Online Teaching Partnerships in Diverse Socio-Cultural Institutions

Online Teaching Partnerships in Diverse Socio-Cultural Institutions

Julian Scheinbuks (Chicago State University, USA) and Anthony A. Piña (Sullivan University System, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-779-4.ch002
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In this chapter, the authors present the case of an inter-institutional online teaching partnership. The partnership has allowed faculty and students from racially and socio-economically diverse institutions to interact with each other through synchronous and asynchronous distance learning technologies. Courses were developed and team-taught by faculty from the three partner institutions. Faculty who were new to the online teaching environment collaborated with and were mentored by experienced online instructors. These instructors became more experienced in teaching a diverse student population and more comfortable and competent within technology-mediated teaching environments. Students from diverse socio-economic, racial and experiential backgrounds engaged in a more heterogeneous learning environment and learned how to be more effective online learners. Cross-discipline partnerships resulted in new courses being added to the curriculum. The inter-institutional online teaching partnership is a way to provide teaching and learning that is socially accessible, technologically adaptable, economically viable, and politically agreeable.
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Setting The Stage

The nature of the OTP involved the establishment of mentor-mentee relationships in planning and implementing the instructional partnership. The faculty partners did not assume exclusive roles of mentee and mentor, but shared these roles as they exposed each other to their strengths and weaknesses (Gatliff & Wendel, 1998). In working together, the faculty partners were introduced to new instructional technologies and their own best practices. Some faculty members had developed expertise using these technologies and served as mentors for the other faculty members. Some faculty members served as content experts for collaborative projects. This was especially important for partnerships that served a cross-disciplinary theme (Piña & Scheinbuks, 2007).

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