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Summer 2018 Session:
Saturday, June 16, 2018 –Sunday, August 19, 2018
Register Now!

Here's what participants are saying about the "iTeach Essentials" course.

"The iTeach Essentials course allowed me to return to the classroom as a student. Looking back over the entire course, I was impressed with the careful way that you constructed the syllabus and each module, created a model for the concepts of the course. The concepts that you taught were modeled - scaffolding, authentic assignments, group work, faculty presence, etc. It was this really the "whole" of this entire experience, that was most significant, in that it provided a clear path to creating an online class in Blackboard. I was very appreciative and awed by the sheer amount and quality of resources of all kinds that you provided and the rigor of the course."

Diane Goldsmith

"This iTeach Essentials course was very thorough and information-packed. I learned a lot over the last nine weeks. All of the material covered in the course will allow me to better serve my students while achieving NCCC's objectives. The course heavily concentrates on pedagogy.�This course exposed me to information that I probably would not have sought out on my own."

Kevin Bechard

"Completing the iTeach Essentials program not only helped me develop course design and instructional strategies for online teaching, it also helped me rethink my on ground classes, too. From engaging students at the onset of each unit to assessing the outcomes, from 1000-point grading system to reorganizing group work, from promoting discussion to questioning strategy, and from course content to transitions iTeach Essentials helped me reevaluate my approach to teaching in all settings! It is both rigorous and worthwhile."

Martin Hart

"At the beginning of iTeach, I was teacher centered in my viewpoint of how on-line teaching would work. When I became aware of student centered education as the focus of on-line education, I needed a paradigm shift from my usual structure, to a new structure. I wasn't sure what that structure would be in the first few weeks of iTeach, but as the lessons built upon themselves, I was able to see what I needed to do, to modify my teaching to be successful online."

Nancy Stover

About iTeach Essentials
The iTeach Essentials course is a 9-week, fully-online learning opportunity for faculty that was originally developed by the Connecticut Community College system. The course is targeted specifically at faculty who are interested in teaching fully online courses.

Online teaching is not about knowing which buttons to push in Blackboard. Although technical proficiency supports online teaching, the ability to communicate effectively online, facilitate community and interaction, design effective online assignments, learning objectives, and course structure are paramount to the success of online learning. Topics in this course include both pedagogical as well as technical best practices of online teaching and classroom management.

Who should take this course?
This course is targeted at instructors would like to teach fully-online courses. Participants have included those who have already been using Blackboard in their on-ground or hybrid courses, as well as instructors who have been teaching online but have never really had the opportunity to explore best practices of online teaching. It is not an introductory course in how to use the Blackboard course management system.

What kind of time commitment is expected?
This course is a rigorous professional development activity that will require significant effort on your part.
Although the class takes place completely online, it is not a self-paced course; there are always both discussion and assignment deadlines throughout each week of the course, and you will be required to submit assignments, complete practice tasks in an assigned Blackboard practice section, and post substantive messages and responses to discussion boards and journals on a weekly basis. Participants can expect to spend at least 9 hours per week on the required readings, activities, and discussions. However, the actual time required is dependent to a great extent on prior technical experience with Blackboard--please review the course prerequisites.

Please be sure to carefully consider your other professional and personal demands; it may not be advisable to register for this class when you anticipate major personal obligations or commitments (weddings, surgeries, personal or school vacations, etc.) that will result in several days at a time when you will be unable to complete your online work. If you don't think you can complete the requirements within the stated period, please wait and register for a different session in the future.

What are the goals of the iTeach Essentials course?

  • Provide faculty with the opportunity to experience online learning as a student, rather than as an instructor, so they have a more personal perspective on the actual challenges of online learning.
  • Introduce faculty to theory, as well as many practical strategies, related to online teaching and learning, and to share their experiences, ideas, and insights with fellow iTeach participants in a fully online setting.
  • Model best practices of online teaching, course design, classroom management, and online communication and interaction, for participating faculty.
  • Provide faculty with the opportunity to apply their new skills immediately, by completing challenging hands-on projects in an individually assigned practice course section in Blackboard.

What does "Fully Online" mean?

  • There are NO in-person or on-ground classroom meetings or hands-on labs. The "Start Date" of the course is the first date the you must log into Blackboard  Vista--that's the day when the course will be "opened" and available to participants. You will access the course via myCommNet and then access the course shell in Blackboard.
  • There are NO "synchronous" (i.e. "real-time") phone discussions or chat sessions--all interactions take place online asynchronously, via discussion boards, journals, etc.
  • All course readings, videos, assignments, etc. are delivered online. Participants will also be assigned their own "practice shell" in Blackboard, where they will complete the hands-on technical assignments.
  • This is a "facilitated" course--meaning that each section will have two individuals who will interact with students, answer questions, and review and provide feedback on gradable discussion posts and assignments.

What are the course prerequisites? 

  1. You already possess all of the skills listed in the Essential Pre-Blackboard computer and Internet skills website, AND...
  2. You have a basic familiarity with how to use and navigate the Bb Learn interface by having used it to "web-enhance" an on-ground classroom based course, OR you have a solid technical foundation in a comparable learning management system.

    Examples of this level of familiarity could include: Knowledge of how to add content areas and tools to a Blackboard course menu and re-arrange the course menu, know how to upload files to Blackboard (and perhaps other types of content or resources, turn Edit Mode ON/OFF, and ideally you have used at least one or two different Blackboard tools, such as Discussions or Messages.
Prior experience having taught a hybrid or fully-online course in a learning management system is always helpful, but not required.

If you do not meet the pre-requisites listed above, but you feel that you DO have the technical skills necessary to participate in the course, we strongly recommend that you talk it over with the local distance learning staff person at your own institution first, or contact CTDLC and we can put you in touch with one of the instructors.

What are the technical (computer/hardware/software, etc.) requirements?

Who contributed to the development of the iTeach Essentials course?
Please see our list of Course Contributors.

Contact for more information: Carolyn Caggiano, iTeach Essentials Coordinator
Ph: 860-515-3712   email: ccaggiano@ctdlc.org
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