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TOPP (The Online Professor Program)

TOPP is a faculty-driven development program that provides pedagogical and technological support for instructors endeavoring to design, develop, teach, or revise online, partially online (hybrid) and web-enhanced courses. TOPP is taught completely online with optional face to face meetings.

Online Teaching Concept and Philosophy:

  • Requires both technical and reflective skills to build a student-centered learning environment.
  • Provides ongoing support to online teachers by modeling effective teaching strategies and techniques.
  • Promotes continuous professional development and growth by sharing thoughtful readings and online teaching experiences.

Curriculum:

TOPP has 3 levels of training built in to the program:

Level 1 is for the professor who is developing an online or partially online (hybrid) course and has never taught online before. At the end of level 1, the newly developed courses are evaluated using a rubric and constructive input provided by the TOPP team.

Level 2 is for the professor who is teaching an online course for the first time and who wants to continue to enhance his/her skills. It is strongly advised that new online professors enroll in Level 2 in their first semester of teaching online.

Level 3 is for the experienced online faculty member. This series of six seminars will involve experienced online faculty in course revisions based on a review of exemplary Moodle courses and the criteria used to determine these courses. Exemplary course seminars will run for two hours.

Training Schedule will be announced at the beginning of each semester.

Rewards

Faculty teaching online for the first time will receive a stipend roughly equivalent to one semester hour of overload pay for successful completion of TOPP Level 1 and development of their online course. Faculty who complete their first semester of teaching online receive a stipend roughly equivalent to one semester hour of overload compensation for the intensive work of teaching a course for the first time. An additional hour of compensation is added for the second time this course is taught online. If they successfully complete Level 2 of TOPP, they will also receive a stipend roughly equivalent to two additional hours of overload compensation for participation in the workshops and to improve and revise their courses.

Experienced online professors who complete the Level 3 seminars and who successfully revise their courses according to the Quality Matters rubric, will receive a stipend roughly equivalent to two semester hours of overload compensation. Level 3 participants are encouraged to serve as mentors for new online professors.

For detailed information about all aspects of compensation for development and teaching online and partially online courses, see Appendix B of the BCCFA contract. To request compensation as per the agreement, please fill out and submit the Distance Learning Compensation Request Form.

To participate in this program you will need approval from your coordinator, department head and dean. Fill in the Level 1 Application Form and return the completed TOPP application to Ms. Kathy Morley, Office Supervisor, Room C-334.

For further information and queries, email Brian Cordell, TOPP Coordinator, at  bcordell@bergen.edu or by phone at X7612.