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Minimum Qualifications to Teach ONLINE …

It is important to note that eLearning courses and instructors are subject to the standard practices, procedures and criteria which have been established for traditional face to face courses at SSU including but not limited to, faculty involvement in course development and approval, selection of online instructors, and oversight of online courses to ensure conformity with existing institutional practices and procedures.

SSU Online Learning Policy

Preparing to Teach an Online Course …

1. Understand your college or department's approach to eLearning
For some departments, online may be a completely new approach to instruction while other departments may have more experience. How is your college or department participating in eLearning?  It is a conversation worth exploring among your colleagues. 
2. Reach out to a colleague who has taught online
Some of the best advice for evaluating whether or not you will teach online will come from your colleagues.  Consider those in your department or in a related department who may have experienced teaching an online or hybrid course.  Would they do it again?  What was different about engaging with online learners?  Did it cause them to think about their teaching in new ways?
3. Access resources already available at SSU
There are many resources and training aids for teaching online and even more are in development. If you would like to brainstorm ideas for an online or hybrid course, consider appropriate technologies, or find other instructors who have had the experience of teaching online.
4. Consider whether you want to revise a current course or create a new course
Starting with existing materials may shorten the timeline for course development, but you will still need to consider carefully how the content and learning objectives translate to an online medium.  Give yourself enough time to plan for revising or creating new content AND thinking through the types of interactions and assignments you’ll use in your online or hybrid course.
5. Assess when and what type of course you may want to teach
Should it be fully online or is hybrid more appropriate?  How imperative is it to see your students face-to-face for at least some part of the course?  What if you got to know your students through chat, an online discussion, or a video interface only?  Could course enrollments increase if students have the opportunity to avoid traveling to campus?  All of these are questions you may want to consider.
6. Become a proficient user of Brightspace
Brightspace by D2L is the learning management system used at SSU.  Like many technologies, the opinions of users vary.  Some are fans, some are frustrated, and some choose not to think about it at all.  It is important to know that SSU eLearning relies heavily on Brightspace as the medium through which instructors and students interact for online and hybrid courses.  To teach your course well, you should be confident in your understanding of the tools, features, and yes, quirks of Brightspace. Get started with an introductory session or schedule some time with a member of the Academic Support team by calling 912-358-3423.
7. Try Lecture Capture
Lecture capture is an umbrella term describing any technology that allows instructors to digitally record a lecture (using audio/video, screen captures or PowerPoint slides) and make it available for students to see.  At SSU, Lecture Capture takes 2 forms – Personal Capture (Faculty recording audio/video from their office or home;) Traditional Classroom Lecture Capture (Specially outfitted classrooms with persistent recording equipment that allow faculty to record audio/video.) 

What resources are available at Savannah State University?

Final Thoughts…

In conclusion, experience is the best teacher, and so just like any kind of learning, you will not know what it is like to teach online unless you plunge into it. Start very slowly, with relatively simple technology and lots of help. We recommend that you try it.

Again, encourage your online faculty community to participate in the sharing of best practices in online teaching.

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