Purpose: As the result of my heavy involvement in helping to establish Hybrid Instruction at UT, I was awarded responsibility for leading the Hybrid Faculty Training (Faculty are not allowed to teach hybrid at UT without undergoing this training). Guided by feedback and experience with the prior system, I focused the redesign on the goals of aligning the system, streamlining processes, requiring prerequisites, and building more meaningful interaction for face-to-face sessions. Upon polling, it turned out that there was tremendous interest in the new model among faculty. With only 3 weeks to redesign the entire training, and another 2 weeks to carry it out, I immediately set about the work.
Results: The redesign was successful! The new model successfully incorporated a previous element of the training model, which subsequently saved the institution $200 per participant! Of the 25 interested faculty, eight faculty went through the training during the first session, and it received wonderful reviews by participants! Those who applied to the next stage had their courses successfully reviewed and approved by the Hybrid Course Review Committee, and are Hybrid Instructors today!
Stage 1: Pre-Requisite Training
After the redesign, the new Hybrid training model required prerequisite competencies, or entry skills, that took advantage of existing training and materials provided through the Center for Teaching & Learning. These prerequisites consisted of demonstrated competence in the Blackboard LMS (evidenced by completion of a semi-automated training course and an earned Open Badge Micro-Credential, each of which I designed in separate projects), Teaching, Instructional Design Basics, and Designing for Accessibility. This ensured a baseline of competency of entrants to NTI.
Stage 2: The “New” New Teaching Institute (NTI)
The primary focus of the redesign was on the New Teaching Institute section. I modified the NTI to replace an expensive pre-session training element that costed $200 per participant (saving $1600 on the first run), and to focus on engaging faculty in effective hybrid practices. The NTI now began by introducing participants to the new Hybrid Course Review Rubric (I previously streamlined this rubric and reduced review times from 60+ minutes to 15 minutes). From there, the training consisted of teaching the UT Hybrid Shell, best practices and requirements for creating hybrid course artifacts, creating media, and teaching & assessment best practices for hybrid. This was all followed up by a share and tell session where faculty presented their work. Much of this content was online, but there were face-to-face sessions where faculty discussed the concepts, shared their practices and work, and provided feedback on each others’ work. Before moving on, participants were required to pass an NTI exit assessment project (they had to have their course 100% completed with placeholders, and 25% of actual content).
Stage 3: Hybrid Course Review Committee (HCRC) Review
The follow up section for the NTI remained the same, which required submission of the completed course to the Hybrid Course Review Committee for review by at least three committee members against the rubric. Any feedback and revisions would be shared, and adjustments made, before participants became official UT Hybrid Instructors (and were awarded an open badge in recognition)!
Some quotes from a formative evaluation survey:
- “I’d love to see Fred Baker continue in this capacity. He is an exceptional facilitator.”
- “The face-to-face meetings helped me to, in my opinion, vastly improve my hybrid course and also gave me an opportunity to address questions I hadn’t thought of (such as captioned videos, ADA requirements, etc.)”
- “Any more than two face-to-face sessions would have felt like a waste of time. Fred was great in responding to emails and answering specific questions I had before and after the face-to-face sessions.”
The Majority of Faculty also Reported Feeling…
- More Competent with Course Design
- More Connected With Peers
- That the Training was of High Value
- Training was a Worthwhile Investment of Time and Efforts
- They Would Recommend the New NTI
- They Would Teach Peers Something They Learned