Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Online Instructor Orientation Information

Introducing PCC’s redesigned Flexible Online Instructor Orientation

PCC’s online orientation has been redesigned and made more flexible in response to our constituents’ needs. The new modular design separates the initial orientation Fundamentals of Online Teaching (FoOT) module from the design and facilitation modules that teach specific online techniques (Flex-OIO).

FoOT and Flex-OIO together prepare instructors to teach online at PCC.

The 6 week OIO has been replaced by a 2 week FOOT and 4 week Flex-OIO

Among other improvements, the new orientation:

  • Allows instructors to explore online teaching without a prior commitment to teach online
  • Provides more flexible entry times for required training
  • Gives participants more control over:
    • The selection of topics they learn
    • The selection of resources they use to learn
    • The timeframe for learning
  • Provides more information to Department Chairs about readiness of potential instructors to teach online before they are assigned sections.

The initial orientation module, called the Fundamentals of Online Teaching (FoOT), allows instructors to test the waters of online learning, try out the online mode in a supported environment, and assess their fitness and readiness for teaching online. If a participant discovers they aren’t ready to teach online, they can withdraw after the FoOT. Instructors who complete the FoOT and receive an online teaching assignment, complete the remaining modules, collectively called the Flex-OIO, which provide exposure to basic online design techniques and teaching methods.

Fundamentals of Online Teaching (FoOT)

  • FoOT is a fully online course that orients prospective online instructors to the online teaching environment. It takes about 6 hours to complete over a two week period, and convenes once or twice per term. An instructor doesn’t need an online teaching assignment in order to take the FoOT, but anyone who teaches online needs to have completed the FoOT and Flex-OIO (successful completion of the FoOT is a prerequisite for the Flex-OIO.)FootSmall
  • FoOT is open to full-time or part-time PCC instructors who work in departments that offer, or plan to offer, fully online courses.
  • FoOT enrollment requires the FDC (or Dean) to complete a FoOT Enrollment Request for the willing volunteer.
  • The FoOT allows instructors to learn more about online teaching without having to accept an online teaching assignment.
  • Provides more information to Department Chairs about the online design and delivery skills of potential instructors before they assign sections.
Flexible Online Instructor Orientation (Flex-OIO)

The revamped “Flexible Online Instructor Orientation” (Flex-OIO) is a five module, mostly online, professional development opportunity intended to introduce instructors to online course design and teaching at PCC. Flex-OIO activities take about 15 hours and can be completed in three to four weeks or as long as the learner needs.

  • Flex-OIO is open to full-time or part-time instructors who have been assigned to teach online
  • Flex-OIO enrollment requires the FDC (or Dean) to complete a course development or takeover request.
  • Flex-OIO completers receive a stipend.

Steps to become an online instructor

FoOT_IntroNewInstructorsPCC wants highly effective instructors to teach online. FoOT provides a way for an interested instructor to learn more about the basics of online teaching and to demonstrate that they can develop the knowledge and skills to be successful. This is an opportunity to stand out!

Instructors who complete FoOT may receive an assignment to teach online. Additional training, via the Flex-OIO, is then provided to complete basic training.

Milestones on the path to teaching online at PCC

arrowMilestone 1 – Completing the FoOT training module is the gateway to potentially receiving an online teaching assignment.
Milestone 2 – Receiving an assignment to design, revise, and/or teach an online course opens the door to the required Flex-OIO training modules. FDCs coordinate teaching assignments; the DL department coordinates the training.
Milestone 3 – Completing the required Flex-OIO modules leads to developing, revising and/or teaching your first online course.

What should an instructor do to get started in online teaching?

An instructor who is interested in teaching online should discuss this interest with their FDC or Dean. If appropriate, FDC or Dean fills out the FOOT Enrollment Request Form.

Find instructors that fit: Useful info about FoOT and Flex-OIO for FDCs or Deans

completersCurrently, no opportunities exist for new instructors to demonstrate readiness to teach online before assignments are made. FoOT is a solution to this problem. Because instructors take the FoOT prior to being given an assignment, performance information about potential online instructors is available when FDCs make assignments. Schedulers can be more informed about candidates and select the best possible online instructors available.

Currently, FDCs and Deans have no avenue to proactively assist in the professional development of online instructors. The FoOT provides FDCs and Deans with a new opportunity to recruit and sponsor new online instructors and develop their pool of online instructors before they make online teaching assignments.

FDCs and Deans may:
Recruit interested instructors – Encourage instructors to volunteer to learn more about online teaching and sign them up for the FoOT.
Sponsor interested instructors – Endorse interested instructors who want to learn more and sign them up for the FoOT. Instructors will rely on FDCs and Deans to fill out enrollment requests on their behalf.

FDCs and Deans may enroll a PCC instructor in FoOT if the department can potentially offer an online teaching assignment to the enrollee after completing the FoOT. The DL Department will rely on your thoughtfulness and discretion to screen instructors based on this rule of thumb.

Submit a FOOT Enrollment Request