ERIC Number: EJ1108910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
The Evolution of Peer Driven Training for Teaching Online Courses
Shapiro, Peter J.
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, v9 n3 Fall 2006
Online courses at Bergen Community College (BCC) began in the late 1990's with an imperative from the college President to develop online courses. Senior faculty members who dared to experiment with this new mode of teaching had to learn how to design a course and how to use WebCT, a new course management system, on their own. As these faculty leaders (and those that followed) learned the painful lessons through trial and error, it became obvious that something more was necessary. WebCT training was conducted through faculty office visits so colleagues could share the burden of learning the system. The next step was a series of group workshops on how to use the tools in WebCT, designed and delivered by those same senior faculty members. After seeing a presentation about professional development at the League of Innovations conference, the faculty leadership was responsible for the creation of what would become The Online Professor Program (TOPP). TOPP, a vision of sustained professional development in both the technology and the pedagogy, was designed by faculty for those faculty members who wished to teach online. Support and encouragement was provided by the administration in the person of the Vice President of Technology and Information Services. Although it started as an experiment, TOPP has grown into a program that has officially trained over 50 faculty members in the introductory and now required TOPP Level 1 program. By modeling the effective practices of community building, and preparing faculty to engage in a collaborative, student-centered environment, the activities in TOPP Level 1 serve as a form of scaffolding, building trust and skills so faculty can feel confident to operate in this new type of learning atmosphere. In this article, the author discusses TOPP and the role it plays in the evolution of peer driven training for teaching online courses.
Descriptors: Online Courses, Electronic Learning, College Faculty, Integrated Learning Systems, Web Based Instruction, Professional Development, Distance Education, Higher Education, Teaching Methods, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Community Colleges
State University of West Georgia. 1601 Maple Street, Honors House, Carrollton, GA 30118. Tel: 678-839-5489; Fax: 678-839-0636; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A