How Can Academic Leadership Drive Excellence in Online Education? A Panel Discussion

Purpose: Online instruction and the flipped classroom are no longer novel pedagogical approach in DPT education. Academic leaders, however, should drive quality and enhance excellence by utilizing best practices in online instruction. The purpose of this session is to share both leadership and instructional strategies that: 1) increase student engagement, 2) decrease variability in instructional content across programs, 3) encourage utilization of pedagogically-sound practices and 4) create clinically-relevant learning activities that transfer into clinical practice. In recent years, a number of physical therapist professional programs have adopted online learning modules in an effort to redirect learning and facilitate higher level critical thinking. This session will highlight the processes used and leadership skills required to integrate online instructional content into traditional face-to-face DPT curricula and hybrid educational programs. Using this instructional strategy, the educator is able to structure classroom time to address more complex patient/client problems and provide students with critical feedback regarding their clinical decision-making strategies.Methods and/or Description of Project: Online technology offers an accessible, cost-effective, and standardized means of delivering educational content anytime/anywhere. Research supports the use of online learning in a variety of contexts, showing no significant differences in student outcomes, however barriers exist which prevent broader implementation of this instructional method. To ensure success of online learning platforms, potential barriers must be recognized and addressed. First, faculty may need assistance in modifying educational content to fit this new format. This may involve reducing traditional “sage on the stage” lectures, which creates more time for high-impact interactive classroom learning activities. Clinical cases and/or experiential learning activities may need to be developed which challenge students to integrate and synthesize information at a higher level. Secondly, processes must be put in place that hold students accountable for educational content delivered online. Students must view online content delivery as an integral piece of the learning process. Finally, content delivered online can be integrated into an existing curriculum in a variety of ways that maximize learning outcomes and allows faculty the flexibility to develop additional educational experiences that will prepare DPT graduates for the complex healthcare system in which they must function. In this session, a diverse panel of faculty and program directors who have led the use of online instruction in their respective programs share their leadership strategies and instructional approaches for online learning. Specifically, the panel will share administrative strategies (allocation of funds, investment in faculty training, shifting the role of faculty) as well as instructional strategies for high impact learning activities. The benefits of re-structuring faculty time will also be discussed from multiple perspectives.Results/Outcomes: Current literature supports both faculty and student satisfaction when it comes to the use of online learning. Students report ease of access, with the ability to review difficult content multiple times if needed. Added benefits include the use of traditional classroom time for higher-level clinical decision-making activities that require the application of new knowledge gained through the online format. Finally, program directors have noted integration of online learning platforms into their current curricula is a viable option for delivering high quality educational instruction.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet: This presentation provides a variety of perspectives related to the use of online education in physical therapist curricula. Strengths and weakness, as well as barriers and benefits of implementation will be discussed. Online education is here to stay in higher education. Let’s maximize its potential through leadership to drive excellence in physical therapist education.References: Beaudoin, M. F. (2013). Institutional leadership. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (pp. 467–480). London: Routledge. Diaz, V., & Strickland, J. (2009). ELI discovery tool: Blended learning workshop guide. Educause Learning Initiative, Unit 7. Retrieved from https://library.educause.edu/resources/2009/11/eli-discovery-tool-blended-learning-workshop-guide Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2004.02.001 Graham, C. R. (2013). Emerging practice and research in blended learning. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of Distance Education (3rd ed., pp. 333–350). New York, NY: Routledge. Joosten, T. M., Barth, D., Harness, L., & Weber, N. L. (2013). The impact of instructional development and blended teaching on course effectiveness. In A. G. Picciano, C. D. Dziuban, & C. R. Graham (Eds.), Blended Learning: Research Perspectives (Vol. 2, pp. 173–189). New York, NY: Routledge. King, S., & Arnold, K. C. (2012). Blended learning environments in higher education: a case study of how professors make it happen. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 25(1/2), 44–59. Moisei, S. D., & Hughes, J. A. (2008). Supporting the online learner. In T. Anderson (Ed.), The theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed., pp. 419–439). Athabasca University Press. Retrieved from http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120146 (Links to an external site.) Picciano, A. G. (2009). Blending with purpose: The multimodal model. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(1). Watson, J. (2008). Promising practices in online learning: Blended learning – the convergence of online and face-to-face education. North American Council for Online Learning. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED509636Course Objectives: 1. Describe how online educational modules are being integrated into existing face to face and hybrid physical therapist educational programs. 2. Compare and contrast experiences of various PT educators at several institutions who are using online education as an instructional strategy. 3. Assess the applicability of online educational modules for use in their PT program. 4. Justify the leadership skills needed to bring online education to its highest potential.Instructional Methods: Following a brief overview of online education and its history in the health professions, each panel member will discuss the process they used to integrate online educational content into their existing programs. Strengths, weaknesses, barrier and benefits will be discussed from multiple stakeholders. Interaction with the audience is expected and encouraged.Tentative Outline/Schedule: Time (Minutes) 5 Introductions 15 Brief Overview of Module Utilization 12 NOVA Southeastern 12 Northern Arizona University 12 George Washington University 12 University of Delaware 12 Mary Baldwin University 10 Final Q & A Total = 90

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  • Control #: 2995955
  • Type: Educational Session - Non-Research Type
  • Event/Year: ELC 2018
  • Authors: Steven H. Tepper5, 2, 6
  • Keywords:

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