Faculty Development for Dynamic Curriculum Design in Online Higher Education

Faculty Development for Dynamic Curriculum Design in Online Higher Education

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-8646-7.ch009
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Abstract

This chapter explores faculty development's role in online curriculum design for higher education. It highlights the importance of effective design in online learning and the challenges faced by instructors. It emphasizes pedagogical considerations, instructional design, and technological competencies to overcome these challenges. The chapter discusses how faculty development programs support instructors in designing dynamic curricula, exploring strategies for online learning and integrating technology tools. It also explores best practices in faculty development for online curriculum design, providing practical guidance for faculty and institutions. Overall, it emphasizes the significance of faculty development in creating dynamic online curricula and supporting effective online learning experiences.
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Introduction

In the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the rapid growth of online learning has transformed the way courses are designed and delivered. With the increasing demand for flexible and accessible education, instructors are tasked with adapting their pedagogical approaches to meet the unique needs of online learners. However, navigating the complexities of online teaching and designing dynamic online curricula requires specialized knowledge and skills that may not be inherent to all faculty members.

This chapter explores the vital role of faculty development in empowering instructors to excel in the online teaching environment. Faculty development initiatives provide opportunities for instructors to enhance their instructional practices, acquire digital fluency, and stay abreast of emerging trends and best practices in online education. Equipping faculty members with the necessary knowledge, skills, and support enables institutions to cultivate a culture of excellence in online teaching, fostering engaging learning experiences for students.

The chapter investigates key considerations for faculty development in the context of dynamic curriculum design in online higher education. It examines the importance of intentional course design, where instructors leverage the affordances of online technologies to create interactive and learner-centered learning environments. Furthermore, the chapter highlights the significance of collaboration among faculty members, instructional designers, and other stakeholders in the development and implementation of effective faculty development programs.

Moreover, the chapter addresses the assessment of student learning outcomes in the online environment, emphasizing the need for diverse and effective assessment strategies. It also discusses institutional support and the establishment of comprehensive faculty development programs that encompass policies, guidelines, and technical assistance to facilitate faculty members' adaptation to the online teaching landscape.

Throughout the chapter, practical recommendations and insights are provided to guide institutions in designing and implementing faculty development programs that effectively address the unique challenges and opportunities of online curriculum design. Fostering a supportive environment and offering faculty members the necessary resources and professional development opportunities empowers institutions to enable instructors to deliver high-quality online education and drive student success.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Learning: A mode of education where instruction and learning activities take place primarily through digital platforms and the internet.

Assessment Strategies: Various methods and techniques used to evaluate learners' knowledge, skills, and understanding of the subject matter.

Faculty Training: Professional development activities aimed at improving the knowledge, skills, and abilities of faculty members in their specific roles and responsibilities.

Pedagogical Considerations: Factors and principles related to teaching methods, instructional strategies, and educational theories that guide effective learning experiences.

Technological Competencies: Proficiency and skills required to effectively use and apply technology tools and resources in educational contexts.

Dynamic Curricula: Curricular designs that are flexible, adaptable, and responsive to changing educational needs, emerging technologies, and learner requirements.

Faculty Development: The process of enhancing the skills, knowledge, and capabilities of faculty members in teaching, research, and professional growth.

Meaningful Learning: Acquiring and understanding knowledge and skills in a way that allows learners to apply them in real-world contexts and make connections to existing knowledge.

Instructional Design Principles: Guidelines and strategies used to structure and develop effective instructional materials and activities.

Higher Education: Education provided at colleges, universities, and institutions beyond the secondary level, typically leading to academic degrees.

Best Practices: Established methods, approaches, or strategies that have been proven effective in achieving desired outcomes or results in a particular field or context.

Curriculum Design: The deliberate and systematic planning of educational experiences and content to achieve specific learning goals and outcomes.

Interactivity: The ability of learners to actively engage with instructional content, participate in learning activities, and receive feedback.

Engagement: Active involvement, interest, and participation of learners in the learning process and activities.

Technology Tools: Software, applications, or digital resources that facilitate or enhance teaching, learning, and collaboration in educational settings.

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