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K-State Today

February 5, 2013

Virtual resource: E-learning modules help instructors learn, share best practices in online teaching

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University faculty who develop and teach online courses now have a new resource.

The e-learning faculty modules wiki serves as a central access point for e-learning resources for faculty at the university. It showcases teaching resources for online course instruction and is a place for faculty to share experiences and best practices, and to review current policies for online courses.

The initiative for the e-learning tool arose in response to an increase in online course development and a need for a comprehensive online faculty resource at the university. The development team collaborated with online instructors to create a user-friendly, informative and interactive tool for faculty.

"Because of the increasing interest in degrees and certificates that can be obtained in an online environment, there are new opportunities for instructors to begin teaching in this new format," said Lynda Spire, project co-leader and assistant dean of continuing education at Kansas State University. "While course content does not change in a move to online teaching, there is a different set of expectations related to developing quality online courses. The faculty modules wiki is an effort to provide tools that can be used in the transition to online teaching."

Enhancing the proficiency of both experienced and first-time online instructors required a resource that would allow them to communicate their experiences and insight peer-to-peer, according to Spire.

The website contains three main modules for beginner through experienced instructors, as well as several stand-alone modules and a place for current policies for distance education classes.

Faculty can select topic-intensive modules in areas including accessibility, assessment, fair-use and copyright, and honor and integrity. These modules offer a more in depth look at the top areas of interest in online instruction and course development. All components are self-paced and time-flexible to better accommodate faculty schedules.

A Faculty Share page allows university instructors to share information, teaching experiences and digital resources with their university colleagues.

Spire says two more stand-alone modules are currently in development. One is related to library services, and the other focuses on dealing with student issues in online settings.

Learn more or watch the introductory video from Provost April Mason at http://www.elearningfacultymodules.org.