Sloan-C Award for CTLA 201
CTLA 201, Teaching with WebTycho training course, created and administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), is the winner of the prestigious Sloan-C 2006 Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching Award. The award recognizes the institution that offers the most outstanding faculty development program for those who teach in the online environment. CTLA 201, Teaching with WebTycho faculty training course was chosen from a field of national entrants for its proven record of excellence as demonstrated by its success in training new faculty to become competent online instructors in a cost-effective manner. See the Sloan-C's Web site for the announcement of the award at http://sloan-c.org/aboutus/awards.asp.
CTLA 201 is the five-week training course required for all UMUC faculty who teach online. It is delivered completely online via UMUC's course management software, WebTycho, and covers the technical, design, and pedagogical aspects of online teaching. It was completely revised in August 2004 following a lengthy period of feedback from UMUC staff, faculty, CTLA 201 course trainers, as well as a thorough review by CTL under the direction of its Executive Director, Dr. Susan Ko.
CTL retained important elements of the past version of the course but developed entirely new content and a more standardized approach to ensure that all faculty receiving certification have essentially the same learning experience. An assessment rubric and point system were introduced to allow faculty to track their own progress and to promote confidence in the consistent and fair evaluation by trainers. Modular elements permit content to be updated for all sections in an efficient manner.
The result has been a high level of satisfaction on the part of both faculty and academic administration. When those faculty who had taken the revised course were asked how well the training prepared them for teaching online, 58.8% of those responding to this question on the spring 2006 faculty development survey reported that the training course had prepared them "exceptionally well," while 37.1% rated their preparation as "adequate."
For those faculty who have not experienced the new CTLA 201, CTL provides online Refresher Workshops at least twice a year, including Refresher Workshop: Focus on Study Groups and Refresher: Focus on the Gradebook. While each of these has a special focus, both workshops also include a more general segment of topics on various pedagogical and technical issues, excerpted from the most recent version of CTLA 201. This portion of the refresher workshop allows faculty to review and refresh their knowledge and skills about online teaching and receive answers to any WebTycho technical questions that they might have.
In addition to the Refresher workshops, faculty will soon gain access to the core content of CTLA 201 through a link in their global 999 classrooms. This will afford veteran faculty the opportunity to become acquainted with the new CTLA 201 content and to utilize it as a resource as needed, while permitting those who were recently certified to more easily access and review their training material.