Not too long ago, it was believed that anyone who graduated from a doctoral program was capable of teaching, explains Pamela R. Jeffries, PhD, RN, Vice Provost of Digital Initiatives. “In recent years, however, it has become apparent that teaching is not an intuitive behavior,” she explains. “To develop the ‘art’ of teaching, professors require guidance and support.”
University Teaching 101, a new Johns Hopkins University massive open online course, or MOOC, will see to it that more PhD candidates—the next generation of faculty–are prepared to “jump in feet first,” she says. University Teaching 101 is a free, six-week, six-module course developed by the U.S. News and World Report top ranked Johns Hopkins schools of Nursing and Education and designed to introduce the strategies and skills necessary to meet the demands of teaching at a university level. It launched March 17 on the Coursera platform, with a Signature Track option available for $49.
University Teaching 101, led by Jeffries and David Andrews, PhD, dean of the School of Education engages participants through discussion forums, case studies, peer review of cases, quizzes, and the like, “all with the intent that we want people to be successful and complete it,” explains Jeffries of a course that draws expertise from not only Nursing and Education, but across the divisions of Johns Hopkins.
The MOOC springs from an innovation award Jeffries and Candice Dalrymple, Associate Dean of University Libraries, earned in 2013 for their Preparing Future Faculty Teaching Academy (PFFTA) for PhD students across the university. University Teaching 101 is the key to phase one of PFFTA: supplying a foundational knowledge in teaching. The MOOC is a way to capture students “who don’t have time because they’re doing clinical work or whatever. They can do the MOOC in their off hours,” Jeffries says.
Phase two of PFFTA adds immersion workshops; phase three puts PhD students in a classroom with a mentor.