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License to Teach

Submitted by BNCAdmin on Mon,07/06/2015-12:18

Saint Mary's College of California introduced to faculty members teaching online courses the "Digital Driver's License," a program launched in Nov. 2014 that requires all faculty teaching online courses to enroll and become "certified to teach online."  The program is designed to teach them how to use the digital education tools, such as screen capture and Podcasting in a way that makes an online environment more engaging.  Going beyond the benefits of learning new tools, the program also helps faculty develop self-sufficiency as online instructors.

Barry Eckhouse, the School's Director of Technology and Online Program "believes [that by 2016] all the school's programs will have been hybridized, meaning half of the instruction will be delivered online, the other half face-to-face."  He recognizes that without proper training, students are not getting the most out of online courses, and faculty are unable to use the LMS environment and what it has to offer in a way that goes beyond discussion postings.  He says that eventually "with the need to grow but no space to grow," all faculty will have to teach some of their courses online to accommodate new enrollment.  Interestingly, while some faculty may be reluctant to embrace online learning, students have rated online courses higher than the typical face-to-face course.

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