The Adams Center staff created an online Canvas course for all faculty, but primarily geared toward adjunct professors.
Teaching and learning specialist Amy Boone and director/ instructional designer Dr. Berlin Fang headed the project just over a year ago. The idea for the course originated from the yearly two and a half day class that new full-time faculty, and second year faculty are required to attend. The new faculty then attend an ongoing process through the Adams Center, focused on faith and learning. A majority of part-time faculty are unable to attend this class due to other jobs or responsibilities, thus the idea emerged for the online course.
“Our adjunct faculty members, unlike the full time members who have a process and a lot of structure provided to them,” Fang said. “Our adjunct members are kicked into the deep end of the pool, they don’t have enough support.”
The course is a “warehouse” of information, provided by the Adams Center, to help engage part-time faculty with how to properly use Canvas, teach a course, and to set structure in the classroom. Fang said that when he designed the course he trie to incorporate all aspects of Canvas. The course was designed to show proper structure of Canvas, how to embed pictures and videos, how to avoid clutter, and the effective use of Canvas.
“It is a repository of resources they can access, also it’s a platform to show them how to structure their courses,” Fang said. “One of the common complaints from students is that professors don’t use Canvas efficiently or ‘correctly.’”
Boone and Fang acquired the lists of adjunct and part-time faculty from the Provost office, giving them the ability to contact and enroll the faculty in the course. Adjunct professors responded well to the course, said Boone. Approximately 55 faculty members have used the course material, with others noted as “pending.” The “pending” note does not mean they have not engaged with the course, said Boone, but rather the system has not updated.
Connected with the Canvas course, the Adams Center offered classes for all faculty that dealt with sensitive subject matter on ACU’s campus. Boone said the Adams Center offered faculty sessions this semester on everything from interacting with international students, teaching student athletes, faith in teaching, student feedback and classroom strategies. These courses are made available to connect all faculty across campus, to enlighten and diversify professors on issues brought to their attention by professor evaluations.
“We want to use this course as an example to show faculty members that things are possible through Canvas,” Fang said. “We want to provide a way to show members how to sequence things, how to channel things, in a way that makes the learning efficient, effective, and visually appealing.”
Boone and Fang continually update and revise course material based on school procedures, state law changes and other circumstances with the goal in mind to provide the best, most up-to-date product they can.