November 4, 2008

The Master Teacher Program for the Anglophone Teachers in Outlying Colleges

The Master Teacher Program in a Nutshell

The Master Teacher Program is a master’s level program conceived by anglophone cégep teachers for anglophone cégep teachers and accredited by the Performa program of the University of Sherbrooke. Of the 263 teachers who have been admitted to the program, forty have graduated with a thirty-credit DE and four teachers have attained their MEd. Seventeen cohorts have entered the program which was initially designed for the Montreal colleges.

Rquest to Provide Access to all Anglophone Teachers

Three years ago, a weekend format of the program with online learning components was created to provide access to the teachers at Heritage College in Gatineau, QC.

This format however didn’t respond to the needs of the anglophone sectors at both Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles and Cégep de Sept-Îles. In addition, there are anglophone teachers in the ESL departments of the francophone colleges. In order to reach those teachers, there was a need to imagine a third format.

What Was Done?

In order to advance the process, several actions were taken:

  • Hiring of instructional designers and course management consultants to coach resource people (WebCT)
  • Creation of a community of practice for blended learning
  • Creation of task force to develop a new format for reaching the outlying colleges
  • Delivery of a full-day pedagogical day for all resource people on integrating online teaching in the MTP
  • Delivery of seven hands-on workshops for resource people on VIA, Elluminate, Camptasia, Skype, etc.
  • Individual coaching regarding the use of VIA and Moodle
  • Delivery of fourteen workshops on Moodle (December 2008, January 2009)

At this point,

  • Eleven of seventeen courses have a minimum of 9 hours online; five courses have more than 15 hours of online activity; all eleven are now delivered with some online components (WebCT);
  • Three courses are totally storyboarded for WebCT in the generic format for distance education initially proposed by Performa;
  • All MTP resource people have received some training in how to teach with technology;
  • Software and equipment have been piloted for use in the new format;
  • The first course in the program, College Teaching: Issues and Challenges, has been totally re-engineered to enable a blended format for piloting in the outlying colleges;
  • Publicity was created and distributed this fall to all the anglophone colleges or colleges with an anglophone sector.
What the New Format Looks Like
Preparation and coaching
Mid-to-late fall Preliminary set-up of the course management system (Moodle)
and preparation of software and equipment
Pre-class assignment
January 2, 2009 An assignment will be posted on Moodle for completion before January 16th
Face-to-face classroom sessions, Vanier College
January 16, 2009 4:00-7:00
January 17, 2009 9:00-4:00
Online, synchronous sessions (VIA)
February 6, 2009 3:30-5:30
February 20, 2009 3:30-5:30
Face-to-face classroom sessions, Vanier College
March 13, 2009 4:00-7:00
March 14, 2009 9:00-4:00
Asynchronous sessions (Moodle)
Plus an additional 23 online, asynchronous hours

Six individuals have expressed interest from Sept-Îles, two from Gaspé and two from Heritage.  At a recent Performa Assemblée générale, many Répondants locaux also expressed their interest in making the program available to the teachers in the ESL departments of the francophone colleges.

Why Not Distance Education?

A conscious decision was made to have two face-to-face weekends in the blended format for pedagogical purposes because research shows that the blended format has a higher retention rate than distance education.

Second, from a pedagogical point of view, the MTP models best practices for cégep teaching and learning. At this point, most cégep education takes place in a face-to-face format and so it would not serve our purpose to only model distance education.

Third, in order to promote success for everyone, we agreed to increase the online components in tandem with the skill-levels and comfort-level of our resource people as well as the stability and availability of technology in the colleges.

Where to Next?

When the pilot of this new format is completed and revisions made, the program will be made available to the ESL teachers in the francophone cégeps; this is the next frontier.

Want More Information?

Click here for a more complete description of the program.

You can use our Reader Response Feature below to share your thoughts about this response to the challenge of keeping anglophone teachers around the province aware of ongoing developments in their field.

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