Tryout the prototype of a new course

Many of us have been working for more than a year to pull together a new online course that will introduce new and prospective educators to teaching and learning ideas and approaches. If you’d have any interest in helping us by participating in the first several modules of a prototype of the course, we’d welcome you. Read on for more complete information from Kim West and Tereigh Ewert-Bauer — the lead designers of the course.

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The Institute for the Advancement of Teaching in Higher Education and the Universities of Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Carleton, and Wilfrid Laurier, is pleased to announce the launch of a new course: Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education: Transforming Teaching, Learning, and Self (http://www.teachinghighered.ca), focused on the philosophies, theories, and practices of teaching in a college or university environment. This online course is intended for teachers who find themselves in institutions where similar face-to-face courses are not available, or where these courses have been filled to their enrolment capacities.

We are seeking volunteers (graduate student teachers, faculty, sessional lecturers, and college teachers) to be our test students, communicating their feedback to us on our course before its launch in October 2005.

Volunteers will be asked to:
1) Complete six modules of a full two-term course, from March 6 to April 16, 2005 (requires ~ 2-4 hours of work per week)
2) Participate in weekly online discussions
3) Attend weekly focus group meetings at the University of Saskatchewan

We are looking for volunteers from colleges and universities who are currently engaged in teaching and who are interested in improving/ reflecting on their teaching practice. As a volunteer, you must be from the teaching community of Saskatoon or area (in order to attend the weekly focus group meetings), with access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection, Netscape (7.0 or higher; Netscape 4.7 will not work with our website) or Internet Explorer (5.0 or higher), Adobe Acrobat (5.0 or higher), Quick Time 6, and an e-mail account.

Volunteers will be asked to comment on aspects of course design and usability (rather than content). They will not be expected to complete readings or assignments for the course, but will be asked to complete online learning activities and postings to the course discussion board. The course itself has been based on our highly successful and face-to-face class at the University of Saskatchewan, GSR 989: Introduction to University Teaching.

One of our goals is to create a strong, engaged community of teachers and learners in an online environment. To do this, we need your help to tell us what we are doing right, and more importantly, where we need to make improvements. If you are interested in volunteering to be part of this process, please contact:

Richard Schwier
Department of Curriculum Studies
College of Education
University of Saskatchewan
Phone: 966-7641
E-mail: richard.schwier@usask.ca

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Kim West & Tereigh Ewert-Bauer, Course Coordinators

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