Edison State instructors go back to school to expand online teaching skills

PIQUA — Seven faculty members from Edison State Community College have jumped at the chance to improve their online teaching skills by participating in a 25-week Effective Online Teaching Practices course offered in collaboration with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).

The instructors will be joining more than 150 faculty members from 22 Ohio community colleges as they learn and implement equity-promoting, evidence-based teaching practices shown to improve student engagement, persistence, course completion, and learning.

The program is part of a collaboration between the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). ACUE programs in effective teaching practices are based on more than three decades of research that demonstrates effective teaching improves learning for all students.

Considered a graduate-level course, the program consists of 25 modules separated into four blocks—Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Online Learning Environment, Promoting Active Learning Online, Inspiring Inquiry and Lifelong Learning in Your Online Course, and Designing an Effective Course.

Equity-promoting teaching practices are among the hundreds of recommended approaches that faculty learn about and develop in ACUE courses, as demonstrated in ACUE’s Inclusive and Equitable Teaching Curriculum Crosswalk.

Faculty members Tanita Brock, Rachael Detraz, Michael Houser, Rebekah James, Vickie Kirk, Beka Lindeman, and Levi Smith will be teaching classes at Edison State while taking the course, which begins this month, so they will use what they learn immediately. Faculty who satisfy program requirements will be awarded ACUE’s Certificate in Effective College Instruction, the only nationally-recognized college teaching credential endorsed by the American Council on Education.

The opportunity is offered free of charge to faculty through a partnership between ACUE and OACC’s Success Center as part of the Every Learner Everywhere (ELE) initiative—and was made possible by Achieving the Dream (ATD), an ELE network partner.

Jack Hershey, president and chief executive officer of the OACC, said the training will teach faculty ways to keep their online courses fresh and impactful.

“We are working hard to level the playing field to close equity gaps among Ohio students,” Hershey said. “Offering this course to faculty is one more way to do that.”