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E-Learning and Instructional Support.

Kresge Library, Room 430
100 Library Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4479
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Office and Virtual Help: (248) 805-1625

New Self-Paced Online Teaching workshop available for faculty

Fri May 1, 2020 at 11:21 AM

Before March 11, Beth Talbert, special instructor in the Department of Communication and Journalism, hadn’t used Moodle much in her classes, but that was all about to change with the spread of the novel coronavirus. After getting through the end of the winter semester, Talbert wanted to make sure she had a good grasp on how to use Moodle with her classes, so she enrolled in e-Learning and Instructional Support’s new Self-Paced Online Teaching workshop and found it to be very useful. 

“I was scrambling to get through the semester and learning much of it by trial and error. I took the workshop to get ideas about how I could use Moodle more effectively going forward,” said Talbert. “It definitely helped with immediate needs. I’m beginning to put my Summer I syllabus together and I got many new ideas. Long term, there are so many resources listed. I know I can only learn and do so much now in the current circumstances, but the resources I can go back to in order to further develop my skills moving forward.”

The on-demand Self-Paced Online Teaching course takes about four hours to complete. The workshop prepares faculty to design and facilitate the basics of a quality fully-online course. 

“If you start clicking on all the links and resources, it can take much longer. I had to stop myself from doing that, but I saw some good stuff and am excited to go back and check these out when I have more time,” said Talbert.

Sitaramayya Ari, professor of biomedical sciences, said he had never taught online before the COVID-19 crisis and he was forced to quickly learn how to teach and conduct tests and quizzes online. 

“I was mainly concerned about establishing an interaction with students so that I could gauge their understanding of what I was trying to communicate. (Self-Paced Online Teaching workshop) was helpful in that regard, with clean instructions on how to establish instructor presences in an online classroom, and set up forums for dialogue with students,” said Ari. “(The Self-Paced Online Teaching workshop) also had good advice on how to design syllabus for an online course and how to lay it out on the course page in Moodle.”

Dario Punal, a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, said he’s a new instructor who plans to teach more online courses in the future and wanted to learn more and better use the Moodle tools. 

“In a few months, I will be teaching an online, or fully-remote, class and everything I learned through the training will be useful at that time,” said Punal. He hopes to continue his Moodle education through the Quality Online Teaching Certification Course. 

Another member of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Bernadette Donohue, took the Self-Paced Online Training workshop after learning that all of her department’s summer courses would be online. 

“After having switched my winter classes online, I was interested in making sure I could do it well. It was not at all difficult or time consuming. The most important thing I learned was that I should really restructure both my syllabus and Moodle page in an online course,” said Donohue. 

For Professor Emerita Alice Horning, from the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and the Department of Linguistics, the Self-Paced Online Training was a refresher to the Quality Online Teaching Certificate Course that she took when she was still actively teaching. She wanted the refresher in the event the university needs her to teach a course during retirement. 

“It reminded me of a lot of the key principles of teaching online and the way Moodle supports teaching.  While those key principles are really just principles of good teaching, some of them, especially on accessibility issues, were really useful reminders,” said Horning. 

The Self-Paced Online Teaching workshop is available from the e-Learning and Instructional Support website, which also has information about the Quality Online Teaching Certification Course