March 26, 2013
Writer: Hayden Coombs
On February 7th, 2013, Brother Thurgood conducted a Course Leads Responsibilities Training. The primary reason for Course Lead trainings is to help Course Leads understand their important roles, as well as to explain how you will have the time to fulfill this responsibility.
In an effort to keep all modes of delivery aligned and continually improving, department chairs assign course leads for multi-section courses (typically four or more sections).
As needed, department chairs ensure that a portion of the course lead's load is designated for significant course redevelopment or modification, to allow for class observations, for communicating with other instructors of that course, and to participate in Course Councils. This load allocation may be from 0 to 3 hours per semester. It is anticipated that the amount of load would be reassessed each semester and that it might decrease over time.
In situations where many sections of a course exist (such as Foundations courses), a department chair may consult with his or her college dean and the associate academic vice president for instruction about the possibility of appointing an assistant course lead, as well.
Department chairs and faculty are the chief stewards of content. Among other things, they do the following:
- Help decide which courses get created online.
- Collaborate with the online team in creating great courses, helping improve them over time, and keep them synchronized with what's being taught on campus.
- They do this through councils that include online instructors and curriculum designers. Council members listen to each other's ideas with open minds and debate proposals respectfully and rigorously.
- On matters of content such as deciding on the critical learning outcomes for the course, faculty members have the final say.
- In other words, no substantive changes to the content of a course should ever be made without approval of the responsible on-campus faculty. (The person who plays this role is called the Course Lead.)
- Screen online instructor applicants to make sure they have sufficient expertise and appropriate credentials to teach courses in the discipline.
- No online instructor should ever be hired without a department chair or Foundations team lead approving their hire.
- Help provide, as needed, content and discipline-specific training to online instructors.
- Provide critical input to the online team if any content-related concerns arise about an instructor's performance.
- Look for opportunities to reach out to online instructors in their discipline or course and invite them to participate, where possible, in content-specific discussions and training, without undermining instructors' reporting relationship to the online team.
To view the power point presentation in its entirety, click here.