Remember that commercial? It ends with Sy Sperling saying, “Remember, I’m not only the Hair Club President, but I’m also a client.”

Tomorrow, our Online Course Development Initiative (OCDI) begins in earnest. After asking the participants to engage in some pre-Institute activities, the week-long, face-to-face Institute will unfold over the course of this coming week. Beyond that, the participants will experience what it’s like to be a learning in an online learning “course” over three weeks. Then, when they go on to teach an online course, they’ll have continued support from our faculty development team.

It’s a good model that Jeff Nugent, Britt Watwood and others at VCU developed a number of years ago. I reference the Sy Sperling commercial because I was a member of the first faculty cohort of the OCDI. Now, alongside Jeff, Britt, Tom Woodward and others, I have the opportunity to co-lead the effort.

“I’m not only the Interim Director of Online Academic Programs, but I’m also an OCDI graduate!” Or something like that.

We’ve made some tweaks to OCDI, especially as we ramp up our efforts to advocate for connected learning as an orientation to online learning at VCU.  This is a tremendous opportunity to work with 17 faculty and staff, ranging from doctoral students to adjunct faculty members to tenured associate professors.  As we orient the faculty and staff towards a connected learning stance, I hope you’ll follow along and connect where you can. We’ll share actively with the #vcuocdi hashtag and all participants will be blogging (and have already); we’re aggregating all of their posts in the OCDI Community Hub. Please follow along and connect!