Part three of a three part series, which focuses on the online instructor’s role in the collaborative approach to learning online

August 27, 2012
Writer: Rob Eaton

BYU-Idaho's approach to creating and teaching courses online is designed to harness the subject matter expertise of all the parties involved. The process and synergy of all the parties coming together allows BYU-Idaho to create a high-quality learning experience online.

This article is the final part of a three part series that will provide a high-level explanation of relative roles and responsibilities of those involved with this process. Part one focuses on campus faculty, part two on the role of the online team, and part three on online instructors.

Online Instructors

BYU-Idaho hires remote instructors with master's or doctorate degrees in relevant disciplines to teach the courses jointly by on-campus faculty and the online team. Because they don't need to create courses or generate significant amounts of content themselves, these instructors-many of whom are working in the fields about which they teach-focus on providing customized feedback and instruction to students. Their responsibilities include the following:

  • Helping students navigate through and understand the provided curriculum.
  • Deepening students' understanding by providing them specific feedback, probing questions, and occasionally pointing them to additional material to address specific concerns.
  • Building and facilitating a community of learners that support and build each other in testimony and academic learning.
  • Connecting students with appropriate resources on campus, such as Acadmic Support.
  • Submitting "fixes" to Course Development to rectify minor technical mistakes in courses.
  • Providing substantive feedback and suggestions on how the course can be improved to the online instructor designated to share such ideas with the Course Lead as part of a Course Improvement Council.

The entirety of these articles, along with a table that outlines the approval process for online activities, can be found in the Fall 2012 issue of Perspective Magazine.