Community Engagement

CCCOnline Community Course and Cultivating Excellence Blog (Instructor Lounge and Communication Blog)

Colorado Community Colleges Online
http://www.ccconline.org/

Among a large community of online adjunct instructors and staff, how do you build a sense of community and open communication? In many ways e-mail is the "old" way of communicating among a group, making it one to one and not in a viewable, historic thread of ideas. Another solution more accessible by all at any point in the conversation was needed.

Originally, the CCCOnline Community Course in D2L was developed to conduct D2L training for more than 300 adjunct instructors over a six week period. The goals were to prepare instructors for the new learning management system and to develop a sense of a private community among staff and faculty who function in a fully online environment. After the migration to the new LMS was complete, the community evolved into a number of open and discipline specific forums, or faculty lounges. In one all-instructor forum the Quality Assurance Coordinator collaborates with staff to post weekly pedagogical and technology topics to be discussed among the staff and instructors in the discussion for the week. The topics addressed can be viewed at our Cultivating Excellence Blog, http://cccoexcellence.blogspot.com/ . Additionally, each Division has a "private" lounge using the D2L groups tool to divide instructors providing access to just the faculty in that Division to openly discuss teaching problems and solutions with students and courses. Disciplines also use this space in a collaborative way during development projects and to identify items that need to be fixed quickly such as a broken link. In the discipline specific lounges, coaching and mentoring by seasoned faculty also occurs for new instructors who can ask their peers about course design, pedagogy, and even technology issues. Since the lounges are private and require a D2L log in, they are not available for the public.

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Karen Kaemmerling

karen.kaemmerling@cccs.edu

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