TLV S4 E05 4 15 20

TLV S4 E05 4 15 20

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Instructors transitioning to online teaching.   We have what you need right  here on the Leadership Voice.   Welcome to the Leadership Voice. I'm your host  Jay Barbuto. Today's show features the challenges   and opportunities inherent in online teaching.  Joining us today will be Gerard Beenen, professor   and Associate Dean of Mihaylo College of Business  and Economics at Cal State Fullerton. Dr Beenen has  

experience teaching online management courses for  the past 10 years at Cal State Fullerton, Carnegie   Mellon and the University of California  Irvine. So please welcome Dr Gerard Beenen.   Hi Jay, thanks it's great to be here. Gerard  thank you so much for being on the show today and sharing your wisdom and experiences  from online instruction. Maybe we could start by talking about the general differences  between online and face-to-face instruction. Sure. Well kind of the basic difference obviously  face-to-face is you're physically present in the  

classroom and that's what we think of as  conventional traditional instruction. If we   think about online instruction there's really kind  of two flavors in which that's delivered. There's   synchronous and asynchronous. In asynchronous  instruction students don't necessarily need to   be engaged at the same time. They can be looking  at online content like recorded lectures or have   discussion groups that are not happening  necessarily in real time. In synchronous   instruction instructors may be lecturing as  we're familiar now with using Zoom or there may   be chat rooms that they're using or real-time  discussion boards so that's actually where   students are all taking the course and interacting  with the instructor at the same time in real time.  

Most online approaches are going to tend to  combine both of those modalities. And so what are some of the benefits of teaching online or  some of the general benefits of online education?   Well there's a number of benefits. Starting with  students I think a huge benefit that students get   out of online instruction is accessibility. For example  we have a very successful online degree completion   program called Cal State Online that I teach in  here. That's part of the the CSU system, the largest  

university system in the United States and I've  had students taking classes who are located   in Europe or located anywhere in the United States  and we're all interacting we're all taking class   at the same time. So students get a high quality  education and they have the accessibility   no matter where they are, literally anywhere  in the world as long as they have internet access.   I think for instructors a huge benefit is you  also get to teach from home. You can teach in   your pajamas if you want as long as you're wearing  a nice shirt like I am today. You also get the   the benefit of a lot of the more manual  tasks such as say grading quizzes. Grading  

things that require repetitive tasks,  those can all be very easily automated in   an online environment. So it does provide  some benefits for instructors as well.   So once you're set up it actually you can create  some economies of scale for future offerings.   it does take some time to set up but as an example  when I'm teaching online all my exams, all my   quizzes are just graded automatically so I don't  even have to do anything as far as the grading is   concerned. So a lot of a lot of the concern, a lot  of the conversations about the transition- could you talk a little bit about the biggest challenges  of transitioning from face-to-face to online education? Sure. I think- I think a big challenge  that there is particularly for instructors is that it takes a lot of

time and a lot of resources  to do it well, to do it properly. Just as an example, several years back Duke University wanted  to put one of their more popular Econ intro courses online and they invested upwards of 5,000  hours of time and nearly a quarter of a million dollars to develop just one course. Now that's  very intimidating and it's obviously quite an extreme example but on kind of the lower end  of that curve when I developed my first online organizational behavior undergraduate course  which is a 15-week course a couple hours a week I spent over 500 hours of my time developing the  content, structuring the course and organizing it and so forth.

So I think that a big challenge is  that to do this really well and to do it right you really do want to invest  a substantial amount of time to make it work well. You know one of the- one of  the things that immediately comes to mind there is not all of us have a lot of time. Sometimes  situations force us to transition quicker than we might actually prefer and we may not  have the preparation time that we might need. Would you give any advice to somebody who has to  make a fast transition? Well part of what you do in those situations obviously is you have to build as  you go. So a lot of times some online courses that are new might be launched even before the complete  course is completed.

So you end up maybe being literally as the saying goes you know  one chapter ahead of the students. So you may be building the course on the fly, putting that  time and that effort into it as you go along. A big advantage though is obviously once the course  is completed there is an opportunity to kind of fill that up and use it as long as the content is-  continues to be valid.

In some courses, like if my colleagues who are teaching computer programming  and software programming- they are in a much more challenging situation because they're constantly  having to revise the content whereas situations that like you and I where we teach leadership we  may want to bring in new examples periodically but by and large the theories out there  and the concepts that we're instructing don't change as frequently as things like computer  programming and information technology. So maybe we can move our conversation towards the mindset  and having the right mindset in these moments. What is the right mindset for a professor  or educator to take when they're making   the shift from face-to-face to online education? Sure that's a great question because a lot of times instructors find themselves being asked to do this maybe even against their will as many of us might be familiar with so I  think really important for instructors to   have kind of an open mind. A way to think about  that is what's gotten a lot of traction in   leadership literature today is Carol  Dweck's notion of a kind of a fixed mindset   versus a growth mindset and you really need to  have a growth mindset here, believing that you can   learn from your mistakes, believing that just like  the students you're going to be learning along the   way. If this is your first time teaching online and  even for those of us who have been teaching online   for quite a while - I've been teaching for 10 years  or more online and I'm still learning as I go - you   need to be in a continual learning, continual  growth mindset to teach effectively in this   environment and really, that's really no different  than just teaching in a a face-to-face environment   in a lecture hall. You're still going to want  to be improving your techniques, improving your   approaches all the time it just gets a little  bit more amplified because the technology is   always changing and do you need to be familiar  with the technologies that are available to you.  

Now I think that's a great- that's a great point.  I can remember when I had to transition just in   the middle of this semester. I had taught for 14  years online but hadn't taught online for seven   or eight years and so my immediate transition was  oh my gosh how do I do all those wonderful things   I used to do, all those things I remember  doing with today's technology and learning   what what the technology offers? I'm amazed  at how some of the new technology enables   faculty to deliver experiences that is  actually quite similar to what they might   be able to experience in a face-to-face  environment. Maybe we could- maybe we could talk   a little bit more about some of the best practices  for engaging students in that online setting.   Sure Jay. So I've done a bit of research in this  particular area and a key idea that came out of   my research it sounds kind of basic but you really  need to set very, very crystal clear expectations   for what's expected in an online course. What  I found was that I randomly assigned a class  

to online instruction and at the same time  gave another class just the normal traditional   instruction and I- my hypothesis was actually that  the students who got randomly assigned without   their knowledge previous to registering for the  course wouldn't be very happy about that. We call   that a psychological contract violation where  they were expecting the face-to-face instruction   and they were put into a situation where they-  they were going to take the class now online   or at least in that case it was a hybrid where  it was a combination of online and face-to-face   and those students were actually less satisfied  as what I predicted to happen but they also worked   a little bit harder because we spent more time  digging into the deep concepts that were there   when they were in the classroom so i think  it's really important to make sure that in advance,   before students register that it's very clear if  a course is online or if it's hybrid which means   kind of a combination of online and to face or if  it's just a traditional class. Believe it or not   there's even still some universities that offer  classes online and students may not know it until   the week of classes start and they realize  oh wait a minute i didn't know i was signing   up for an online class here and they're  going to end up being very disappointed.   Another key takeaway from my research is that you  have to recognize that there are a broad variety   of motivational profiles in the room or in the- on  the computer screen when you're teaching online   and some students are a better fit with this  type of approach than others. What we found in our  

research was that students who are a lot more self  motivated, intrinsically motivated, what we call   a self-regulated motivational style where people  are more able to sort of control their behaviors,   control their actions, be goal-oriented control  their emotions - those students who are more   self-motivated are actually going to thrive in  an online environment because it tends to be a   bit less structured, a little bit more self-paced  and there's a lot less accountability that you've   got to kind of make yourself accountable. Those  students not only did better in those classes   they were more satisfied with the classes and they  were more likely to intend to take similar classes   in the future. So it's important that instructors  recognize when you're teaching in an online   environment you may have some students like that  but a lot of the students aren't like that at all.  

A lot of the students are not going to be doing  as well so they're going to require a lot more   hand holding, a lot more reaching out to them,  sending emails, scheduling computer you know   video calls and things like that to make  sure that those students are involved   in the process as well. I think some other  things that are important to recognize is   that assessment is different in this environment.  There's a lot of empirical research showing that   whereas in a normal class we might say give  three exams during the course of a semester   in an online class say for example in my eight  week course I'm going to give at least eight to   ten quizzes plus the three exams so you you have  to actually break up your assessments into more   bite-sized chunks, Quizlets. I know you've  done some of those same things in your online   courses not just you know taking one hour  or two hour exams but you've got to break   up those assessments and what the research shows  is that not only will students do better in those   environments but they're actually learning. They're  actually retaining more than they would otherwise   So yeah we see a lot of best practices right  there yeah we see a lot of best practices where we   might do the assessments on a weekly basis or even  depending on the scope of the class or the content   of the class there may be writing assignments  that might happen every week on an- on an ongoing   basis using some of the technologies that  are that are available in the- in the online   software packages that universities might  be using. I think- can I add to that just there's a few other ideas that we want to kind of get in.  There one is that just like in the real world we  

have to recognize that people are literally  neurologically wired with sort of a five to seven   minute attention span and that was just based on  evolution. That's even before the smartphone.   So what that really means is you  need to be kind of constantly shifting   and constantly kind of changing a little  bit of how you're approaching it just like you   would in a classroom. You may start out with  a quick video, you jump to a chat board   then you have a discussion and you may even  use breakout rooms virtually. That a lot of the   tools are available have these kinds of breakout  rooms now and I can even visit my breakout rooms   virtually, see how the students are doing then break  them up, re-gather, have students give little   sort of mini presentations on what they learned in  the breakout room and sharing that with others to   encourage broader discussion. So the the main  idea there is very similar to what you would do   in a regular face-to-face class but it's even more  amplified in an online environment because you're   competing for attention to the students. You have  no idea if they're you know watching some sports  

show in another a room or looking at their phone  or actually if they're paying 100% attention to   what's going on in the class so you've got to do  all you can to kind of engage them and make sure   that you've got and capture their attention  span And so finding creative ways of engaging with students is highly encouraged,  getting familiar with the technology highly encouraged, assessing on a regular basis highly  encouraged. Is there anything else that we left out? Um... [Chuckles] That's, I think that's what I've got. Oh that's  great. And I think those are great, great practices for instructors to be thinking about especially  if they're making this transition.

So Gerard, I want you to to leave us with kind of some advice.  Imagine we have a reluctant or a late adopting online educator, a person who's now, who maybe  has spent their career teaching face to face and now they're being asked "Hey we need you to  teach online or we need you to switch to online" What advice can you give someone,  what advice would you give them   in this situation that might help them to make  this transition the most successfully as possible?   Sure well there- there's a number of different kind  of bite-sized pieces of advice we can give here.   One is to really if you if you have the ability  to do so to kind of integrate online components   into your regular course to the fullest extent  possible so for example at Cal State Fullerton   we have a university-wide policy where  up to 20% of your class can be taught online   without it being classified or considered as an  online or a hybrid class which actually requires   sort of a separate approval process for the course.  So what that does is it encourages instructors to   kind of be innovative creative, experiment a little  bit be willing to kind of learn and make mistakes,   have that open growth mindset that we were talking  about earlier. Play around with, figure out what's  

going on try new things, be constantly  experimenting and always try to incorporate   some online component in your class. I mean just  as a quick example in organizational behavior,   the field that you and I teach in one of the  things we look at in a standard organizational   class, behavior classes, virtual teams and  so for a virtual a class where we're going to   be talking about virtual teams have the class not  meet but have the class meet virtually to kind of   learn what it's like to interact in that kind of  environment versus in the face-to-face environment,   reflect on the differences how do you feel about  being in this environment versus the other? So   that's one way to approach it. But  from a lot of us who may have been sort of   forced into this against our will and at various  times and in situations I think that the   advice we had earlier about doing your best  to just sort of keep up, stay a chapter   ahead of the class, build it as you go based on  what you know. Use a lot of the same principles   that you're using in your regular class, find their  virtual counterpart in sort of an online class.  

As you said the technologies have really been  improving kind of in an awesome astronomical rate.   So if you can I do breakout groups in my graduate  classes. I can now do breakout groups in my virtual   classes and my online classes when I'm teaching  graduate students as well so take a lot of the   modalities and approaches that you're using  and search and find their online counterparts   whether it's virtual whiteboards or screen  sharing to show your slides and do your lectures   or show your your YouTube videos or the virtual  breakout groups to get people discussing and then   re-congregating back to kind of share  what they learned. But the main thing is   for faculty to have an open and a growth mindset.  Be willing to learn, be willing to make mistakes   and just always think about things that you can  do to improve your course. No I think those are some great, great tips and great wisdom and one  thing that you alluded to is the discussions.

I wonder if there may also be some benefit for  faculty that are engaging in online education to maybe talk with their colleagues and share  best practices. Could you talk a little bit about the opportunity for collective learning and some  shared knowledge? Absolutely. I'm going to make a shameless play here Jay. I'm the incoming  chair of the management, education and development division for the academy and management and our  role in the MED division is to really support effective teaching and a lot of that has to do  with online teaching. And so I would encourage you to join the division if you're a faculty  member. I've already joined.

That's great! Join the MED division of academy and management and  do what you can to kind of build community with other like-minded instructors who want to learn. There are lots of collaboratives and cooperative groups out there that you can network with,  where you can do some group teaching.   You can actually bring guests into your  classes remotely. You can collaborate and share  

knowledge remotely as well. We've done that even  there at Cal State Fullerton in the management   department. We created a collaborative where  we shared resources for online instruction.   We've shared resources for different kinds of  exercises and teaching organizational behavior.   Just really be a team player and a collaborator to  kind of build bridges with others and don't just   stay within your discipline. Learn from those who  are teaching in other disciplines as well. There's  

some great wisdom there and some great great tips  and great ideas to expand our learning and to   expand our readiness for online instruction. Thank you Dr Beenen for joining us today on today's episode and for sharing your perspective  around online teaching. It's been great to have you.

Thanks Jay. It's been really great to be here.  Thanks a lot for asking me to- Absolutely. Well I think that's all the time we have for today's  show. Join us each episode of the Leadership   Voice as we bring you relevant and useful  topics to guide your learning and development.  

I'm Jay Barbuto and we'll see you next  time right here on the Leadership Voice. [Music]

2021-02-14 03:56

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