Training and Technical Support

AuthorRebecca Purdom - Greg Brandes - Karen Westwood
Training and Technical Support
The ABA’s Standard 311 requires that all faculty and students who participate in online classes receive
sufficient training and technical support. A school’s minimum obligation to fulfill this requirement is
recommended to include the following facets.
This chapter addresses:
Faculty training. In addition to technology training in the learning management system and
other content delivery systems, what training in online teaching should the school provide to
Student training. In addition to technology training in using and interacting with the learning
management system, classroom, and other content delivery systems, what training in online
learning should the school provide?
Support staff training. How can other disciplines and expertise, such as content development
and curriculum design, be integrated into the curriculum model?
Technical staff training. What actions by technical support staff convey a responsive, expert,
calming, and caring demeanor to students who experience technical difficulties?
Faculty Training
While many faculty members reach the front door of their first classroom without any specific
pedagogical or technical training, it is unwiseif not nearly impossiblefor faculty to enter the world of
online learning without training in a variety of areas. Appropriate training will enable faculty to be self-
sufficient in these areas and set expectations for distance learning instruction that reflect best practices.
Note that some online learning models scale their offerings by placing one supervising professor, often a
highly qualified faculty member, in charge of a number of instructors who in turn deliver different
sections of the same course. Everyone involved should be provided training appropriate to their role,
including training for supervising faculty, facilitators, teaching assistants, and anyone else in an
instructional or support role.
Depending on the institution’s model, faculty may need different levels of technical training. Faculty
should have sufficient training to interact effectively with students online and be able to access each part
of the course. Faculty should also have sufficient training so that they can perform all grading and use
gradebook functions without assistance.

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