With a global pandemic forcing universities accustomed to in person classes to suddenly switch to online courses, Catholic Distance University and the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) partnered to offer IFCU faculty members worldwide a course titled Teaching in a Digital World.
CDU’s faculty members eagerly shared their knowledge with colleagues around the world from Spain, the Philippines, Belgium, Chile, Sierra Leone, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Congo DR, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, India, and Mexico, and other countries. The only exclusively online Catholic university, CDU has been accredited to offer distance education since 1986 and has delivered online programs for 20 years. Faculty members are well versed in best practices in online teaching and have many years of successful teaching experience in the online environment.
The 4-week, 10-hour course, which was offered several times in 2020, features Dr. Marie Nuar, Dr. Peter Brown, Alissa Thorell, and Kathy Vestermark presenting various elements of online teaching. President Dr. Marianne Evans Mount taught the theory, research, pedagogy, and theology of distance education. Other topics covered included practical techniques of best practices for successful teaching online, course design, use of media, interaction, and student support. During the course, participants were able to develop a course of their own design on the Canvas learning platform and have many opportunities to dialogue with CDU faculty. The course was offered several times in 2020.
Many faculty members accustomed to classroom teaching find the online environment a challenge both for themselves and for their students. Teaching in a Digital World was designed to impart faculty members with the expertise and knowledge they need to teach online with confidence while fostering interaction, engagement, and strong learning outcomes for students.
The course was such a success that it will be offered six times in 2021 and 2022 to faculty members at Catholic universities worldwide.