Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center staff recently developed and offered for the very first time a teaching effectiveness institute for NIU faculty that took place completely online.
The 2012 Teaching Effectiveness Institute, “Teaching in the Digital Classroom: Tools, Tips, and Strategies” was offered Friday, January 11, 2013. 57 faculty from across 26 academic departments participated in the 1-day online institute where they learned how to actively engage students in the learning process through the use of best practices and readily-available technologies. NIU Faculty Development staff led the live online sessions using Blackboard Collaborate and developed an online community in Blackboard where they facilitated conversations, providing an opportunity for faculty participants to network and share ideas before, during, and after the institute.
Faculty were encouraged to participate from the comfort and convenience of their own home, office, or other location. The community in Blackboard Learn was developed following best practices for accessibility and mobile participation via Blackboard Mobile and faculty with iOS mobile devices were encouraged to install the Blackboard Mobile Learn and Blackboard Collaborate apps. Some faculty chose to participate exclusively during the institute from their iPhone or iPad and several commented after the fact at how excited they were to model their own cross-platform strategy for teaching and learning in the future after their experience in the institute.
Comments from Participants
From feedback received, faculty unanimously found this online institute effective in meeting their desired goals as well as was an effective model for how they in turn can incorporate online technologies in their teaching. Here is just a sampling of a few of the comments faculty shared in the institute evaluation:
The online delivery of this subject matter was critical to my understanding of how it feels to be the learner as well as the design required from a faculty perspective.
It was really convenient to have this (institute) online, and I think it showed what Blackboard Collaborate can do. I learned a lot and have new ideas for the upcoming semester.
This was wonderful! The flow was easy to handle and I stayed engaged throughout the day. I LOVED being able to attend from home.
From just this first online institute, significant fiscal savings were made possible. A total of 2,598 miles driven, 109 gallons of gasoline (cost savings of $360), and 2,120 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions were potentially saved by faculty participating online from home instead of driving to campus for this 1-day online institute.
97% of the faculty participants indicated that they would attend another online institute in the future. Watch for more online institute opportunities to be offered in the future!