Developing Practitioner Faculty for Online Degree Programs in Health Care

A session at 9th Annual e-Learning 2.0 Conference

Friday 25th March, 2011

3:00pm to 3:50pm (EST)

The Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University’s School of Population Health partners with the Director for Online Learning to review the successes and on-going challenges of developing practitioner faculty who author and deliver a wide range of courses in the new school’s Master’s degree programs. The presenters discuss how the school’s training programs, faculty support structures, and online course design have been evolved to reflect both nationally recognized best practices in online education and the unique needs of adjunct faculty who are expert practitioners in healthcare fields closely aligned with the degree programs. The evolution reflects the school’s responses to several factors: the time constraints under which these types of faculty work, large variations in both their experiential base as teachers and in their familiarity with online learning technologies, their need for special types of support, and faculty expectations about their obligations to their students and to the school. Through this discussion several themes emerge: “on demand” training such as is popular in corporate environments today helps address the characteristic needs of practitioner faculty; resistance to the goals and implicit values of student-centered teaching can be particularly strong in some practitioner faculty; conceiving of an online course as a carefully structured web-based learning environment rather than as a computer facilitated supplement to a face-to-face course is a strong predictor of faculty success; facility with and thoughtful use of tools associated with Web 2.0, such as student blogs and wikis can also be a predictor of faculty success. The presentation concludes with specific strategies for lowering the barriers to success that practitioner faculty face so that they can better draw upon their uniquely valuable industry experience in their online courses and so that they can build upon their individual strengths as educators over time.

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Time 3:00pm3:50pm EST

Date Fri 25th March 2011

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