Free Online Seminars an Early Hit With Educators

More than 200 participants from a variety of education settings just completed the first Online Professional Seminar (OPS) in the series being offered by AACTE’s new Quality Support Initiative. With another 250-plus registrants signed up for the second free seminar starting next week, the series is off to a strong start—and there is still space in upcoming cohorts!

The focus of each OPS is a topic relating to quality assessment and/or accreditation. Seminars are 3-week, interactive online courses for current and aspiring professional educators, PK-16. Courses are open to all educators, whether AACTE members or nonmembers, and the first two seminars in the series—Building Quality Assessments and Using Data for Improvement—are offered free of charge. These two introductory OPSs can be taken in any order.

So how did this first seminar go? Thanks to the range of insights from colleagues eager to share with each other, the discussions had an appealing dynamic. The overall cohort was divided into groups of about 20 participants each, composed of mostly higher education faculty members from a diverse set of institutions and geographies. Each week, they explored a different dimension of the content together. Facilitators led participants in sharing experiences, best practices, and pertinent questions through the weekly discussion boards.

One of the most engaging discussions was around the instrument-building process. The courseware offered this graphic aid to help explain the assessment-creation process to new colleagues and graduate students:

If you missed this session of OPS #1, a new cohort begins July 27. OPS #2, Using Data for Improvement, starts next Monday, July 13; both introductory seminars will also be offered at additional times later in the year. Both OPS #1 and OPS #2 are prerequisites for the more advanced next course, Creating a Quality Assurance System, which will be offered in the fall.

To register and to learn more about the OPS series and AACTE’s Quality Support Initiative, visit our web site.

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Tim Finklea

Director of Member Engagement, AACTE