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Bridging the Divide Summer Series

Interactive online professional development courses developed, facilitated, and powered by the Universities of the Louisiana.

This summer-long professional development series will present new learning opportunities for UL System Faculty and Staff each week. Time to complete the interactive professional development courses will range from 45 minutes to 10+ hours depending on the topic. If faculty and staff are unable to join a live course during the week that the course is offered participants may still access the course content after the live session ends.

Courses will begin every Monday from June 21 – August 6 and cover topics from four tracks.

Training will take place on Moodle thanks to the work of the Louisiana Tech IT staff.

Track 1: Digital Literacy

Digital Literacy is defined as the ability to navigate technology (hardware/software) and determine the appropriateness, reliability, and usefulness of information found through internet resources. This track will focus on three specific areas: Tools and resources to help students successfully navigate the Learning Management System; Tools and resources to help students in their academic research pursuits (assignments; essays; website-based projects; thesis; dissertation); Strategies and assignments that improve student level of mastery with internet etiquette, computer mediated communication, and information efficacy.
Examples: What do I do next? Writing Clear Objectives and Instructions; Researching Online: Fact vs. Fiction; Engaging Students Mobily; A Beginners Guide to OER.

Track 2: Innovations in Online Teaching and Learning

This track will focus on lessons learned throughout the last year and a half on strategies for teaching online, finding and/or creating resources for online course delivery, and developing assessments for online course work.
Example PD Topics: Social Media in the Classroom; Getting Group Work to Work; Written Coursework and Video Feedback; Plagiarism? I’m Not Scared.

Track 3: Holistic Student Services

Creating Communities for Student Success: When students walk into the classroom (or log into the classroom) we hope that they are ready and willing to learn, however many students have competing interests for their time, resources, and energy. This track will focus on ways the faculty and staff from across the system have worked to serve their students holistically by focusing on: mental health and self-care practices/programming; connecting students with campus/community resources for fundamental needs (food/shelter/safety insecurities); and practices/programming that addresses cultural awareness and competencies.
Examples: Recognizing Students Who are Struggling and What to do to Help; Cultural Competency, it’s Not Just for Classrooms; Advising for Life’s Journey in Addition to the Academic Journey; Building a Sense of Community Inside/Outside the Classroom; How to Start a Food Pantry.

Track 4: Closing Learning and Achievement Gaps

We know that students entering our classes are at varying levels of knowledge about the subject matter. This can be especially challenging in general education courses designed to prepare students for upper-level undergraduate work. This track will focus on strategies used to level the playing field in general education and/or lower level course undergraduate course work.
Examples: Using Games to Build Basic Skills; Need a refresher? There’s an App for that; How Skills Tests Can Shape Pedagogical Approach; Peer Learning – Helping Others Meet Expectations.

Online Teaching Bootcamp

The Online Teaching Bootcamp is a program spanning seven weeks designed to help faculty strengthen their online course content (assignments/assessments/and resources). Faculty will be given information about pedagogical strategies and then given the opportunity to engineer previously developed or newly developed assignments/assessments/ and resources using the pedagogy introduced through the course. Faculty will be paired with a group of peers and a facilitator to work through the seven-week boot camp covering 4 modules. Subject Matter Experts will be hired for modules 2-4 and will offer their own perspective on the pedagogical strategies by adding curated resources and leading two opportunities for guided discussion during their module. The Boot Camp Track Lead will lead organizational efforts, curate content and assignment designs, and participate in the selection of the Content Experts and Facilitators. 

Badges and Certificates

  • Participants who complete synchronous professional development courses may earn course badges 
  • Participants who earn six badges within a track may earn a track certificate. 
  • Participants may earn up to 48 course badges and four track certificates. 

Badges and certificates will live in the ULS Training Moodle course and may be downloaded for the participant to add to his or her curriculum vita, institutional LMS, or social media. Participants who complete the professional development on their own time after the live sessions have ended will not be eligible to earn badges.

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