by Eric Ritholz

One of the most significant contributing factors to the future of Online Learning at Hostos over 2020 is that we have more feedback and examples of use than ever before to guide in both the development and refinement of training and support. Across the board there is more information on the practice of Online Learning and improvements on effective delivery to use and implement for our Hostos students.

The Online Learning Initiative
Currently we have two Online Learning Initiative training programs running. One is a self-paced asynchronous course that faculty are invited to join at any time and progress at an individual pace. There other is a 3-week Winter session running from January 6th through January 27th 2021.
In addition to the current offerings an intermediate level program is in development that will be drafted and implemented from the Summer of 2021 onward. This course will further deconstruct the more challenging elements of delivery and focus less on structure. Faculty that have developed courses for certification that wish to further explore methods to improve their usage of the Online Learning modalities. An aspect of this (community of inquiry) is covered more specifically in Catherine Man’s article in this newsletter.

The Online Course Development Guide and Online Course Evaluation System
Revision of the Online Course Development Guide and the standard Online Learning Initiative Training will take place throughout 2021. Based on the experience of use of the current training, feedback, and current trends we will develop a new version of this training that reflects the needs of the faculty and students. By the end of this year, the current version of the Online Learning Initiative will have been in use for three years and this has given us the opportunity to improve upon a strong foundation and create a “2.0” so to speak. Once this new version of the Online Course Development Guidelines has been completed revisions to the Online Course Evaluation System will follow to match any changes in terminology and organization of the key criteria and components that are covered in the trainings and for certification.

The Online website on the Hostos Commons
Lastly, the Online website on the Hostos Commons will continue to improve, to grow, and to provide useful resources related to online learning as well as a new focus on persistent discourse among the faculty. Several tools are being considered to help in fostering continued conversations on the online learning environment that range of blogs and discussion boards to video post applications. As soon as these are ready for use they will appear on the http://commons.hostos.cuny.edu/online website.

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