At the Academy of Art University, every new online instructor is paired with a Teaching Coach, who will work with you through the first weeks of the semester, helping you acclimate to the environment and making sure you get off to a strong start. Our coaches are members of the Faculty Evaluation & Coaching team. They have a great deal of experience in reviewing online classes, and they receive special training on best practices in online teaching. This means that they have a great deal to offer in helping you get familiar with the online learning system and the process of teaching online.
How this will work
- Your coach is also the instructor of your training course, so you can begin by checking in with him or her there. There will probably be a few other new instructors enrolled in the training with you; all of you will be working with the same coach. We recommend you all talk together (by phone or Skype, in a online office or in person), so you can get to know each other a little bit, before you start working together. This will also give you a chance to discuss how you, your co-mentees, and your coach will communicate.
- Your coach will have access to your online class(es), so that s/he can see firsthand what’s going on there.
- Every week, your coach will review your class and then check in with you about any issues that have arisen. S/he’ll ask about your concerns, share observations, and offer feedback and suggestions. You should expect to spend a little more time communicating at the start of the term, so that your coach can get to know a bit about you and your class—and vice versa. You may find it easiest to do this in the Discussion of the training class — but again, it's up to you and your coach to decide this together.
- Please feel free to contact your coach whenever you have questions or concerns about teaching online. We pay our Teaching Coaches for the support they provide, so don’t hesitate to ask them for help!
- In Module 5, your coach will complete a rubric reviewing your progress as an online teacher. Once you have mastered the basics of online teaching and no longer need such intensive support, we will let you know that your coaching period is over — and we will share your coach's feedback with your department director.