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The Excellent Online Instructor: Strategies for Professional Development



The Excellent Online Instructor: Strategies for Professional Development

Rena M. Palloff, Keith Pratt

ISBN: 978-0-470-63523-0 February 2011 Jossey-Bass 200 Pages


The Excellent Online Instructor is a guide for new and seasoned faculty who teach online, those responsible for training and developing online instructors, and administrators who must evaluate online faculty performance. This comprehensive resource describes the qualities of and explains how one can become an excellent online instructor. Written by Rena M. Palloff and Keith Pratt—noted experts in online instruction—the book
  • Includes models based in adult learning principles and best practices

  • Offers guidelines to test instructors' readiness to teach online

  • Contains ideas for overcoming faculty resistance

  • Reveals how to develop an effective mentoring program

  • Shows how to establish a long-term faculty development effort

Praise for The Excellent Online Instructor

"Palloff and Pratt have a profound understanding of the online educational milieu, its complexities and challenges as well as the potential it opens up to serious educators dedicated to exploiting its full value. Practical and down-to-earth strategies are at the core of what the authors offer the reader in this engaging book."
Michael J. Canuel, CEO, LEARN Quebec

"This book examines best practices for effective online teaching and instructor engagement and provides a concise plan for faculty development and effective training methods. Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt have provided another essential resource for the field of online teaching and learning that is a must-read for anyone working with faculty or teaching online in either higher education or K–12."
Kaye Shelton, dean, Online Education, Dallas Baptist University

"Whether you are guiding departmental faculty or looking to improve your own online skills, Palloff and Pratt provide practical steps, tools to organize your processes, best practices to emulate, and valuable resources to help you achieve excellence online."
Lynn Olson, dean, Graduate and Professional Studies, St. Joseph's College Online

List of Figures and Tables ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xix

The Authors xxi

PART ONE The Excellent Online Instructor

ONE What Are the Characteristics of Excellent Online Teaching? 3

What Does the Excellent Online Instructor Look Like? 5

The Importance of Establishing Presence 7

Engaging Learners and Creating Community 9

Excellence in Course Development 10

Providing Effective Facilitation When Teaching Courses Developed by Others 11

Good Facilitation Online:What Is Involved? 12

Key Points That Define the Excellent Online Instructor 13

Becoming Your Own Faculty Developer 14

TWO Phases of Development 16

Faculty Readiness to Teach Online 17

The Phases of Online Faculty Development 20

The Key to Understanding the Phases 28

Faculty Mentoring for Online Teaching 29

Dealing with Faculty Resistance 30

Key Points Regarding Training Needs and Phases of Development for the Excellent Online Instructor 33

Becoming Your Own Faculty Developer 34

THREE Elements of Training for Excellence 35

What Does Good Faculty Training Look Like? 36

Online, Face-to-Face, or Hybrid:Which Works Best? 41

Who Should Conduct Training for Online Teaching? 42

Key Points in Training for Excellence 43

Becoming Your Own Faculty Developer 44

PART TWO Supporting the Movement from New to Great

FOUR Models of Faculty Development 47

A Phased Approach to Online Faculty Development 48

Establishing a Long-Term Faculty Development Effort 53

The Learning Community Approach to Online Faculty Development 54

Working with Adjuncts at a Distance 57

Training Efficiently 59

Certificate Programs in Online Teaching 60

Key Points Regarding Models of Online Faculty Development 62

Becoming Your Own Faculty Developer 63

F I VE Mentoring Online Faculty 64

Common Elements of Mentoring Approaches 65

Approaches to Mentoring for Online Teaching 68

Developing an Effective Mentoring Program 70

What Organizations Can Do to Promote Mentoring 74

Key Points About Mentoring Online Faculty 75

Becoming Your Own Faculty Developer 75

S I X The Widening Gap: Professional Development for K–12 Teachers 77

Online Teaching Methods in the K–12 Environment 79

Characteristics of Excellent Online Teachers 81

Preservice Teacher Preparation and Professional Development 82

Coping Effectively with the Issues and Challenges of K–12 Online Teaching 85

Key Points in K–12 Online Teaching 86

Becoming Your Own Faculty Developer 86

PART THREE Connecting the Dots: Faculty Development and Evaluation

SEVEN Linking Training to Faculty Evaluation 91

Online Course Evaluation and Faculty Evaluation 92

Managing and Evaluating Faculty at a Distance 99

Key Points on Linking Faculty Development to Evaluation 102

Becoming Your Own Faculty Developer 102

E I G H T Best Practices in the Development of Excellent Online Faculty 104

Best Practices for Faculty Developers and Faculty Tasked with Faculty Development 105

Best Practices for Faculty Engaged in Their Own Development 110

Best Practices for Institutions 112

A ‘‘Best System’’ for Developing Excellent Online Instructors 113

Resources for Faculty Developers, Faculty, and Administrators

Appendix A: Resources for Faculty Developers and Those Tasked with Faculty Development 119

Appendix B: Resources for Faculty 139

Appendix C: Resources for Administrators of Online Programs 149

References 159

Index 167