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III. Training Courses and Online Communities

Do you want hands-on training opportunities and communities for online instructors? UB and the SUNY system provide multiple pedagogical training opportunities and support communities for online instructors.  

On this page:

a. Training Opportunities

UB Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) provides pedagogical support for online and traditional instructors. You can contact Martha Greatrix to make an appointment for a one-on-one or virtual UBlearns guidance session.

CEI also offers three self-paced online courses for how to use UBlearns. First, the UBlearns Overview course allows instructors to explore all the functions of UBlearns. You can essentially build a “mock” online course, which can be later transferred to an actual online course.  I strongly recommend to sign up for this course well before you prepare for the course.

You can also sign up for a sandbox version of the Blackboard course where you can test different tools with other course participants.

In addition, you might consider signing up for a course, Teaching Online: An Orientation offered by CEI. This is an online-based self-paced course for learning online course development and effective online teaching strategies. Participants are expected to spend approximately 10–15 hours on the course, including participating in online discussions.

Information for these three courses is available here.

Panopto offers Basic and advanced Training Webinars. One Basic Webinar lasts for one hour and is held twice a month. 

The SUNY System also offers an online course, EmTechMooC. This is an open-access course available free of charge to UB members. At the end of the course, you will develop an ePortfolio to showcase your professional skills and accomplishments. You will earn digital badges which will appear in your transcripts. The entire course can be completed in as little as five hours spread over five weeks. Check here for the next available course.

In addition, the SUNY system offers an online course Quality by Design. This is a four-week online course offers ideas for improving courses by providing a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of seated, online, or hybrid courses.

b. Online Support Groups

SUNY Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP) provides an environment to work alongside peers to expand your pedagogical toolbox. 

Open SUNY Online Teaching is an online forum for online teaching and learning practices.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is an organization promoting online teaching as the mainstream mode of teaching in higher education.

c. Self-assessment Tool

The Online Course Self-Evaluation Tool developed by the UB GSEngage let you assess your online course by completing the rubric. The rubric is available here.