By Jensen, Randy on April 30, 2020.
As post-secondary institutions work through online education with students during the COVID-19 pandemic, many, including Lethbridge College instructors, are uncertain what the future will bring.
To help this transition, Lethbridge College has adapted its Facilitating Online Learning course to the new academic reality and has made it available for free to all post-secondary institutions and faculty members.
“We wanted to do our part to contribute to the collaborative effort taking place across the country to ensure all students still have access to meaningful learning experiences wherever they may be,” says Jackie Doherty, Dean of the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation. “Providing instructors with some tools and strategies to make that happen was something we could do right away, and it made sense to offer it to the entire post-secondary sector.”
The course is ideal for faculty members who will be teaching in a fully online environment for the first time as well as for those looking to brush up on their online facilitation skills. Facilitating Online Learning balances theory and practice over three modules. In just six to 10 hours, faculty members can learn practical strategies and begin to explore the challenging issues of online student retention. Participants will also have opportunities to share resources and learn from the experience of other educators.
The course was originally created as a professional development for Lethbridge College’s online instructors, but it has been adapted to support the massive shift of post-secondary education to the online environment during this time.
“A notable aspect of the course is the attention given to the issue of online student retention,” says Andy Benoit, Educational Development specialist. “For instructors wondering about actions they can take to promote student persistence, the course shares many useful strategies.”
Facilitating Online Learning is a free open course, and all related course materials are available for other institutions to reuse and remix under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence.
The course is available online to institutions and faculty members until June 30.
More information can be found at lethbridgecollege.ca.
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