Faculty development programs are necessary in allowing students better access to competent and prepared instructors/faculty. A suitable online faculty development program should be established with the foremost support of central nursing faculty. Principal nursing faculty should be included in the preparation and assessment facets of the program. Furthermore, they should continue as active contributors throughout the entire process. An appropriately planned online faculty development program should fulfill the varied faculty needs, significant workshop prospects, workload necessities, incorporation of technology, education training and suitable modeling. The aim of this project is to assess and implement a suitable online faculty development program for nurse educators with major emphases on enabling the changeover process from on-ground teaching to the online background.
The medical field uses technology in almost all aspects of day-to-day work activities and must be integrated in an education setting. Nurses in particular must become acclimated to use of technology within most settings to enable faster work output and efficient data management. Online programs require not only time to properly develop the program, but also proper teaching methods and instructors to avoid limited learning scenarios so often scene in distance learning. The online program should feature easy to access information along with clear instructions on assignments and educational resources that are not only interactive, but also easy to absorb. Examples of this are power point presentations with additional links to supplemental information.
Online faculty development programs should also have ease of communication included. An online forum or even a simple chat client where faculty can talk to each other will help anyone with questions and offer others to connect with each other in a stress free environment. Chatting with others online opens up a method of communication they otherwise would not get at work or elsewhere. Online faculty development programs are a great way to augment any faculty within any setting because it enables communication and education in a convenient form.
Purpose of the Project
The purpose of the project is to reveal and enlighten on the purposes of an online faculty development program. Online faculty development programs allow others to properly assess themselves and learn new materials in an online setting. Many who have experienced online education and online development programs have noted the lack of suitable instruction and hard to understand material. This is a problem that must be assessed along with instructor performance within these kinds of online programs.
One of two areas that should be covered is the appropriate learning theories and practices shown in online instruction/online development programs. Learning theories must be tailored for the online viewer. Since the computer screen has its own advantages and disadvantages, material must be assessed in terms of easy navigation and visibility. If it can be easily retrieved and viewed on the computer, it will make for easier online learning. An example of this is colorful and sectioned power point presentations. These slides should be made accessible from the beginning of the time within the program to any and all materials described in the program outline or syllabus. That way participants can easily access their source materials without having to wait for a predetermined time as it is often done in regular classes/programs (Boling, Hough, Krinsky, Saleem, & Stevens, 2012, p. 118).
Another area to discuss and evaluate is instructor capability. Instructors for online courses and programs must be adept at communicating via online and phone. Constant communication can come from email, chat, or even forum posts (Springer, 2010, p. 20). That way students or program participants can ask questions and truly feel connected to the program. Many times online programs fail because of lack of communication. This must be handled properly for any online faculty development program to work.
The program will involve development and execution of a simple chat client to handle communication for program participants and instructors as well as use of an interactive syllabus with source information directly put inside the syllabus such as links to useful articles as well as uploaded attachments of all power point presentations necessary to the program requirements. Lastly it will include a survey for participants to fill on the quality of work from the instructor.
Education Practice Question
An issue so commonly seen within an online program setting is disconnect between students and instructors. “findings revealed an emphasis on text-based content and lecture; instruction that led to disconnect between students, teachers, and course content and goals; and one innovative program that links real-world experiences with online classroom learning” (Boling, Hough, Krinsky, Saleem, & Stevens, 2012, p. 118). Many different approaches have been utilized to solve this problem such as better communication and ease of access to instructor. Other problems relate to learning theories. Solutions offered include a myriad of approaches and techniques. “These include understanding the importance of just-in-time learning, developing the ability to meet diverse needs, defining workshop expectations and workload requirements, increased integration of technology and pedagogy training, and the importance of modeling” (Springer, 2010, p. 20). Among other strategies include integration of communication and learning to solve both problems. “Threaded discussion strategies for engaging students in active, collaborative learning are discussed using specific examples. A threaded discussion grading rubric is included. Strategies to sustain interactive learning and evaluate student learning using examples are offered” (Vitale, 2010, p. 549). These strategies are often seen as a means of combining to important aspects of successful online learning. They are communication and learning. Without these two aspects of online learning covered and implemented effectively, no online development program can truly take off.
Many often believe the future is now. This is the case in regards to many technological advancements and use of technology in everyday settings. For nurses, development of skills that involve online research and study will push them to achieve success in any setting. Faculty development programs run online will not only help nurses and other medical staff become acclimated to the online environment, but will also allow for them to reach new heights in regards to alternative ways of learning and communication. An online platform can offer communication via chatting, email, and forum posts.
As for online learning, learning theories must apply ease of access and visibility. Unlike traditional classes or programs, all information concerning the program and all educational materials must be presented from the beginning so the program participants have access to and ability to learn the material throughout the course of the program. Assignments should be made easily visible with discussion of such projects through chat, email, and forum posts. Lastly, an online survey of instructor performance should motivate instructors to do their best in regards to teaching program participants and allow program participants a voice within the program.
Boling, E.C., Hough, M., Krinsky, H., Saleem, H., & Stevens, M. (2012). Cutting the distance in distance education: Perspectives on what promotes positive, online learning experiences. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(2), 118 — 126. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109675161100090X
Springer. (2010). A Faculty Development Program for Nurse Educators Learning to Teach Online. TechTrends, 54(6), 20. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11528-010-0450-z#
Vitale, A.T. (2010). Faculty Development and Mentorship Using Selected Online Asynchronous Teaching Strategies. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 42(12), 549-556. Doi: 10.3928/00220124-20100802-02
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