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Published February 25, 2008

Top Up Your Teaching Staff with Cégep@distance's Instructional Material

Academic deans, department heads and professors take notice: Cégep@distance develops instructional material that can be used to rapidly bring new professors up to speed on courses they have not taught in the past. Food for thought for those of you training the new guard! This material, which is available at minimal cost, could also be used to supplement the in-class instruction of even the most seasoned veteran in your college.

In 2005, Cégep@distance began producing distance education courses for the English community in Quebec. These courses are completely self-contained and include all the material required to complete the equivalent of a regular college course. To date, French as a second language, biology, psychology, accounting and calculus courses are available, as well as prep material for the English Exit Exam. Two humanities courses, two English lit courses and a photography course are currently in the works.

The distance ed courses generally fall into three categories - paper-based, multimedia and Internet-based. The actual course material varies in format. There are study guides which propose a study plan for students to follow, course texts developed internally at Cégep@distance, textbooks and workbooks from various publishing houses, and miscellaneous supporting documents (such as photos in a photography course, CD-ROMs, etc). Course assignments and exams are not available from Cégep@distance as a measure of protection against plagiarism.

You may be wondering about the pertinence or applicability of the course material to your college. Many of our courses are designated as 'réseau' (network) which means they follow a universal instructional approach to the subject matter. These courses are sanctioned by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir, et du Sport and accepted as equivalents to courses offered in regular colleges. Cégep@distance works with experienced college professors to design and write each course. An instructional designer manages the development of the courses in conjunction with a subject matter expert who is, by day, a college professor. The development is followed by another college professor designated as a content reviewer. The content reviewer is usually selected from a different college than the subject matter expert to provide a second opinion and to ensure that the course respects different institutional approaches.

If developing your college's teachers of tomorrow and updating your own course plan aren't enough to throw you into a frenzy of excitement, here are a few more reasons you might want to use our material:

  • to integrate a different or complementary approach into your teaching;
  • to use a mentoring/tutor-based approach with students that might benefit from extra support; and
  • to offer supplemental or refresher material for students who have failed or are at risk of failing.

Now have you reached a state of utter euphoria? Perhaps I should add that Cégep@distance has taken care of all the organization/thinking/work/hardship involved in course preparation, leaving you plenty of time for tennis, golf and basket-weaving.

If I have managed to pique your interest, you can get started right away by having a look at the courses we offer and getting in touch with yours truly (rwmoon@cegepadistance.ca). I would be happy to help you get up and running.

What type of support is provided for new professors at your college? Do you use any innovative learning material or technology in your class, and what impact have you noticed? Have you ever used any of Cégep@distance's instructional material in your own lectures? Use our Reader Response Feature below to share information and views.

Good hunting!

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