TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY: A CASE STUDY OF ONLINE FACULTY DEVELOPMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

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1 International Research and Exchanges Board University Administration Support Program University of Central Florida ============================================================================ This study was made possible by a grant from IREX with funds provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author. TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY: A CASE STUDY OF ONLINE FACULTY DEVELOPMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA Elvira Kaminskaya Associate Professor, Chair Bilingual Education Department Novgorod State University Veliky Novgorod, Russia 2006

2 Table of Contents Acknowledgements Introduction Digital technologies in higher education Making sense of E-learning: some useful definitions Research goals and methodology Case background: the University of Central Florida Creating a Foundation for Information Fluency UCF Virtual Campus and Web-based programs Institutional support for E-learning and faculty development: key actors Division of Information Technologies & Resources Course Development & Web Services Center for Distributed Learning The Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning : an effective faculty development model New challenges for faculty The concept of faculty readiness Interactive Distributed Learning for Technology-Mediated Course Delivery as a central faculty development resource Keys to successful faculty development program Institutional support path for faculty teaching online Faculty incentives and benefits Faculty satisfaction Conclusion Awards and recognition for faculty development initiative Key elements that mark a successful faculty development initiative Looking into the future: trends and directions for online learning and faculty development at UCF References

3 Teaching with Technology: a Case Study of Online Faculty Development at the University of Central Florida Acknowledgements The biggest obstacle to innovation is thinking it can be done the old way. Jim Wetherbe I would like to thank all the faculty and staff members at the University of Central Florida for their help and support on this project. My special thanks go to Dr. Randall Upchurch, Director, Center for Distributed Learning, and Dr. Charles Dziuban, Director, the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness. I truly appreciate your time, attention, valuable insights and research materials you were willing to share while guiding me through the process. I would also like to acknowledge the administrative support and collaboration of Dr. Joel L. Hartman, Vice Provost for Information Technologies & Resources at UCF. Thank you, Dr. Hartman, for your attention and the mentoring you provided. Many people at UCF answered questions large and small and sat for interviews long and short to help me sort through a wealth of ideas and information for this case study. I am especially grateful to Mr. Eric Main, Project Coordinator, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning; Mr. Robert A. Yanckello, Director, Computer Services & Telecommunications; Dr. David Metcalf, Institute for Simulation & Training; Mr. Martin A. Malpica, Information Technology Manager, Division of Continuing Education; Dr. Florin M. Mihai, Associate Professor TESOL, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures; Ms. Dorothy Pick, Instructional Designer, Course Development & Web Services, Dr. Kathleen L. Bell, Associate Professor of English, Department of English, and HR team including Mr. Mark Roberts, Director, Human Resource; Ms. Roxane Walton, Director, HR Operations; and Ms. Mari Y. Rains, OD & Training Manager. Thank you all for making wonderful conversations and sharing your time and experiences with me. Next, I wish to thank the following UCF faculty and staff members for their ongoing support and good will that made my work and stay here more convenient, organized and enjoyable: Mrs. Linda Futch, Lead Instructional Designer, Course Development & Web Services; Mr. Angel Cardec, Associate Director, Office of International Studies; Mr. Rusty Okoniewski, Program Developer, Office of International Studies; Dr. Jean C. Kijek, Associate Professor, School of Nursing; Mrs. Darlene Bouley, Administrative Assistant, the Center for Distributed Learning; Ms. Lori Allison, Coordinator of Academic Support Services, the Center for Distributed Learning. 3

4 Finally, none of this would be possible without the IREX team who orchestrated this program and provided ongoing support for all the UASP fellows during the whole period of our stay in the US: Mrs. Zaruhi Hovhannisyan, Senior Program Officer, Education Programs Division, IREX/Washington, DC; Mrs. Tova Pertman, Program Officer, Education Programs Division, IREX/Washington, DC; Mrs. Natalia Petrova, Program Officer, Academic Programs, IREX/Moscow. Thank you for making this program an experience which is both rewarding and remarkable, it s been a pleasure to work with you. 1. Introduction 1.1. Digital technologies in higher education We live in a world where technological innovation is occurring at breakneck speed and digital technologies are increasingly becoming an integral part of our lives. The rapid emergence of new learning and teaching environments has led to increased levels of integration of computer-mediated instructional elements into the traditional face-to-face learning experience and has become a force that is dramatically changing many areas of higher education today. Newly-coined terms such as cyber-education, distributed learning model, blended learning approach, mobile learning, and asynchronous learning networks are becoming household names, and almost every state in the United States is engaged in some kind of virtual university effort. Speaking about virtual university phenomenon, related studies tend to emphasize the amazing speed that marks their proliferation and growth. For example, Carol A. Twigg in her paper on the role of state-based virtual colleges and universities has identified 63 distinct organizations to survey (Twigg, 2003, p.3). It is interesting that the names chosen by higher educational institutions to identify themselves are quite varied. Alongside Michigan Virtual University and Kentucky Virtual University, you can come across such labels as Electronic Campus of Virginia, or the Florida Virtual Campus. Coming third in popularity is the use of online, as in Maryland Online, UMassOnline, and the University of Phoenix Online. Researchers emphasize that The key factor now driving change is technology In both education and training there is a shift to offering greater flexibility in relation to time, place, pace, entry and exit (Inglis, Ling, & Joosten, 2002, p.33). Trying to meet the challenge, more and more institutions adopt cyber-education designating it as an institutional objective, for example, to support their charter of outreach, find new markets in an area of specialization, or enhance the educational process while staying true to the values of higher education. 4

5 1.2. Making sense of E-learning: some useful definitions This paragraph should introduce the reader to the often confusing terminological field of what is generally defined as elearning (you might have noticed that even the spelling of this word is subject to multiple interpretations, for example: e-learning, or elearning). Norah Jones (2006) provides a wealth of examples illustrating the point that scholars need to be more aware of the use of the terminology surrounding virtual or online environments; otherwise there is always danger of believing everyone shares the same understanding or definition of the term. To avoid further ambiguity, we offer you a glossary of commonly used labels together with a summary of some observations made by the authors who work in the field. We suggest that the concepts given below be used as working definitions for this case study where all of the terms will be closely intertwined. Distance education is defined as planned learning that normally occurs in a different place from teaching and as a result requires special techniques of course design, special instructional techniques, special methods of communication by electronic or other technology, as well as special organizational and administrative arrangements (Moore and Kearsley,1996, p.2). Research studies have found that distance learning is equal to or more effective than traditional classroom learning. According to Deek & Idania, 2005, a key benefit of distance learning is the variety of learning styles and teaching materials that can be used for learning and can also offer students several combinations of interaction and media. For example, students who prefer visual learning can focus on the use of video, whereas students who have better listening skills can focus on the audio conferencing. However, the authors recognize that the primary beneficiaries of distance learning are nontraditional students. Another important advantage of distance learning is the student's ability to earn a degree by taking courses either at different institutions or at different campuses of one institution (Agree, 1999). E-learning is an all-encompassing term generally used to refer to computer-enhanced learning, although it is often extended to include the use of mobile technologies such as PDAs and MP3 players. It may include the use of web-based teaching materials and hypermedia in general, multimedia CD-ROMs or web sites, discussion boards, collaborative software, , blogs, wikis, computer aided assessment, educational animation, simulations, games, learning management software, electronic voting systems and more, with possibly a combination of different methods being used. Along with the terms learning technology and educational technology, the term is generally used to refer to the use of technology in learning in a much broader sense than the computer-based training or computer aided instruction of the 1980s. It is also broader 5

6 than the terms online learning or online education which generally refer to purely webbased learning. In cases where mobile technologies are used, the term M-learning has become more common. Synchronous E-Learning - Computer-assisted training where the instructor and participants are involved in the course, class or lesson at the same time (synchronized). Web conferencing is an example of synchronous e-learning. Participants can log on with a trainer and interact with participants at multiple facilities or locations. Using LCD projectors and conference telephones, the audience of a web conference can be increased to include many staff at any location. Asynchronous E-Learning - Computer-assisted training where the instructor and participants are involved in the course, class or lesson at different times (not sychronized, or asynchronous). Examples include job aids and programs on a shared drive, web-based training (WBT), electronic bulletin boards, blogs, and listservs. Asynchronous methods allow participants to access training materials 24/7, even when other students and/or the instructor are not present. Distributed learning offers courses that involve distributing instruction using various media to students that may not, by definition, be at a distance. Currently, distributed learning modes include videotape, compressed video using two-way interactive television, and online classes (Moskal & Dziuban, 2001). Distributed learning is not a new term to replace distance learning. Distributed learning, which evolves from the concept of distributed resources, can be used in support of traditional classroom-based courses or distance learning courses that allow instructors, students, and content to be located in different, non-centralized locations (Saltzberg & Polyson, 1995). Distributed learning is an instructional paradigm based on the needs of learners and the use of electronic tools supporting the learning. The following four models are actively shaping the evolution of distributed learning (Dede, 1996): 1) knowledge webs used to complement instructors, texts, and libraries as sources of information; 2) Interactions in virtual communities used to complement faceto-face relationships in classrooms; 3) Virtual worlds used to extend learning-by-doing in real-world settings; 4) Sensory immersion techniques such as visualization used to help learners understand through illusion. Distributed learning encompasses the concepts of learning without the boundaries of time and distance. It provides a means of developing skills and knowledge with remote resources, and collaborating with disparate groups. Technology provides the essential mechanisms for establishing interactions. However, to ensure a positive outcome, these tools must be used properly. The future of distributed learning lies in collaborative virtual workspaces and sensory immersion devices. 6

7 Blended learning (often blended learning systems or environments) combine traditional face-to-face instruction with computer-mediated or online instruction (Bonk & Graham (eds.), 2006, p.1). It is the combination of multiple approaches to pedagogy or teaching. Some would claim that key blended-learning arrangements can also involve e- mentoring or e-tutoring. It should also be noted that some authors talk about "hybrid learning" or "mixed learning". However, all of these concepts broadly refer to the integration (the "blending") of e-learning tools and techniques with traditional methods. Researchers emphasize the importance of a planned, pedagogically valuable manner to this integration process for the course to be identified as blended (Hartman, Otte & Niemiec, 2006). Other important factors to consider are the time spent on online activities and the amount of technology used. Thus, Mary Niemiec (2006) suggests that courses are identified according to the following parameters: 1. Classroom-based course: no online or electronic technology is used content is delivered in writing or orally. 2. Technology-enhanced course: uses web-based technology to facilitate what is essentially a f2f course (might use Blackboard to post syllabus, assignments, etc.). Content delivered online 1 to 24%. 3. Blended course: substantial portion of content is delivered online, such as online discussions, or online labs. Typically has some f2f meetings. Content delivered online 25 to 74%. 4. Online course: a significant portion of content is delivered online. Minimal f2f meetings. Content delivered online 75+%. Many studies point out that blended learning is not a new idea. Teachers have been using versions of it all the time. Many people use the term 'hybrid learning' or 'combined resource' teaching to describe similar concepts. Really, it's just mixing teaching and or facilitation methods, learning styles, resource formats, a range of technologies and a range of expertise into a learning stream. Today many scholars admit that, although there is still a strong tendency to use the terms distance learning, online education, and distributed learning interchangeably, the phrase distributed or blended learning environments is more appropriate to describe the powerful paradigm shift which is taking place in higher education. Recently, the American Society for Training and Development identified blended learning as one of the top ten trends to emerge in the knowledge delivery industry in 2003 (cited by Rooney, 2003). 7

8 1.3. Research goals and methodology The shift of paradigm in higher education has a huge impact on the relationship between the university and its faculty since faculty success in the online environment is one of the most crucial factors in developing and sustaining an online learning initiative. The challenge educators face today is the need to help digital immigrant teachers cope with the very different approach to learning that is taken by their digital native students (terms coined by Mark Prensky, 2001).Under the circumstances, only unwavering commitment to faculty support and professional development established as an institutional goal can help universities work out solutions that would meet student demands and create better opportunities for teachers to understand the unique perspective of the millennial learner. The goal of this case study is to identify and describe the model for faculty professional development as part of the initiative that had a great transformative impact on the institution s culture and provided a steady platform for further development at the University of Central Florida. This case study was directed by the following objectives: 1. Introduce the case background: the University of Central Florida and its Virtual Campus. 2. Provide working definitions for the major concepts used in the case study. 3. Specify the case study goals and methodology. 4. Identify the key actors in the institutional support for E-learning and online faculty development at UCF. 5. Describe initiative as an effective faculty development program, including: UCF Virtual campus and current online instructional models Institutional support structure for online teaching and learning IDL6543 course as a central faculty development recourse Opportunities and challenges for faculty teaching online Incentives and benefits for faculty teaching online Faculty satisfaction with Web-based programs 6. Highlight the key elements that mark a successful faculty development initiative. 7. Look at future trends and directions for faculty development at UCF. This research was accomplished in several phases. The first phase of data collection sought to gain deeper understanding of the terminology and the current situation in the study area. Library research, review of recent online publications and formal records analysis helped us determine the conceptual framework of our paper, clarify the focus of this case study and get a better idea of its design. 8

9 At the second phase we conducted a field study that included conference participation and a number of interviews with UCF faculty and policy makers. All the respondents have a long-standing reputation for their high expertise in online teaching and learning and occupy key positions for the development of cyber-education at the University of Central Florida. The purpose of the interviews was to solicit in-depth expert opinions on the issues addressed by our case study. Participation in the 12-th Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks The Power of Online Learning: Realizing the Vision gave us a wonderful opportunity to observe the latest developments and trends in online learning models together with a unique experience of meeting and making contacts within the international academic community. The final phase can be described as pulling the case study together that presumes: 1) data analysis and interpretation where we tried to prepare a comprehensive review of all the materials collected; 2) summarizing our findings in the case study draft; 3) defining the case study presentation format; 4) editing and proofreading the draft version Case background: the University of Central Florida The University of Central Florida was established in 1963 and opened in the fall of 1968 as Florida Technological University, in large part as a response to the space industry. The Florida Legislature changed the university s name to The University of Central Florida on December 6, 1978, to reflect the dynamic role of the University in the Central Florida area and its broader educational mission. Today the University of Central Florida (UCF) is a public, multi-campus, metropolitan research university dedicated to serving its surrounding communities with their diverse and expanding populations, technological corridors, and international partners. The mission of the university is to offer high-quality undergraduate and graduate education, student development, and continuing education; to conduct research and creative activities; and to provide services that enhance the intellectual, cultural, environmental, and economic development of the metropolitan region, address national and international issues in key areas, establish UCF as a major presence, and contribute to the global community. UCF is the second largest university in the State University System of Florida and the seventh largest public university in the United States, with approximately 47,000 enrolled students and ten colleges (College of Arts and Humanities, College of Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Education, College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Health and Public Affairs, College of Optics and Photonics, Rosen 9

10 College of Hospitality Management, Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences, and The Burnett Honors College). The university s logo is Pegasus the winged horse of the muses in Greek mythology symbolizing the unity between the humanities and space technology. With over 9,500 employees, UCF is one of the largest employers in the central Florida metropolitan region. UCF represents a diverse student body, with the largest number of Native American students and the third largest number of Hispanic students in the state of Florida. Although UCF focuses on an 11-county service region, the university s student body represents all 67 Florida counties, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 120 foreign countries. The university offers 86 Bachelor s degrees, 68 Master s degrees, three Specialist s programs, and 24 Doctoral programs. In addition to its main campus in Orlando, UCF offers courses through a network of 21 branch campuses, which serve approximately 10 percent of its total enrolled students, and UCF Online, which serves more than 17 percent of UCF s students. The university is a critical economic engine for the area's growing high-technology industry and is at the center of Florida's High Technology Corridor. In partnership with industry, UCF has developed world-class centers and institutes in the areas of photonics, simulation, and modeling. The Central Florida Research Park adjacent to the university is ranked as one of the top ten such facilities in the nation. Growth, change, and increasing quality are hallmarks of the University of Central Florida. The vision of becoming the nation's leading metropolitan research university requires that UCF consistently perform at an outstanding level. 2. Creating a Foundation for Information Fluency 2.1. UCF Virtual Campus and Web-based programs The UCF Virtual Campus employs online courses over the Internet to meet the diverse needs of a growing student population and to fulfill the general University mission. Due to its strong technological background and recourses, UCF provides distributed learning for those who would not otherwise be able to attend classes on one of the UCF campuses, as well as for campus-based students. The instructional design of these courses maintains a high quality learning environment for the traditional and nontraditional student. The course materials and methods were developed by UCF faculty to maximize the distant learner s achievement of course objectives. 10

11 UCF offers both fully online and blended or reduced-seat-time courses. Of its total enrollment, more than 22,000 currently take at least one online course each semester. From its first online class in May 1996, UCF has expanded its e-learning program offerings to 2,200 courses, including 10 online degree programs and four online certificate programs. As described in (Dziuban et.al., 2004), Web-based alternatives to students at UCF include three online instructional models, each of which is designed to serve specific institutional, faculty, and student needs. All three models are formally recognized and supported throughout the institution; and they afford a continuum of online activity bridging the fully face-to-face classroom with the fully online experience. Web-enhanced courses ( E courses) are fully face-to-face course offerings that include a substantive, required online component, for example: online course materials; links to other course-related Websites; use of computer-mediated conferencing, or chat facilities; and online testing. E courses are the largest and most rapidly growing online learning format at UCF, and are indicative of a general trend toward pedagogicallyrelated use of the Web and Internet resources in instruction throughout the university. Faculty or departments can implement an E course at will, and course accounts in the university s course management system are provided upon request. The university strongly recommends but does not require that all E courses be supported in a Course Management System (CMS) environment to ensure that a full range of functional capabilities and support resources are available, and to maintain consistency between E courses and the other online modalities discussed below. Mixed-mode courses ( M courses) combine face-to-face instruction and online activity with reduced requirements for classroom attendance: reduced seat time. A prototypical M course meets once a week, with the remaining course activity occurring online. Thus, a course that holds live class meetings two or three times a week in traditional face-to-face mode would meet only once when redesigned as an M course. This allows scheduling one or two additional M course sections in the original one-course classroom slot, yielding a 50% to 67% increase in scheduling efficiency. The institutional strategies behind M courses are to increase access and convenience for students, and to improve student retention and enhancement of student learning in highenrollment courses through increased interactivity and active student learning. Many faculty and students regard the M format as the best of both worlds, optimizing the use of both classroom and virtual environments. In the words of one M course instructor, the M format is best conceptualized as a classroom-enhanced Web course, rather than a Web-enhanced classroom course. However it is conceptualized, the university s M courses have consistently demonstrated the ability to produce higher student learning outcomes than any other mode of instruction, combined with very low withdrawal rates. 11

12 Web-based courses ( W courses) are fully online courses that require no face-to-face or classroom-based attendance. Like the M format, W courses emphasize student learning communities, computer-mediated communication, and active student learning. With few exceptions, W courses are offered only as part of a fully online degree or certificate program. The university s current online degree and certificate offerings and those in development include: 1. Undergraduate Programs B.S. in Health Services Administration; B.S. and B.A. in Liberal Studies; RN to BSN Program in Nursing; B.S. in Vocational Education and Industry Training; 2. Graduate Programs M.Ed. in Educational Media; M.S. in Forensic Science; M.A. and M.Ed. in Vocational Education and Industry Training; M.A. in Instructional/Educational Technology; M.S. in Criminal Justice; M.S. in Nursing; M.A. in Education, Curriculum and Instruction; M.S. in Special Education 3. Graduate Certificate Programs Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing; Graduate Certificate in Community College Education; Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management; Graduate Certificate in Instructional/Educational Technology; Graduate Certificate in Computer Forensics; Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice; Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence; Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management; and Graduate Certificate in Special Education. Current online program information can be found on the UCF Center for Distributed Learning s Web site at The E, M, and W modalities provide a hierarchy of online options, each increasingly displacing classroom meeting time, as illustrated in Figure 1. 12

13 Figure 1. A F2F-online continuum. The M and W formats are regarded as transformed teaching and learning environments, not only because they replace face-to-face classroom time with online learning activities, but also because they are highly interactive, student-centered learning environments. The E modality although not transformative, provides students in any regular face-to-face course with tools to support online collaboration, learning communities, and access to online resources. Because the M and W formats are regarded as transformative, faculty must participate in an intensive faculty development program (IDL6543, which will be discussed further on) in order to teach a course in one of these modalities. Faculty development for the E format is provided through Essentials, a self-paced online course that prepares faculty to use WebCT and includes the basics of online pedagogy. Essentials is supplemented with additional skill development classes including WebCT Academy and Web101, which focus on the mechanistic aspects of WebCT and Web site development. Priorities for course development in M and W modalities are established by the respective college deans and chairpersons through consultations that occur once each academic term. Faculty responsible for the courses selected for online development are identified by the academic units and scheduled for participation in an upcoming IDL6543 faculty development session Institutional support for E-learning and faculty development: key actors University of Central Florida has a broad range of capabilities to support both e-learning and faculty development initiatives and thus build a foundation for the adoption of information fluency. Major capabilities are provided by the following offices: Course Development & Web Services Center for Distributed Learning Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness Division of Information Technologies & Resources Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning Multimedia Classrooms Operational Excellence and Assessment Support Research Computing and Networking UCF Academy for Teaching, Learning and Leadership University Libraries 13

14 University Writing Center Due to the limited size of this paper, we are going to examine the work of the first five divisions and their essential role in providing a focused foundation for an emerging culture of information fluency at the University of Central Florida Division of Information Technologies & Resources The division of Information Technologies & Resources designs, develops, and supports campus technology resources in support of teaching and learning, research, and administrative services. The IT & R Division is headed by Dr. Joel L. Hartman, Vice Provost for Information Technologies and Resources. As the university s CIO, he has overall responsibility for library, computing, networking, telecommunications, media services, and distributed learning activities. The organizational chart that features all the offices comprising IT&R Division is presented in Figure 2. The university's technology resources are supported by the User Services Help Desk, which provides telephone and walk-in assistance for a wide variety of campus technology resources. The Faculty Multimedia Center provides instruction, consultation, and production support for the use of new multimedia technologies and helps faculty members adopt successful pedagogical approaches integrating media into the classes Course Development & Web Services Headed by Dr. Barbara Truman, Course Development & Web Services (CDWS) is a learning organization within the division of Information Technologies and Resources at the University of Central Florida. CDWS was originally formed in 1996 out of a need to develop and deliver strategies and guidelines for UCF faculty venturing into the world of online teaching and learning. Since its inception, CDWS' responsibilities have expanded to encompass a broad spectrum of Web-based initiatives. This has been divided into three main areas of focus: Online Teaching & Learning Web Services Professional Programs The organizational chart for this unit is presented in Figure 3. 14

15 Figure 2. Informational Technologies & Resources Organizational Chart 15

16 Figure 3. Course Development & Web Services Organizational Chart 16

17 The mission of Course Development & Web Services is to support teaching, learning, and research by being "all things Web" to UCF and its partners, helping UCF achieve its strategic goals with advanced applications of instructional and information technology. Services are provided systematically through professional development programs, consultations, projects, production, technical support, R&D, and other collaborative efforts. To meet its mission, CDWS has three areas of focus: Online Teaching & Learning The goal of online teaching and learning at UCF is to facilitate the creation of high quality instructionally sound courses for the online arena. Based upon extensive research, CDWS has developed conventions for online courses as well as a support system for faculty teaching in the online environment. The Instructional Design Team interfaces with faculty, supports curriculum development and delivery, and provides instructional materials design and development. The instructional designers also work closely in cross-functional teams with graphic designers and programmers. Instructional designers are paired with specific faculty with whom they maintain a close, continuous relationship. The coordinator of course development heads the Instructional Design Team. A strong emphasis is placed on creating courses that are easy to maintain by both faculty and CDWS. To help faculty learn the skills necessary for Web page maintenance, the unit offers professional development programs throughout the year. CDWS also provides online support for faculty through the Teaching Online Web site, and student support is available through the Learning Online Web site. Web Services CDWS has responsibility for campus Web services, researches and develops Web applications for the university. This includes continuous development and management of the main UCF Web site, the MyUCF Web portal, the epay commerce system, and other enterprise applications such as the UCF awardwinning Virtual Tour. The Techrangers, a group of three full-time staff and 12 part-time students, provide programming and technical support. The established practice of using student programmers has been a key factor in supporting e-learning s rapid growth at UCF. 17

18 Web Strategy team members are active participants in campus organizations such as the Web Policy Committee and the Accessibility Task Force, both designed to build community and guide matters regarding UCF Web space. Professional Programs The Digital Media Design, Video, and New Media Teams provide production support for online courses, the Pegasus Disc, and the main UCF Web site. Providing structured, professional production support allows faculty to focus on designing their online courses. In addition to providing ongoing professional development for faculty and staff at UCF, an outreach effort has been created to develop collaborative relationships with other institutions outside the university. CDWS provides on-site consultation, analysis, and professional development services for universities, community colleges, and government agencies throughout the United States who share our vision and goals Center for Distributed Learning The Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) was created in 1997 to provide planning and administrative support for students and faculty engaged in one or more of the university s distributed learning modalities. Headed by Dr. Randall Upchurch, the Center for Distributed Learning serves as the Virtual Campus for the University providing campus-wide coordination, planning, marketing, and administrative support for all distributed learning credit courses, degree programs and activities offered by the University. A broad range of coordination functions CDL provides for UCF faculty includes collaboration on faculty training, support for distributed learning program development, and customized computer searches for funding opportunities related to distance education. Distributed Learning at UCF includes instructional delivery technologies such as interactive television and Web-based instruction that provide services to nontraditional, distant, and campus-based students. UCF has developed a significant number of totally Web-based degree, degree-completion, and certificate programs. Distributed Learning also encompasses the use of computer resources to extend and enhance traditional classroom instruction. Hundreds of courses are provided each year that have Web components, many that substitute online activity for classroom time and thereby reduce classroom scheduling demands and facility use at our growing University. 18

19 The Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness This unit was established in 1996 to provide an independent assessment of the impact of online learning on students, faculty, and the institution. For the past decade the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness at UCF (http://rite.ucf.edu) has been collecting and analyzing longitudinal data monitoring access, learning effectiveness, student satisfaction, reactive behavior patterns and faculty satisfaction with UCF s award-winning distributed learning program. In addition to evaluating UCF s distributed learning program, the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness provides leadership and support to faculty members across campuses who are conducting research in effective pedagogy, much of which concentrates on information fluency. In 2005, the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness director, Dr. Charles Dziuban, was the Sloan Consortium s recipient of its "Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual" award Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning Headed by Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning is a recognized center for faculty development in pedagogy, curriculum development, assessment, and the scholarship of teaching and learning that serves all faculty and teaching staff on campus and at the regional campuses. The Faculty Center's primary mission is to support and promote faculty in their roles as teachers, researchers, scholars, and as members of UCF and the Central Florida community. Essential to such support is the enhancement of faculty success at any career stage and the promotion of collegiality. The Faculty Center seeks to promote the following goals through a wide range of activities: 1. Excellence in teaching and learning; 2. Successful research and creative endeavors; 3. Professional fulfillment; 4. Local and global community building. The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning is the faculty-initiated and administratively-supported UCF center for faculty development and teaching and learning success. Used by all colleges as a campus resource, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning staff provides workshops and one-on-one assistance to faculty members and administrators on course, program, and college assessment, and the integration of effective pedagogies that support student learning (http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/). In collaboration with Operational Excellence and Assessment Support, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning offers workshops and 19

20 consultations with all teaching and student support units on course and program assessment : an effective faculty development model Analysts point out that UCF has a strong capability for faculty development that builds on many university s strengths and is based on the UCF previous successful initiatives. In this paragraph we are going to explore the already established award-winning faculty development program as part of an institution-wide distributed learning initiative, that serves institutional goals for increased and more flexible access, improved student learning, and cost efficiency. As it was mentioned in the previous paragraph, in 1996 the University of Central Florida created three units, Course Development & Web Services, the Center for Distributed Learning, and the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness, in order to support UCF s online initiatives. These three teams collaborative efforts resulted in an intensive faculty development program supporting experiential teaching and learning online New challenges for faculty As UCF expanded its e-learning initiatives, challenging issues at both the faculty and student level emerged. For faculty, success meant preparedness both attitudinal and technical. Faculty need to recognize e-learning as a legitimate and essential instructional mode while online courses challenge many of the basic assumptions they hold about teaching and learning. As stated in (Arabasz et al., 2003), some challenging factors for faculty include: Not every faculty member is interested or equipped to teach online; E-learning instruction requires a major commitment of time and training, it is labor-intensive and time-consuming; Lack of technology proficiency (technical expertise); Lack of technical consistency in the classroom, unreliable technology (will the Internet be up? Do I need to bring back-up materials on a disc?); Lack of new pedagogical approaches expertise (online pedagogy) The concept of faculty readiness Considering the above points, researchers developed a profile of mainstream faculty members who most easily adapt to the online environment (Truman-Davis et al., 2000). This skill set constitutes faculty readiness needed to initiate and implement online teaching and learning support. The typical traits include: 20

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