Changes in Quality Online Teaching Certification Courses (QOTCC) made by e-LIS

Rachel Yim, Science & Technology Reporter

According to a 2019 survey of faculty attitudes on technology, American faculty members — whether reluctantly or enthusiastically — are increasingly participating in accepting the validity of online education.

In order to provide better technical support to professors with online systems, professors at Oakland University are given the stipend after completion of Quality Online Teaching Certification Courses (QOTCC), created by e-Learning and Instructional Support (e-LIS).

Designed for a variety of purposes, e-LIS offers software support, workshops, online best practices and instructional design assistance to the OU community.

One of the courses offered by the e-LIS is a QOTCC. It is created for the professors at OU to focus on how to teach effectively in the online environment for a stipend of $1,000. Last year, however, e-LIS added a new part to its course, splitting the stipend into two — $700 for part one and $300 for part two of the course.

Shaun Moore is the director of e-LIS and a professor for the Department of Writing and Rhetoric who develops web applications and helps the faculty and students with the online classes.

“We have gotten many comments from professors that it’d be great to add an additional part to the course for advanced learning,” Moore said.

According to Moore, part one, which has existed in the past, is designed for instructions on course design, pedagogy, quality assurance and accessibility. Part two — the new part of the course — covers digital accessibility, synchronous learning, online group projects and advanced quizzing as a continuation of part one.

By taking this two-part online certification course, professors can earn up to $1,000 of stipend.

Gina Choi is a chairperson of the Student Activities Funding Board for Student Congress. She said the e-LIS committee has been wanting to split the stipend amount, which will encourage the professors to take both parts of the certification course.

Benefits for the professors in receiving e-Learning and Instructional Support not only include QCTCC, but they also include online course review and Moodle mentors, etc.

The professors have received e-LIS for various reasons, such as building course materials. The faculty used to be trained on instructional technologies such as Moodle and WebEx through one-on-one training, group training and scheduled workshops.

Moore said any faculty member can also make one-on-one appointments at the e-LIS office, located in Kresge Library, for help with software tools. Additionally, they can meet with instructional design staff members to receive tips and advice on how to make their Moodle course more effective.

“The faculty can either go onto the e-LIS support portal to find the contact information for walk-in help or fill out a support request for one-on-one appointment,” Moore said. “This way, they can get assistance with Moodle, Panopto, WebEx, etc.”

These approaches have not only provided general support for faculty, but it also has supported online learning initiatives, including incentive programs and special e-learning events.

With diverse resources, Moore said e-LIS will continue to enhance the courses for many professors in the future and strive to reach out to all faculty members and students to provide guidance and technical support all year long.