Online Faculty Development at Scale: The Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence

Presentation on April 3. 2014

ELI 2014 Online Spring Focus Session: Faculty Engagement and Development: Effective and Innovative Practice

SUNY has been a pioneer and leader in online education for over 20 years, and this success has been made possible by a vibrant community of researchers, instructional designers, librarians, technologists, and online educators. To build on this strong foundation, SUNY has launched the Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence, which celebrates, connects, and nurtures effective online education practitioners across the SUNY system while furthering our knowledge of the most effective teaching and learning practices in online education.

Outcomes: Learn how we leverage our “SUNY systemness” and partner with our campuses to engage and connect the community of online education experts across the vast 64-campus SUNY system * Scale distinctive and comprehensive development opportunities to faculty directly and in conjunction with their home campuses * Support faculty with resources needed for course development and enhancement in conjunction with their home campuses * Encourage scholarship in online teaching and learning practices to meet the needs of today’s diverse learners and pursue research-driven innovations that increase online teaching and learning effectiveness.

Slide 2: SLN 20th anniversary –

Slide 4: SLN Research and publications

Slide 5: SLN online Faculty development and online course design processes/model

Slide 7: Open SUNY

Slide 8: Open SUNY initiatives – signature element in the Student Supports area:

Slide: 9: Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE )

Slide 10: COTE Research and Innovation

Slide 11: COTE Community of Practice http://commons.suny.eadu/facultycenter/community/

Slide 12: COTE Community of Practice Open SUNY Fellow Roles

Slide 13: COTE Open SUNY Fellow expectations

Slide 14: Open SUNY Competency Development paths for Open SUNY fellows –

Slide 15: Open SUNY Course Supports for “plus” degree programs –



what would you do if you were starting an online program from scratch?

huge question … Some small suggestions:

  • Make it part of the strategic mission and vision of the institution.
  • Think strategically about what you are doing and why.
  • Start small.
  • Target online programs, rather than courses.
  • Think about this as an institutional initiative to further specific institutional goals and the mission/vision.
  • Library, bursar, advisors, etc. … – all student services and support have to be involved in the cultural change.
  • Support. support. support.
  • Think about faculty and students as customers and make sure they are always happy.
  • Collect data and use it to prove things, to improve things, to document impact, scale, growth, and success, and to justify things, etc.
  • Build on success and word of mouth.
  • Build it one instructor at a time. Build/cultivate trust among the faculty.
  • Use your faculty to spread the word.
  • Use faculty (and their course designs) as examples.
  • Use them to mentor or train for you.
  • Create a community of practice for faculty.
  • Base your approaches, program, process, recommendations on research.
  • Contribute to the research, or get your faculty to.
  • Turn theory into practice.
  • Quick start faculty with flexible effectively design course templates that incorporate research-based effective practices.
  • Use course design rubrics, standards formatively and summatively for course reviews.
  • Support innovation and experimentation.
  • Cultivate a culture of continuous improvement at the program, faculty and course levels.
  • Institute revision and improvement cycles and processes and implement them assiduously.
  • How will you measure success and impact?