Developing Faculty Mentors: The Low-Stress Option To Faculty Training

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At 10:00am On 11/10/16 I attended Developing Faculty Mentors: The Low-Stress Option To Faculty Training presented by Geni Wright at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Developing Faculty Mentors: The Low-Stress Option To Faculty Training

In her presentation, Geni Wright spoke on how developing faculty mentors modeling best practices for online and blended courses is an excellent resource for new and established faculty. Faculty mentors provide a long-term training strategy that is both cost-effective and user-friendly. Faculty are often more receptive to fellow faculty suggestions for course revisions providing collaboration opportunities and development of future training modules based on common concerns and trends. Faculty mentors have the additional benefit of ongoing professional development, interdepartmental interaction, and are often included in the planning and training for early adopters of newly adopted technology at the institution.

This discussion had no slide deck, so it seemed more like a free-flowing presentation with some off-the-cuff thoughts on the way through. Main topics were folded into:

  • Opportunities to enhance faculty training
  • The need for more effective peer to peer training
  • A way for faculty to model universal design in online and blended courses

Geni Wright discussed that her school contains only 175 faculty members at her school, and this required a team of 3 faculty members and a growing system requiring 1 faculty mentor per department moving forward. Faculty chosen for these mentor positions are ones using the universal design theories and practices in their classes. We need the faculty to facilitate and participate in the program are the ones who are showing the best use in their classrooms.

As a school which participates in Quality Matters (QM), faculty mentors participate in an internal peer review process to assist faculty in alignment for initial quality matters pre-review. Quality matters at their school is voluntary. I found this to be surprising. It calls to mind the idea that schools of small sizes have a lot to offer, but not always what is needed for larger schools. Granted, this goes both ways.

Moving into the latter portion of the session, the speaker discussed accessibility and objectives- issues we have covered heavily in our QM training here on campus, and moved into with EPIC. I was EXTREMELY surprised to find out how many schools are NOT ADA section 508 compliant with accessibility.

Some of this was not useful. A major improvement discussed was the use of Starfish, a faculty student evaluation tool, but the speaker mentioned that many teachers at her college were not aware of how to use the blackboard gradebook, and not all teachers did use it. This was extremely disheartening. However, not everyone can be the best, so there was a good deal to learn overall, just not a lot of it was for me.


Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education

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At 9:00am On 11/8/16 I attended Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education presented by Laura McNeill at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education

This was a really echoey conversation, and the online venue made this very difficult to follow. I had to turn off sound for several portions of the training, but was able to follow the bulk of the conversation. I added the links provided to some of the most echoey portions of the presentation.

As colleges and universities continue to expand online learning opportunities, student engagement, interaction, and participation, as well as the prevention of attrition, will be crucial to the success and growth of such programs. Researchers have observed that the most well planned online and explicitly laid out instructional environment is not enough to sustain learner interest or support engagement. Some studies have suggested increasing student collaboration through a variety of technology tools that simulate to face to face interaction. Social media is one option that shows much potential for positively impacting online learning.

Social Media Explained in Donuts (https://vimeo.com/76290266)
YouTube Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMLAEv2dcVE)
Blogging/Podcasting: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVu9a1IMh1Q)
Twitter: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgH-XhsUEuU)

As the BYOD (bring your own device) classroom becomes a more prevalent ideation, it will be interesting to see this approach continue.

Attrition in online classes tends to be a major, ongoing issue. Often this can be seen as an issue with the unreadiness of students for online classes. Again, this is a nod to our ELI and EPIC training on campus – well done team!

<h2>Reasons for attrition</h2>Low motivation and poor study habits, combined with confusion about course activities and deadlines, isolation from classmates and instructions, and slow internet connections often cause problems.

<h2>Crucial Collaboration</h2>Students can be less anxious and more connected when a variety of tools allow them to have the F2F interactions they desire. Student who collaborate and share: use more technology, have a better e-learning experience, and practice self-directed learning. In many cases, social media tools are the answer, but how can you integrate this in the classroom?

<h2>Social Media in the classroom</h2><ul><li>Facilitate informal discussion and collaboration<li>reflect on learning<li>enhance instruction with enrichment<li>Keep students engaged in a non-time-sensitive context.

All-in-all I thought this was pretty good, and pointed once again into what we can do for the classroom, but not a lot of good examples shown here.

Changing Course Design: Building and Ensuring Quality Driven Courses

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At 9:00am On 11/7/16 I attended Changing Course Design: Building and Ensuring Quality Driven Courses presented by The opening Keynote Speaker Dr. Ryan Rucker at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Opening Keynote: Changing Course Design: Building and Ensuring Quality Driven Courses



This was really a very interesting start to the online conference. In fact, I’ve never really been part of an online conference in this manner before, so it was a great opportunity.

kewynote-ryan_ruckerDr. Ryan Ruckery Dr. Ryan Rucker is an instructor within the Department of Information Systems Technology at MTC. He has been teaching face-to-face and online computer networking/programming courses at various universities and colleges since June 2011. In addition, he has worked for over eight years in the information and educational technology fields. These positions include: Desktop Support Technician (USC), Instructional Systems Analyst (Georgia Regents University), Technical Trainer (SCDOT), and Senior Instructional Designer (USC). Dr. Rucker’s primary research interests involve technology adoption and investigating best practices in the online classroom.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Ryan Rucker lead with a fantastic statement: “Building quality driven courses is a major objective that many universities and colleges are requiring faculty and staff members to effectively implement.” How we got there was a mutlipart journey in which many schools took many approaches and more often than not ended with schools experiencing “implementation fatigue” with many ideas started, and few completed.

It is imperative for all university/college personnel to recognize that delivering up-to-date online courses will enhance the overall quality, scope, and reach of higher education. To ensure that a quality learning experience is provided to all learners, most universities/colleges have integrated the research-based Quality Matters (QM) rubric and review process as the underlining framework. While Quality Matters is a difficult thing for many schools to undertake, the benefits can be enormous. The Keynote investigated best practices and tips for faculty members and instructional designers/support staff who are considering developing new or enhancing current online courses. We also reviewed the QM standards and provide samples of effective assignments that can be easily implemented.

At Wake Technical Community College, the Quality Matters program was used as a stepping stone for the implementation of our own EPIC system. We’ve been through many of these processes, so I understand how difficult it can be to work through.


How To Teach Graphic Design Online

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On March 9th 2016, I Presented to the NCCIA at 10:30am with Carla Osborne, MA and Julie Evans, Instructors of Advertising & Graphic Design at Wake Technical Community College, in RM235 in the 600 building at Rowan Cabarrus Community College in Salisbury, NC.

Tyler Dockery, MAEd, Assistant Professor of Advertising & Graphic Design, Julie Evans, and Carla Osborne, MA present at the 2016 NCCIA Conference in Salisbury, NC
Tyler Dockery, MAEd, Assistant Professor of Advertising & Graphic Design, Julie Evans, and Carla Osborne, MA present at the 2016 NCCIA Conference in Salisbury, NC




StepUpToADegree-GRD TeachingGraphicDesignOnline-PDF (1)




This session was set to be a slight scary one, but the attendees were nice, ready to ask and answer questions, and open to taking notes. Tee experience was very, very positive one. I believe we’ll be doing this again, and I find that these situations seem stressful on the outside, but once you begin… its just as easy as it could be.

This conference opened the door for me.I look forward to presenting more in the future.



Epically Involved with Patrick Williams of Wake Tech Community College

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Patrick Williams, ENG department Associate prof team lead of epic whatsis

status of QEP, pathways, peer review process, how to get involved

Goal and objectives:
goal: Reduce barrier and support learning, persistence of cuccess of students in online courses
objectives: help sutdents overcome learning barriers and gain the skill needed to be successfaul online learners.
obj: help faculty design anddeliver online courses in accordance wit hWT e-learning quality standards
online faculty MUST be certified by fall 2017 to continue teaching online.

1st portion of this is the ELI (e-learning intro) course required for students.

It should not affect the coursework you teach. The testers are NOT content management experts. The LMS will be the same across multiple classes so that standardization is the same across the college.

EPIC 103 should be rolling out by the summer. We will do what is required to make this available. There will be summer training, and peerr reviewers will be chosen who have already survived online peer review.

Navigation standards:

entry quiz
getting started
faculty information


course resources
my grades
student support

standardized LMS menu focuses on organization of materials, not the content of the course.

Sets of standards:

welcome message
ice breaker or intro assignment
faculty to student interaction (what are our expectations? office hours, use announcements, email, texts?)
student to student interactions (netiquette and rules of doing your work)
active learning (discussions, projects, what are you going to be doing in here?)
response expectations (how to communicate. How long to get a response?)

Faculty presence (are you actually monitoring this product? I guess this has to do with Weekly emails?)

student participation, collaboration tools and activities( what will they be doing and how are they interacting. are there multiple ways to show what they’ve learned)

Explanation of assessment standards

course-level SLOs (what are they? where are you posting them?)
Lesson/week SLOs (what are you learning this week and how will it affect the future List and short paragraph)
Assessments (tests, essay, projects, etc.
rubrics (when necessary. Let people know before grading )
Clear grading policy (what is it? where is it) what are the milestone grades and how much will they be?



This list is available in the portal, as well as in the newsletter. At this point, there were some debates about the course titles, and how difficult they are to find within the professional development section of our website, and the additon of how long courses stay available.

Conclusion of this conversation: Once you’re certified, you’ll stay certified until new processes come out.

Many faculty feel that a single EPIC template should be available within the department.I’ll need to work on that.

There is a blackboard item: E-Learning Accessibility section allows you to revisit the accessibility lessons to revisit the best ways to keep materials accessible. NBC Learn community are some nice pieces.


Fill out electronic submission forms. THere are 3 trained reviewers evaluating the course shell. THey may allow you to revise if necessary, and there are also straight pass and straight fail options

waketech.edu/epic or in intiative, under QEP there is a n EPIC 30. We are looking for EPIC ambassador. Ask them a question: pbwilliams@waketech.edu


Town Hall Forum with Doctor Scott

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At an 8:25am session in the Wake Tech Spring Faculty Professional Development Conference held at the Health Sciences Campus in Raleigh, North Carolina, Keynote speaker Steve Piscitelli spoke to a packed faculty audience about Reflective Practices in Teaching.


8:25am, March 3rd 2016

  1. Bond Vote
  2. Short Session – State Budget
  3. Budget priorities
  4. county budgert or bond
  6. applied benchmarking
  7. out reach for accounting business analtics
  8. grads
  9. QUestions

Dr. Scott’s objectives are to discuss the state of the college and see what’s on OUR minds.


N&O says that the bond vot looks goo,d but… You will have t otake all of nothing. Why is there no tax increase on the bond vote? they have paid off earlier bonds, so $ on previous bonds can be now used for these bonds. Everyone get out and vote.

Dr. Scott does not endorse any presidential candidates at this time 🙂

State legislature will not have a special session on state of the bathrooms (trans-gender bathrooms). Many will want to get campainging, so wont act in the short session. Raises are possible, but only after raises are given to the public schools.

In last year’s budget, $10 million were put in for community college plan but put in faculty rank and compensation

state budget

No new initiatives

budget priorities

attachment FC 4

Budget strategy1: improve student completion rates by investing in student supports (tutoring labs, supplemental instruactions, etc.).

recommendations: no new appropriateion required.
-retian budget fund that would be cut due to FTE enrollment level
-use those to restore $25mil of $59mil the management flexibility cut. (any number in here, consider 8% and that’s wake tech)
-direct that colleges use these monies to fund locally-dteremined student supports that promote sutdnet completeion

Research shows that sutdnets who successfully complete college-level “Gateway” english and math are more likely to complatete a credential – as they

Budget strategy2
-provide a 3% increase to employeese. This would help NC possibly surpass the average salary in SC.
-averate salary is $47,400 equals only 90% and 81% of the SREB and national averages respectfully, per the 2015 SREB fact book.

budget 3
close the interest gap. increase enrolliment in key cc profframs by promoting studetns and family awareness of north carolina workforce needs and career paths.
-appropriate #2m to promote public awareness
-appropriate 15m NR to ensure students are trained on up-to-date equipment and in modern facilities.

student arer unaware of middle-skill” job opportunities and career paths
misconsptions are prevalent about the working condingiton in key industries, such as manufacture
prinvat foucations fun may mathc support o

Support development of compettency-based education (CBE) programs and a unifrom system for granting credit fro prior learning.
recommendation: $500,00 NR
the greatest inefficiency in education is requireing students to repeat material they’ve learned.
the CBE incubator – collaborative effort of partner colleges, the system office, and national , SME is developing models for scaling this system-wide
NCCCS and UNC-GA are partnering to develop an easily accessible, student-focused protfal that includes info about he credits that a sevice member or veteran may receive in certificatioe, diploma or degree programs at NCCCS and UNC

THE FUTURE: cannot control it or predict it, but I can work with it, and control my classrooms. instead of being funded on seat time, we’re funded on completions. This could be those who start in fall and start again in spring. Or X hours within a certain number of years.

A few years ago, we broke the top 100 colleges in US for credentials. In large, 2-year colleges, we have moved down to #66 with 10,000 FTE completed.

Structural Budget Issues

System office staffing $134,364
FUnds to support new multi-campus college locations: $1,035,832
UNbudgeted recurring IT maintenance and service costs $470,528
Give colleges the flexibility within their existing budget availability.

A 1% raise for 1200 employees costs us $1 million.


YOu will not be voting on light rail. You will be voting on busses. public schools and community college are campaighnign for public funds. We don’t know if we will get on the ballot, both on the ballot, or no one on the ballot. They are discussing smoothing the bond, every year over time. Once you discuss what the public schools need and the college needs, the numbers get quire large. If tthe public school gets behind, they may borrow money without a bond vote, incurrring a .25% to .5% increase

Best guess today, is that there may be a bond with both schools together. Our smooth amount is $2 million over a 5 year period. Public schools have a huge number of modulars and need money


Very excited about EPIC. We go all around the county telling people about EPIC. EPIC is not just for online learning, as the skills can transfer to seated classes.

applied benchmarking

We continue to be recognized for our process of continuous improvement. WE start off by empowering employees to create processes to change what we need. Take the budget and find the best out there. FInd soultions to issues. You have professional colleagues from other campuses. If you want to make a change, you are empowered to change it.

Do not approach Dr. Scott directly. Find the others on campus who feel the way you feel. Its a process. Rather than ripping up something which works (poorly), get together with those who are already doing this work. help to solve the problem together. Dr. Scott will not be here forever, but he wants to empower the faculty to make changes within the college, programs, departments, campuses, etc. There had been issues in the past with inter-departmental issues being solved without discussion


WE run into the bachellor’s degree problem. OUt tech graduates have more technical skills than 4-year graduates. Its been a problem for at least 50 years. COngrats to accounting and business analytics.



540 will run right down to McCullers. WE are trying to acquire properties south of us to allow additional entries. Several entrances will be closed to main campus once 540 rolls down.

Express thankfulness for current raise

We’ve had growth, and initiatives based on growth within the applied benchmarking. Groups choosing to come together to improve things bring us all closer together. What are each group doing to

Is administration open to a compensation strategy for faculty?

Classification compensation study. Recommended a banding system. within each band, there are differences. Bands within faculty is based around legislature and by degree. Faculty rank allows banding within the masters degree level with percentages.

Faculty initiative 2017 seems that 150,000 costs will be set. We will then be using a much more paring system (cutting down)

BS nursing degree

Long Story Short: Gone for a while. Dr.Scott is continuing to work toward this system. Why? A generic bachelor and cc associates degree difference is only 4 courses. Gen Ed is more, but we already have those staff memebers. We know we have the parts covered. Let’s look at the NUR courses. THere are no cccccc courses. They are administration, etc. courses. There are colleges online which offer nursing courses online which are SACS approved but have not take taught those in the past. So why can’t we?

Institutional bias? elitism? Hospital administrative staff are on our sides. State board voted 11 to 7 against. The proposal was not to offer it, it was only to hire a consultant to come in and tell us if we could even SEE if we need to offer the program.

What are some brief ideas on how to change classes here to prepare students for a changing world?

Never quit working and try anything. Find a cohort of studetns who are working transdicsciplinely


Creating Quality Rubrics

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epic_logo_sm1.fw_<p style="clear: both;"Alison Consol and Katherine Bennett presented at 10:45am in Pucher-LeMay at Wake Tech's Main Campus.

Quality Matters is a national benchmark for online courses. The presenters took courses from Quality Matters to be certified as peer reviewers of online classes using QM Basic.

Development of the Rubric

Using the research and structure of other rubrics to create a standardized rubric. This has been amended 9 times based on feedback from experienced online faculty. This consistency is helpful for students as well as teachers.

The purpose of this is to establish a college0-wide quality standard for online classes and a tool for course evaluation. To achieve a e-learning qualtiy seal from wake tech for your online course, all essential standards and 90% of recommended standards must be met. This may be easier for teachers than receiving the training.

EPIC certification is roughly 30 hours, but many teachers have already taken. You might be able to take only 2/3rds of the training or you might put a course on the chopping block for meeting the standards of the course. This tool can also be used to gain insight into teacher needs and recommended remediation. Some courses may benefit from looking at the current rubric and adjusting their courses accordingly. Feedback will be heavily important in the establishment of success. Large courses with high enrollment will begin, and many will begin in Spring 2015.

if you’re really interested, look at the materials at epic.waketech.edu


  • course overview and introduction
    • intro to course?
    • how get started
    • expectations
    • syllabus include course materials
    • college and course policies
    • faculty bio and contact info
  • student support
    • campus / course resources (should be present and in development)
  • course nav and tech
    • nav is logical, clear, consistent, uncomplicated and efficient
    • cannot access materials
    • course free of errors typo grammar broken links
  • mesurement and assessment strategies
    • lesson/week/unit expectations are clearly stated with due dates
    • assessments are suitable for an online class and utilized to measure SLOs
    • rubrics are provided for all substantive graded assignments
    • rubrics are easy to understand
    • rubrics are available to students
    • can be excel or blackboard-integrated rubrics
    • rubrics are clearly explained, or given adequate feedback
  • gradebook is maintained in blackboard: weighted grades are incredibly important
  • Student Learning outcomes
    • SLOs listed at course and module/unit.week
    • accurate and clearly stated and measurable
    • slo written for a student perspective and suitable for course level
  • instructional materials
    • materials are sufficiently comprehensive to achieve SLOs for the course
    • copyright is adhered to
    • materials is current
  • Interaction and Engagement
    • Online course fosters meaningful interaction between students and faculty
    • faculty presence is evident in course
    • use of interactive tools
  • ADA Compliance
  • course meets accessibility standards

    Going over a 16,10,8-week courses isn’t a fast process. It will take time.Will a failure indicate the need for education? minor adjustments may be a pass with adjustments, large sections will include the optional recommendation for remediation. Most courses should have (would certainly benefit from) departmental review and oversite before submitted.

    Certified online instructor Program

    All teachers teaching online courses will need to be certified by 2017.

    Certification by Review

    • instructors submit past courses for review
    • coi-review/rubric team is developed.
    • Courses will be reviewed by a team of 3 expereienced online faculty acting as peer reviewer.
    • One member of the team to be an SME (subject matter development)

    2015-2016 cohort of faculty starts
    2016-2017 final cohorts run

    EPIC Effect

    Faculty outcomes: Organize to LMS template, design online courses to wake tech quality standards

    Download our current rubric for review