Collaborative Learning in Action: The Online Teaching and Learning Institute

The CTTL Online Teaching and Learning Institute

Participants gave high marks to the hands-on collaborative environment of the CTTL's Online Teaching and Learning Institute, which also promoted interdisciplinary cooperation. From left to right: Dr. Cynthia Stollhans (Art History); Dr. James Scott (English); Mark Wilson (Theatre); Dr. Joya Uraizee (English); Dr. Ann Meechai (English for Academic Purposes); Dr. Dan Bustillos (Health Care Ethics); and Dr. Leslie Hinyard (SLU Center for Outcomes Research). Not pictured: Dr. Nina Westhus (Nursing) and Dr. James Gilsinan (Public Policy Studies).

It’s a popular question for the contemporary academic — How do I transfer a face-to-face, traditional classroom experience to an online or blended setting?

This summer the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning explored this question by hosting its first Online Teaching and Learning Institute (OTLI) from May 21 through June 1. Nine full-time faculty members from a variety of disciplines spent one week in the CTTL Learning Studio developing online and blended courses. During the second week of the Institute, participants had several options to explore synchronous learning environments: peer review of in-progress online courses in SLU Global; a Wimba presentation; and Google+ Hangouts.

The Institute is especially relevant to full-time faculty at Saint Louis University who are building or refining anĀ online or blended (hybrid) course for the semester following the Institute or who have an online course in progress. The Institute uses Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) framework of the “Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education” to present, discuss, and explore concrete strategies and pedagogies for teaching online. Institute participants also receive Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction (2011) by R.M. Conrad and J.A. Donaldson and a Certificate in Online Teaching.

Due to the success of the first Online Teaching and Learning Institute, the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) will be offering a second 2-week session later this summer (July 30 – August 10, 2012). More information will be forthcoming on The Notebook, SLU Newslink, and elsewhere. If you have questions about the Institute please contact Michaella Hammond; if you would like to register for the next Online Teaching and Learning Institute, please click here.

Related reading: What does the excellent online instructor look like?

The first Online Teaching & Learning Institute cohort and the CTTL's Instructional Design Team.

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