Breakout Session

Faculty Development and Support: Online Pedagogy, Technology, and Resources

Track: Learning Innovations

Thursday, November 29th, 11:45am-12:45pm

Although online education follows many of the same methods and philosophies as traditional, face-to-face (f2f) counterpart, the online teaching environment provides a unique set of possibilities and challenges when compared to the traditional in-classroom face-to-face environment. In order to support and guide faculty in preparing to teach online, Montclair State University has developed a comprehensive approach to support faculty development, which includes a Pedagogical, Technology and Resource Track.


Yanling Sun
Director of Technology, Training and Integration
Information Technology Division
Montclair State University

Bio / Expertise
Dr. Yanling Sun is the Director of Technology Training and Integration in the Information Technology Division at Montclair State University. Dr. Sun graduated with a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from Ohio University. Her work focuses on the administrative and academic integration of technological applications as well as the assimilation of best practice of instructional design into the online program development. She designs and manages instructional services to ensure members of the Campus Community are able to effectively integrate appropriate and enabling technologies into the business operations, administrative functions and academic activities. With years of instructional design experience and the educational background in Instructional Technology, Dr. Sun initiates a social-collaborative course design model and leads an instructional design team to design and develop courses for online programs at Montclair State University.

Dr. Sun’s research interests are on the disseminated approach of incorporation or conversion of technologies into administrative and academic activities and the sound instructional design strategies to enhance instructional and learning outcomes. She presented her works in a number of national and international conferences and has published research articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Carolyn Demefack
Senior Instructional Designer
Montclair State University

Bio / Expertise
Carolyn Demefack is an Instructional Designer with Montclair State University. She has over ten years’ experience in the field of educational technology. She has partnered with educators and institutions to support reflective practice and professional development on 21st Century learning tools that impact innovative teaching and student learning. Her interests include the role of video models and case studies in learning and personal learning communities. Carolyn has a MA in Educational Communications and Technology from the NYU Steinhart School of Education.
Itewari Ekpebu Bryan


Presentation Content:
1. Summary Statement: This presentation will highlight a comprehensive approach to faculty development and support at Montclair State University. In order to assist and guide faculty to prepare for teaching online, Montclair State University has developed a comprehensive approach. This includes three tracks: Pedagogical Track, Technology Track and Resource Track. This presentation will provide an overview of the development of each track.

2.Description of activity, project, or solution: This is the core of your proposed presentation and should include historical background; who was involved with the project; examples of what it took to identify and analyze problems and solutions; methods used to work toward solutions and so on

While Montclair State University has been moving quickly in developing online degree programs, it is well recognized that faculty development and support is the key to successful online learning initiatives and it is also the most effective retention strategy in online learning. In order to support and help faculty prepare for online teaching, Montclair State University has developed a comprehensive approach to support faculty development, which includes three tracks: Pedagogical Track, Technology Track and Resource Track.

2. The Pedagogical Track is a purely online course titled “Empowering Teaching Online.” This course is intended to provide faculty with an overview of teaching and learning online, an introduction to various pedagogical considerations, an orientation to online best practices, and guidelines for integrating appropriate instructional technologies to facilitate online and hybrid teaching and learning. These components are necessary for quality online learning experiences for students. This online course is delivered in cohorts and facilitated by a faculty member mentor paired up with an instructional designer. This online pedagogical track provides opportunities for faculty to explore online learning from an online student’s perspective. As facilitators, they can also discover online teaching best practices by mentoring the course participants and facilitating the course. As a culminating project, participants will work on the design of their own online course and benefit from peer feedback through the course.

The Technology Track is designed to help faculty build basic technological skills on how to teach online and master tools available in the Blackboard Learning Management System, as well as other appropriate technologies. Three foundational courses are offered in sequential order: 1) Designing a Student-Friendly Online Course, 2) Designing and Facilitating Online Interaction, and 3)Designing Online Learning Assessments. They are offered both online and face-to-face.

Faculty development is a continuous process. While the pedagogical and technology tracks help faculty build a foundation for online teaching, they also need ongoing assistance to support their teaching and enhance student learning. Online faculty members are eager to learn more about and keep up with the current research-based online best practices and emerging technologies. They also wonder if their students understand what is involved in online learning and comprehend what strategies and tips are required to become a successful online learner. The demand for set of evolving, web-based resources to support faculty members’ continuous professional development has been critically needed. Montclair State University has developed a set of 3 web-based resources, which include a guide to becoming a successful online learner, updated resources on research-based practices on course design and online teaching, and information and services on effective emerging technologies and their integration with online teaching and learning. The sets of resources were initially built up by instructional designers, but will be developed and enriched by recruiting contributions from faculty members.

3. Outcome: Here you present your outcomes and achievements. Did you accomplish what you set out to do: In addition to anecdotal evidence, will include quantitative information if available. Talk about both successes and failures, especially with regard to what you learned from each.

The pedagogical track, Empowering Teaching Online, was reviewed by a faculty focus group and revised accordingly. It will officially launch in the fall of 2012. Faculty feedback will be solicited in order to enhance the course for the next cohort.

The technology track was developed to meet faculty members’ needs, as identified in previous workshops. This track has been successfully built to align technologies with online teaching and learning pedagogy. Our workshop evaluations have confirmed that this track has met its goals. Data will continue to be collected from faculty participants to improve this track into the next academic year.

The resource track includes newly developed web-based guides which have played a very helpful role in faculty members’ online teaching practice. This track continues to be updated and improved based on feedback from faculty and students.

4. Importance or relevance to other institutions: Explain the overarching principles or lessons learned so attendees can better understand the relevance of your findings to their teaching or their institutions.

Online learning initiatives must be coupled with effective faculty development and ongoing faculty support. Other institutions may benefit from exposure to our approach and the use of the resources we’ve developed as examples that may inform their own practice.


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