May 27, 2014
Writer: Brian Baker
Over 260 BYU-Idaho online instructors are registered to attend the Online Teaching and Learning Conference that will be held on June 12-13. While many online instructors will watch sessions of the conference online, some will attend on campus.
"The purpose of the conference is to improve online teaching practice," said Joel Galbraith, director of Online Instruction.
Although it is not required, on-campus faculty are welcome to attend as long as their classes do not conflict.
"The sessions are going to be very online-centric," Galbraith said. "But I think there is a lot of value there for faculty interested in teaching online or hybrid courses. There's a lot one can learn from these sessions."
He said that while on-campus instructors are generally used to all aspects of the BYU-I culture, many online instructors may not be. The conference will give them an opportunity to experience the culture and vision of BYU-Idaho and feel more connected to the campus.
During the conference, online instructors may be invited to attend department meetings, visit on-campus colleagues, and observe classes. Department chairs and course leads will participate in the conference to help foster a relationship between the designers and teachers of online courses.
Galbraith said that although online instructors and on-campus faculty teach in different venues, they have the same goals and teach many of the same students.
"There are probably more things we have in common than are different," he said. "This conference is a growing opportunity for us to rub shoulders with colleagues."