Frequently Asked Questions About GOTS
Q: "Does this conference have an agenda or schedule of events?"
A: One of the Hallmarks of a great teachers seminar is that there is no pre-distributed schedule or agenda. The Seminar Logistics, Participant Preparation, and the FAQ pages on the website does contain some information about our schedule in general and what participants do in advance of the seminar to prepare. We have scheduled meeting times in the morning, afternoon, and evening. This information is shared with participants on-site as the seminar process unfolds. This allows for total customization of the seminar for those who are in attendance.
Q: "I’m reading through the GOTS website and see that it is open to all types of faculty. My primary role is an Instructional Designer and I work with a wide variety of faculty who are designing, developing, and teaching online. I also teach a ‘Learning to Teach Online’ faculty development course and other online courses. Do you think that GOTS is appropriate for someone like me as I have other roles than teaching?"
A: Absolutely! The multiple lenses through which you would experience the seminar would bring a fascinating dimension to the event. Many attendees of Great Teachers Seminars move on to start mini-seminars at their own campus. As an Instructional Designer you would be in a perfect role to develop such an opportunity upon returning to your institution.
Q: "I have never taught an online class before but know that I will need to soon. Is attending the GOTS a good place to start?"
A: If you have never taught online, your context in processing the seminar activities will be a bit limited. While you are more than welcome to attend and will undoubtedly gain much useful information, it's recommended that you have taught at least one online class in order to maximize your learning experience.
Q: "Is it possible to just attend the day sessions of the conference?"
A: GOTS participants are expected to attend all seminar sessions as the seminar agenda emanates from participant interaction. You will experience both day and evening group meetings. Staying on-site provides great "in between times" networking, socializing, and a chance to "decompress" from your normal schedule. Be nice to yourself. Our registration fee includes all meals and lodging!.
Q: "What topics will be offered to participants at the seminar?"
A: Another hallmark of a Great Seminar as practiced within the National Great Teachers Movement is that there is no pre-distributed list of topics. Our GOTS is no exception. Participants will come prepared to share an innovation, a problem, and other teaching devices and strategies. The GOTS is just for those who are or will teach online so participant prep will be strictly focused on online teaching environments
This process insures that the needs of any given group of educators are identified and at a strategic point in the seminar, more traditional conference-style break out sessions will be offered. However, those topics are derived strictly from the needs and interests of those participating. Recently, in a small conference style breakout session of teaching faculty in the 2017 California Great Teachers Seminar, 82 on-topic ideas were promoted by the group as possible solution & innovations in just 110 minutes! The break out session was relevant, timely, accessible, and generated from the participant themselves.
Here are some samples of seminar overviews from prior NC Great Teachers Seminars that may also help you understand what we do.