NMC 2006: Faculty Certification in Technology: A Certifiable Success

Laura Gough from Houston Community College presented this topic. She's had lots of experience in training in addition to her academic background.

This began with a Title V grant but is now sustained by the school.

The session began with a video from Larry Mers. I'd seen this two years ago in Vancouver.

First year focus: five curriculum innovation centers, with onsite technicians and a fellowship program.

Two classes were highlighted:

  • Building community in the online classroom – making distance courses more than correspondence courses. The instructor has to facilitate.
  • When technology fails – what to do? They opened up the computers to understand the pieces that can go wrong?

She tried Pachyderm for this presentation but used PowerPoint.

The reason they have sustained support is that through the grant the five centers have become support units for their respective colleges. The group meets every Wednesday and has a big voice with the academic administration.

There are two certificates:

  • Basic Certificate: 36 clock hours plus 8 hours of electives
  • Advanced Certificate: 40 clock hours plus 8 hours and portfolio review

The site URL is: http://imctraining.hccs.edu/classes/start.htm

Classes are basically 4 hours in length with the exception of PowerPoint, an elective, which is still 8. Flexibility is hard for faculty.

Some links of interest:

They have a minimum of three learners per class. They do not pursue billing people who have missed a session.

Enrollment is online, and participants specify their supervisor (Department Chair or Dean). The program asks instructors to send out an e-mail the day before the session. Classes are free.

Copyright class is online. They couldn't get anyone to teach it. Instructor-led would be preferable.

Faculty want to complete all of it in one week, in between semesters. January and May Boot Camps were the results. Army hats, etc. are given to the faculty. Some other stuff too. They do have food. They found they can't offer the classes in August because instructors aren't all available.

Classes are also available individually throughout the fall, spring an summer classes.

They're not able to use PeopleSoft to track professional development in the ERP. They used WebCT. The class serves as a record repository, and students can see their progress. Students take quizzes at the end of the course. Scores are compared with attendance rosters to sign off on participation. They use two-question quizzes.

They don't allow faculty to place out of a course unless the faculty teach that application for the school.

Post-workshop support is available through the Curriculum Innovation Centers. Faculty can make appointments with the mentors or show up when a mentor is scheduled.

Total participant counts are going up over the years. Adjuncts are interested in coming, but don't have the time to come. 80% of the participants are full-time faculty, 20% are part-time. Some deans and department chairs use these certificates in their annual evaluations.

Full-time faculty receive a $250 stipend for completion of either the Basic or Advanced Certificates. Full-time faculty get $50 per overload course taught, and part time faculty receive an additional $50 per course taught. Distance Education (anything fully online) professors must have the Basic Certificate in order to teach as of the fall of 2006.

Faculty teach half of the classes, it costs about $25,000 a year, about $95 per class. No payment for mileage, extra development time or for copies of handouts. IMS staff teaches the rest, so those costs are “hidden”. They have two faculty/staff trainers.

They are assessing the program with faculty. 172 surveyed, 34 responded. Good feedback overall, especially with troubleshooting technology.

They are now considering a Certification in Teaching and Learning Effectiveness for fall 2006.

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