Video Transcript – eCampus Center Faculty Development
[Patrick Lowenthal, Associate Professor, Educational Technology]: I got into online teaching in the early 2000s. It was a time when the internet started to boom, and I was working at a university in Colorado that started offering a lot of programs online.
[Jennifer Black, Lecturer, English]: So I got into teaching online. I thought it was a necessary evil. So I thought, “Well, there are students who just really need it, and it’s just not nearly as good as face-to-face teaching.” I also didn’t know that it was going to be so different from in-person teaching. So I started doing it and the students got more responsive at it and I have wanted to do it ever since.
[Erik Hadley, Lecturer, History/University Foundations]: I think the thing that I’ve learned the most is that it’s a process of continual development. There’s no end to the development of an online course. It’s always a work in progress.
[Kim Carter-Cram, Lecturer, English]: We have now so many opportunities to use technology in different ways and to really be interactive with students online in ways that we didn’t used to be able to do. It was very much give them the assignment and have them turn it in, and there was no interaction and no possibility for anything other than self study.
[Jennifer Black]: I really benefited and continue to benefit from faculty development activities in understanding that online offers options that aren’t available in the face-to-face class, and that it requires different ways of planning, different ways of teaching.
[Erik Hadley]: The e-campus faculty associates are just there to say, “Listen, we can show you some simple skills, some techniques, some technologies that you can use and take them as you see, as you would use them, and need them in your class.” And it’s an easier lift than trying to do it by yourself.
[Jennifer Black]: I love working with other faculty because I learned so much from them. I learned from the things that they’re doing in their classes, from the challenges that they’re facing, but also I love being able to share what I have learned so that we don’t have to just reinvent the wheel with every online class, right? The more that we can share with each other, the more the quality of all of our online classes goes up, and the more our students benefit.
[Kim Carter-Cram]: I think it can be fairly isolating if you’re teaching online and you’re feeling like you’re at home or in your office with a door shut by yourself, grading papers, or interacting in discussion forums. And maybe you don’t know who to ask if you have questions, if you’re not sure if this is right, or this is normal, or this is a thing. And so being a part of that community is really helpful for faculty who are going through this process.
[Patrick Lowenthal]: I think when a teacher knows and keeps trying to be better at their job, the students sense they’re present in the classroom. Things are well designed. They’re intuitive. Students don’t have to search for things. They also are fully accessible, so they meet the needs of all learners. They often have choice and media assets and other things that I think overall just bring a full, complete experience for the students.
[Jennifer Black]: Online teaching is a field that changes so rapidly. There are things that every teacher can improve on, and sometimes we can’t see those without feedback from other people.
[Erik Hadley]: The main thing that we do as faculty associates is act as mentors. From that perspective, I can really identify with faculty needs because I’m right there alongside them.
[Kim Carter-Cram]: And then we have an opportunity as faculty associates to meet with faculty, see what’s working for them, see what may not be working for them, maybe some problems that they ran into as they were teaching the course that we might be able to suggest solutions for.
[Patrick Lowenthal]: These workshops and opportunities bring people together, bring people together with same challenges, issues, things that they like, interests, and it allows them to meet other people, to try new things. In nearly every workshop or opportunity that I know of with e-campus, you walk away with a specific skillset that you can apply right away to your classes.