a degree in Geography. Imagine the scene, if you can, as I try and explain to the deans how it has nothing to do with technology (the don't have any idea what Moore's Law is doing.) Fun fun.

Perhaps I should remind them that a recent New York Times article, cited Dr. Karen Swan pointing out that "two recent large scale studies have shown that online learning is more engaging and that students learn more online. One study, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, did a meta-analysis of 51 reports on online instruction comparing student outcomes in online, blended and/or face-to-face environments. It found that students who took all or part of their classes online performed better, and that the effectiveness of online and blended instruction was broad across variations in students, types of programs and content areas."

Why do faculty, who already teach at my college, need additional certification to teach in a space proven to be more engaging for students? Beats me.

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