GREAT ONLINE TEACHERS SEMINARS
Online Teaching Conference
June 2017, Anaheim, CA
I will be facilitating a 1-day pre-conference GOTS at the Online Teaching Conference. Enrollment caps at 20. Click below to register.
Asheville, North Carolina
October 12-15, 2017
This 4-day, 3-night event will be held in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Enrollment is capped at 40. Register now!
A GOTS for California is in the planning stages for 2018. If you'd like to be notified about updates, please click below.
What is a Great Teachers Seminar?
The National Great Teachers Movement, founded in the 1960s by David Gottshall, has provided inspirational, faculty-centered professional development experiences for thousands of educators. Rather than an event that brings "great teachers" together, Great Teachers Seminars (GTSs) offer faculty the opportunity to search for the great teacher within. Each GTS embraces the idea that no expert can match the collective wisdom of a group of educators. Unlike a traditional conference, participants actively develop the topics discussed at the event, providing an organic and grassroots approach to faculty development.
GTS events occur throughout North America each year and many have been in existence for decades. Many events emerge through grassroots efforts and may not be trackable. However, this does not mean they are any less important or valuable. Below is a list of some of the annual Great Teachers Seminars that have been around the longest. This list is offered to ensure conversations and planning of GOTS events occur within the broader GTS narrative. For more information about the history of NGTM, contact Steve Smith or click here.
- Santa Barbara Great Teachers Seminar -- est. 1979, coordinated by the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACC) Education Institute
- Pacific Northwest Great Teaching Seminar - est. c. 1979, coordinated by Umpqua Community College
- National Great Teachers Seminar in the Canadian Rockies -- est. 1984, coordinated by MacEwan University
- Hawaii National Great Teachers Seminar -- est. 1988, coordinated by Leeward Community College and the University of Hawaii
- Annual GTSs are also held in North Carolina, Utah, Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, Texas, Alberta, and Nova Scotia
Why a Great Online Teachers Seminar (GOTS)?
Teaching online is unique from teaching in a classroom. While Twitter and blogs provide powerful opportunities for faculty to share and connect, many online instructors in higher education are not engaged in these conversations. Establishing a series of Great Online Teachers Seminars will create a space for diverse groups of faculty across institutions to connect, share, learn from one another and develop a community of practice.
In 2004, I attended a Great Teachers Seminar in Santa Barbara, CA. It was a powerful, transformative experience that is still hard for me to translate into words. I was immersed in a 5-day retreat-like setting with about 50 other educators. We connected in large and small groups each day from breakfast well past dinner. Departing was emotional for many of us. I left feeling inspired and immensely grateful for knowing that I was part of such a committed group of people who, like me, cared about student learning and wanted to improve. At that time, I was teaching online, but online teaching was not brought up once in the context of that seminar. Today, more than a decade later, the number of online courses taught each semester has grown astronomically. But opportunities for faculty who teach online to connect and learn from one another have not emerged. In fact, many online instructors feel disconnected from their peers.