H.O.T.T. or NOT: Teacher Training Academy at Hartnell College
From: Jennifer D. Smith, CSU Hayward EDUI-6707
The Hartnell Online Teacher Training Academy (H.O.T.T.) is a first step toward preparing educators to teach in the online environment. According to Philip Turner, Professor and Dean, School of Library and Information Science, University of North Texas, "If institutions are to survive in the global education market of the future, they will need faculty who are innovative and creative in the use of online technologies." The H.O.T.T academy model will provide a foundation that will position Hartnell College to be competitive in the global arena of online education.
On September 10, 2001 I started my new position at Hartnell College as one of two instructional technologists. Filled with hope and optimism about the positive and cyber leaping changes that could be made in the distance education arena, I proposed the development and implementation of the Hartnell Online Teacher Training Academy (H.O.T.T.). I hit the wall of reality, which was that this is a huge endeavor requiring external support, funding and personnel to be realized. There were many obstacles that appeared along this year-long path, some were jumped over, others were stepped on and others were not even seen. In reflection and having come full circle, I can see now that those were not obstacles but stepping-stones to a better understanding of the issues that encompass the implementation of an online teacher-training program.
Among the many issues that institutions must face if they are to survive the challenge is the need to engage existing faculty to embrace innovation and develop and deliver online courses. Key factors in achieving this objective are (1) adequate compensated time for faculty to become educated and skilled in how to use the innovation and (2) incentives that motivate faculty to employ or use the innovation (Ely, 1999). Currently Hartnell College does not have policy or procedures regarding distance education.
There are many factors that are involved in the lack of progress in this area. The cost of developing curriculum, who owns the curriculum, rate of pay for online instructors, support and many other contract/union related issues. I was very tenacious about getting and promoting progress in these areas; however, I now understand that it is not my battle to fight. Instead of wasting precious time focusing on what is not happening, I refocused on what can happen. Hartnell College is not alone in that we suffer from similar challenges, although the H.O.T.T. academy cannot solve the policy issues it can provide the support, training and technology infrastructure to prepare our faculty for online teaching and learning.
On the Horizon
The recent development of the H.O.T.T. academy development team has renewed my vision and desire to make the H.O.T.T. academy a reality. The development team consists of myself, another Instructional Technologist and the Webmaster at Hartnell College. We have been encouraged by administration to develop and produce a proposal that will outline the H.O.T.T. academy implementation plan which will include a detailed overview of the academy, cost analysis, timeline and personnel resources required for development and implementation.
Goals and Objectives
The following is a list of the specific goals and objectives. The goal of this academy will be to provide structure, support and guidance to the distance education training needs at Hartnell College.
- Produce and Present the H.O.T.T. academy proposal to the executive board
- Obtain approval and funding for the H.O.T.T. academy
- Hire staff to create, develop and implement H.O.T.T. academy
- Develop curriculum for Phase 1*
- Collaborate with Science Department for pilot project teacher group
- Orientation of pilot project teacher group
- Implementation and testing of Phase 1 with project teacher group
- Evaluation of H.O.T.T. academy and implementation of changes and upgrades
- Collaborate with H.O.T.T. academy implementation group to produce and deliver complete proposals with academy outline, implementation timeline, staffing requirements and costs.
- Present the H.O.T.T. academy proposal to the executive board and work with contact person on the board to ensure approval.
- The H.O.T.T. academy staff will provide the needed personnel required to develop and implement the goals and objectives.
- The H.O.T.T. academy staff will produce a fully functioning prototype of the curriculum in HTML format that will then be inserted in to the course management system.
- The science department dean will develop a pilot teacher team that will use the H.O.T.T. academy create, develop and implement online courses.
- The pilot teacher team will attend an onsite orientation to the H.O.T.T. academy and they will gain a thorough understanding of their project goals.
- The H.O.T.T. academy courses will be populated with the pilot teacher team as students. The team will provide valuable feedback that will be used to enhance and improve the academy curriculum.
- The feedback received from the pilot teacher team and colleagues will be reviewed and future goals will be discussed.
*Phase 1: Core curriculum that will consist of three courses; this is the rough draft version of the academy that will be tested on a pilot project group.
The implementation of this pilot project group with the support and training offered by the H.O.T.T. academy will provide the trailblazing necessary to revive the campus climate toward online teaching and learning. When it comes to developing and teaching distance education courses, especially those that are offered asynchronously, faculty are handicapped by their unfamiliarity with this mode of instruction. They may never have seen an online course with all of the interactions, assignments, and materials, or may have seen only a few that closely resemble one another in form and function. (Wells, 2001). The mode of delivery of the course modules in the H.O.T.T. academy allows instructors to be immersed in the delivery mode and pedagogy of online teaching and learning.
Dr. A.W.Bates, Director, Distance Education and Technology, Continuing Studies, The University of British Columbia states in his book "Restructuring the University for Technological Change" that there are twelve strategies for organizational change. Strategy number three is a strategy for inclusion, which states the following: "One of the main challenges of making technology-based teaching a core function is to extend its implementation from a relatively small number of enthusiasts and early adopters to the main body of the teaching force. This means introducing a strategy for inclusion, to ensure that all faculty are encouraged and supported in their use of technology for teaching."
The implementation of the H.O.T.T. academy and formulation of the pilot project team will begin the process of implementation of distance education and online teaching. The task of developing a community campus wide is not as attainable as fostering community between the H.O.T.T. academy team and the pilot project team. Once we have success in building a community of online educators using this small test group we can offer the refined and tested H.O.T.T. academy to other departments across campus.
According to the American Federation of Teachers (2001), "70 percent of the nationís more than 4,000 two-and four-year colleges offered online courses last year, up from 48 percent in 1998, according to Market Retrieval Service." Hartnell College has a reputation of keeping in step with technological change and trends in education and we are going to embrace the challenge by bringing community and unity through the development of the H.O.T.T. academy and online courses.
American Federation of Teachers (2001). Is online education off course? New AFT report proposes standards for online colleges. http://www.aft.org/press
/2001/011701.html Retrieved from the Internet 11/1/02.
Bates, A.W. (1997). "Restructuring the university for technological change. "Presented at What Kind of University?, London, England. http://bates.cstudies.ubc.ca
/carnegie/carnegie.html Retrieved from the Internet 10/29/02
Wells, Mary, (2001). Maryland Faculty Online, Department of Distance Learning, Prince Georgeís Community College, MD: http://www.educause.edu/ep/
ep_item_detail.asp?ITEM_ID=69 Retrieved from the Internet 10/27/02.
Ely, D.P. (1999). Conditions that facilitate the implementation of educational technology innovations. Educational Technology, 39, 23-27.