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Trine prof published in IACTE newsletter, helps develop online teaching standards

Megan TolinMegan Tolin, assistant professor and director of educational technology and pedagogy in Trine University’s Franks School of Education, recently had an article published in the inaugural newsletter for the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE).

She also is serving on a working committee for the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to set state standards for an online teaching licensure.

“We are so proud of Prof. Tolin and her service to our education profession,” said Anthony Kline, Ph.D., dean of the Franks School of Education. “Having her expertise and work recognized by IACTE and the Indiana Department of Education reinforces how fortunate we are to have Prof. Tolin on our Franks School of Education team. She continually strives to make our teacher candidates and faculty better.”

Tolin’s article — titled “Can a Worldwide Pandemic be a Catalyst for Change?” — looks at the impact COVID-19 has had and will continue to have on faculty practices.

“While there is potential for faculty to improve upon their pedagogy, especially in relation to their use of technology, it is critical that leaders spend the time and energy to create spaces that foster creativity, provide professional learning opportunities, and model reflective, adaptive practice,” she said.

She said the opportunity to write for IACTE came about when Kline shared that the organization was looking for article proposals.

“I happened to be working on something that fit well, so I sent in my proposal and the committee accepted it for publication,” she said.

With online and blended learning already increasing prior to COVID-19 and then exploding after the pandemic began, the IDOE asked Tolin to serve on a committee charged with updating the standards. She said the department had previously established “virtual educator standards,” but very few programs offered online teaching licensure.

“It was important to provide standards for not only universities to develop programs around, but also to provide school leadership a baseline resource for designing professional development,” she said. “We've really tried to broaden the focus of the standards to serve a variety of needs.”

Tolin said the revised standards cover eight core areas: learning environments; learner engagement; instructional design; assessment and measurement; diverse and equitable Instruction; digital pedagogy; digital citizenship; and professional responsibility. She said the committee is making final edits and hopes to have the standards ready for approval at the March meeting of the Indiana State Board of Education.