New Faculty Training Begins Monday, November 16

By Jackie Wickham

Each quarter, the School of Professional Studies hosts a four-week, asynchronous training for faculty and teaching assistants who will be facilitating SPS online courses for the first time. Run through Canvas, the training follows the basic format of an SPS online course, which allows faculty and teaching assistants to experience a course from a student perspective while learning about technology, SPS policy and procedures, and best practices for facilitating an online course.

Upon completion of the faculty training course, new faculty will be able to:

  • Use Canvas and Adobe Connect to facilitate student engagement and learning in your course.
  • Apply SPS philosophy, policy, and procedures to create high-quality learning experiences for students.
  • Experience the student perspective of an online course at SPS.
  • Share knowledge of best practices, tools and techniques with the SPS new faculty community.

The first week of the course focuses on getting comfortable with the major technology used to interact with students. Faculty are provided with resources on Canvas and Adobe Connect, as well as other platforms such as ProctorU, Zaption, and YellowDig.

After new faculty and teaching assistants become comfortable with the technology, the remainder of the course focuses on understanding and communicating SPS policies and procedures, setting expectations for online students, and effectively facilitating course communication. Throughout the course, faculty and TAs interact with each other as SPS students would: through the discussion board, where there are weekly discussion questions based on the course resources as well as “What Would You Do?” discussions, in which faculty and TAs work together to come up with responses to sticky situations that have occurred in previous online courses.

Participants in the new faculty training course can expect to spend 1-2 hours a week going over resources, participating on the discussion board, and completing the course assignments. There are two major assignments in the course – submitting and peer reviewing a draft of the welcome announcement for your upcoming online class, and collaborating with a group to create a post for this blog.

The new faculty training course is mandatory for all new faculty and teaching assistants, but returning faculty and teaching assistants are welcome to participate as well! The winter training course begins November 16. If you’re interested in participating, please contact me at jackie@northwestern.edu prior to the start date of the course.



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