USC upskills faculty members in online facilitation

Noting the government response to the pandemic of continuing to hold classes online and foreseeing that learning in USC will be blended in the post-pandemic era, the University of San Carlos launched an upskilling of its faculty members with the launch of month-long Teaching Online Facilitation (TOF) training.

The training aims to address student engagement in online classes. At the end of the training, the USC faculty members are expected to develop a more open perspective to change and to understand their new roles as learning facilitators in a virtual platform, demonstrate enabling attitudes to online learning, and learn strategies for the delivery of online courses that will increase student engagement in the learning process in both synchronous and asynchronous learning modalities, and develop facilitation skills and techniques.

The TOF training is designed to enable the faculty to acquire online facilitation skills by allowing the teacher trainees to experience online learning as e-learners. Thus, teacher trainees will primarily go through an asynchronous training environment blended with weekly synchronous sessions. Unlike the traditional and usual approach to trainings, this TOF training is less input-focused and more experiential or dispositional. It is hoped that the trainees will learn facilitation skills by going through the experience as e-learners. As an exclusive program for USC higher education faculty, the school’s learning management system, Canvas, will be utilized as the training platform to provide familiarity and develop a certain degree of mastery of the school’s virtual classroom. The training will run for four weeks or 20 weekdays and includes special topics on creativity and innovation in education, lifelong learning, and exploring a live online class.

The TOF training is part of USC’s initiative to equip faculty members with the three important components of (a) online facilitation and student engagement so that classes in the virtual platform are interactive, engaging and facilitative of active learning; (b) microlearning to avoid cognitive overload of the students; and (c) student accessibility which addresses such concerns as internet connectivity and other various constraints of a learner.

After the TOF training, USC faculty members will next tackle the aspect of Student Workload and Cognitive Load. Commenting on the experience, one USC instructor quipped, “I am really excited as a student-participant since I know that I still have a lot of things to learn, relearn, and unlearn. The different lessons last week and this week have provided me insights on becoming a better facilitator.”

with reporting from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs

Tags: The Word Alive, Education with a Mission

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