Faculty and Staff Support for Use of Best Instructional Practices and Technologies
UWM offers a wide array of resources to support faculty and staff in the development and delivery of online courses and programs. These include both centralized services available to all faculty and staff through campus administrative units and unit-level support available through individual schools, colleges or departments.
The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) leads professional development related to teaching and learning and supports course and academic program development and curricular redesign for the campus. Additionally, faculty and staff can find support for course and program development and use of best instructional practices and technologies in their college/school and department. Here are some development and enrichment opportunities CETL offers:
- Instructors and units interested in online/blended course and program development should complete CETL’s signature Online and Blended Teaching Program, which is offered three times per year and is available in both a blended and a fully online format. Instructors teaching in an online or blended format could also benefit from joining the Online and Blended Teaching Group. A Certificate in Online and Blended Teaching is available to instructors who complete the Online and Blended Teaching Program and develop and teach a course judged to be of high quality and submit a thoughtful teaching reflection. Instructors teaching face-to-face courses can also earn professional development certificates: the Active Learning Certificate, Active and Small Group Learning Certificate, Certificate in Professional Development in Teaching and Learning, and the Course Design Institute Certificate.
- Pedagogical consultations, including, but not limited to backward course design, evaluating courses, managing workload, assessing learning and creating rubrics, managing student expectations, and designing engaging activities and assignments foster teaching excellence and learning. CETL consultants regularly teach to stay attuned to the needs of students and instructors, and to test emerging technological innovations in their own courses before they are disseminated to the campus and beyond.
- Confidential classroom and online course evaluations are available.
- CETL offers more than 30 unique professional development programs for faculty, teaching academic staff, and teaching assistants ranging from learning the basics of Desire2Learn (D2L) to increasing active learning, engagement, and success in large, lecture-based courses. Instructors can register for CETL workshops by accessing their website. Additionally, CETL holds a 1.5–day orientation for the more than 200 teaching assistants arriving at UWM each year, collaborates in the New Faculty orientation, and offers a follow-up session to equip new instructors with evidence-based strategies to further improve their students’ learning.
- CETL’s annual UWM Teaching and Learning Symposium brings together instructors from a broad range of disciplines and presents an opportunity to share and gain knowledge of innovative digital, technology-based, and non-technology-based teaching and learning strategies that can be applied to enhance teaching.
- Rich resources to enhance quality in online/blended and face-to-face programs and courses are accessible through the CETL website, which includes its Virtual Teaching Commons.
- To recognize and promote quality in online learning, CETL leads the selection process for The Lazirko Award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology sponsored by the Provost’s Office.
- CETL is involved in facilitating excellence in teaching in learning communities and provides leadership in course design and pedagogical training for teaching in UWM’s active learning classrooms.
- CETL is responsible for administration and support of technologies for teaching and learning such as D2L, clickers/student response systems, collaboration tools such as Blackboard Collaborate, and media content creation and distribution tools. Over 1,000 instructors at UWM use Kaltura Mediaspace to distribute video and audio files in D2L—CETL staff have helped instructors create 4,000 audio/video files which have been viewed 76,000 times by 8,300 students.
- CETL promotes innovation and research on teaching and learning through scholarship of teaching and learning consultations, the Wisconsin Teaching Fellow and Scholars Program, and its programs and grant opportunities. The CETL team also investigates the effects of cutting-edge pedagogical practices and instructional technologies that have the potential to impact higher education and disseminates the findings through seminars/webinars, journal publications, workshops, conferences, its website, and meetings of the Online Program Council, which are open to the campus community.
The UWM Libraries can assist faculty in developing information literacy competencies, assessments and rubrics. Online program administrators are encouraged to contact the library in the early design phase of new degree programs and courses. Librarian/faculty consultations will focus on identifying information literacy learning outcomes and developing learning activities appropriate for the course.
Information literacy instructional content is delivered via custom course LibGuides which can be embedded in D2L. LibGuides direct students through a learning path in which they view instructional videos and complete learning tasks. Faculty are encouraged to scaffold related information literacy assessments into the assignment cycle. Examples of low-stakes assessments are included in the Faculty Instructions tab of the Information Literacy Tutorial and the Evidence Based Practice Tutorial. Self-assessments and reflections can also be embedded in LibGuides to support self-paced learning.
The library provides home delivery of library books and electronic delivery of articles to fully online students. All students have access to the UWM Libraries’ online collections with their e-PantherID.
For more information about library resources and support available to UWM faculty and staff developing or delivering online programs, contact Kristin Woodward.
Units developing and delivering online programs utilize a variety of strategies to provide in-house faculty support. The faculty support offered at the school, college, or department level can range from technical and media support to course development support. Some departments have technical and media specialists who are trained to meet the specific needs of their faculty in developing rich media, using specialized communication tools, and troubleshooting general issues. When developing an online program, units should consider developmental and ongoing faculty support needs.