The College of Nursing community is very grateful for the collaboration that brought about the ASPIRE (Asynchronous Program for Instructional Readiness) workshop to enhance our faculty’s ability to teach within the online learning environment in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Due to clinical responsibilities and other obligations, many faculty members were not able to commit to the synchronous (SOIREE) version of this workshop. The asynchronous nature of the ASPIRE workshop proved to be a perfect fit for many of our faculty.
Starting in April of 2020, I was fortunate enough to pilot the ASPIRE workshop and facilitated a group of ten College of Nursing faculty as they progressed through the six module D2L course. The ability for me to facilitate our faculty’s progress and provide timely feedback made up for some of the benefits lost from not being able to join the synchronous experience. Rather than treating this as a truly “at your own pace” course, I encouraged faculty to complete the workshop within two weeks. I was able to increase engagement and accountability with frequent email communications to set expectations and by requiring faculty to submit deliverables to the assignment folder for each of the six core modules. In order to provide timing feedback, I setup email notifications on the assignments folders to inform me when an assignment was submitted. Thanks to the strong relationship I have with department faculty as a local resource for instructional design and educational technology support, the feedback enhanced course presence and guidance on best practices around the college. For example, there are many ways to develop voiceover presentations, and sharing a similar message regarding best practices promotes consistency throughout our courses. I highly recommend that all faculty take advantage of the wonderful learning opportunities available from the university, and if SOIREE is not an option, a department facilitated version of the ASPIRE workshop is a great option for an interactive professional development experience.