Five Management Tips to Make the Most of Online Faculty Meetings
Online learning has taken a great stride forward over the past decade and more and more students today are opting for this form of education, which allows them to combine learning with full- or part-time employment, family and other commitments. Distant education has opened up numerous opportunities for students and it has posed some unique challenges as well. However, students are not the only ones who have to adjust to this new form of learning and develop skills necessary to succeed. Faculty members and administration too need to rethink their practices and tools to stay effective online.
Online faculty management can be extremely challenging. There is now little place for the traditional face-to-face faculty meetings, teachers are further required to interact with their university and each other at a distance just as they do with their students.
In this article, we are going to focus on five main tips that can help facilitate such interaction and make faculty meeting effective in the virtual environment.
1.Flexible attendance options.
Although online learning comes with greater flexibility, there are certain practices, which should not be changed … if only a little. Thus, regular faculty meetings are obligatory for all teachers whether full-time or adjunct ones. However, given the fact that many faculty have different time zones and schedules, it is possible and recommendable to hold the same meeting several times, so that all the faculty can attend when it is most convenient. It is also a good idea to record such meetings and make this information easily available to those who, for some reason, cannot accommodate their schedules to any of the times offered.
2.Involving faculty with the help of online presentations and speech giving.
No one really expects such meetings to be much of an entertainment; however, it is a good idea to cheer things up a little by inviting a guest speaker or asking one of the participants to make a presentation. It will help to not only keep things fresh but also encourage teachers adapt to the new teaching format. Each online session can start with a short presentation of some educational software, technology etc. All the partakers can share their ideas on how to use this technology or app to facilitate their work.
Interactive faculty sessions can help teachers feel more at ease using technology and tools like whiteboards, voice- and text-chats to teach online classes.
4.Providing post-session discussion space for teachers.
Creating post-session discussion space for teachers to comment or interact in a less formal environment is a great idea. Faculty can exchange tips and useful documents, ask questions and seek advice there. Such discussion space will assist teachers in developing healthy professional relationships and give them the support they need. Make sure it is faculty only, though.
5.Encouraging faculty to interact via social media.
Not only does it help teachers to become more tech-savvy but also encourage them to collaborate as a group in the “offline settings”. However, it is important to instruct faculty on the university’s social media policy.
Online faculty meetings are a great opportunity for educational professionals and administrators to come together to share their experiences, best practices, current issues, and new technologies.
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