08/31/2015

Faculty Development

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

~ C. G. Jung


Educational/faculty development is a dynamic tool that facilitates the improvement of the student learning experiences and supports faculty success in all types of learning environments. Throughout my career I’ve encouraged my teams to actively engage with faculty across disciplines, bringing expertise and best practices to bear on course design, innovative teaching strategies and the best use of technology. Likewise, digital literacy, learning analytics, adaptive learning, and new modalities of teaching require a synergistic team of educational developers, IT, and faculty to research and apply evidence-based best practices that will promote student success. Collaborative teams have been the hallmark of my work throughout my career and a significant part of my leadership practice.

I love empowering faculty, helping them improve their teaching, learning, technical repertoire, or processes; anything that will help them be more dynamic and vibrant in their work of teaching and engaging students. Because I approach educational development as a partnership and because I am also a faculty member, our work ends up being a two-way interaction where I learn as much from them as they do from me.

I have been helping faculty improve their practice since 1998 when I began designing online courses. The first step in any partnership is to gain mutual respect and trust; for what I do and for the expertise the faculty bring to the design process. I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with very talented faculty from across various disciplines: Astronomy, Accounting, Business, Computer Science, Education, Electrical Engineering, Nursing, Sociology, and Theatre, to name a few, and I have learned much about the content from their expertise. Through their interactions with me, these faculty have also improved their teaching methods, assessment, and course design in traditional classrooms, online environments and blended experiences. Technology has been the catalyst for many of us to re-evaluate and re-design our courses and instruction. Indeed, to re-examine how we approach teaching and learning in a digital world.

I believe that exceptional faculty, as learners, will continue to strive to improve their work over the lifespan of their career and that each individual requires a different approach to partnering. Improvement also means that our classrooms will become more inclusive and learner-centered. I believe that learning happens in community – within one’s discipline and with others across the campus. As a faculty developer, I aim to provide consultative and collaborative leadership for innovation in teaching and learning that leads to academic excellence and to greater student success. I strive to develop leaders committed to faculty development and student success across all levels of the university. Furthermore, I engage in scholarship that extends current knowledge and best practices of teaching, learning, and technology to the university community; by consulting with individual faculty, facilitating workshops and institutes, organizing and participating in learning communities, engaging in curriculum revisions and course redesign, and partnering and collaborating with others across the university, and institutions of higher education around the globe.

These partnerships have lead me to my current projects and research:

  • Discovering the types of course design and faculty development support institutions are providing for faculty teaching in competency-based education programs.
  • Identifying the impact of faculty development programs on teaching
  • Creating support and faculty development for part-time instructors and graduate teaching assistants
  • Extending the reach of faculty development across campus through partnerships and collaborations
  • Developing summer ‘institutes’ that provide an immersion into a topic
  • Developing a faculty fellow program
  • Merge technology and faculty development work seamlessly to model what needs to happen in our various types of classrooms.

Workshops [a representative sample]:

  • Course Redesign Institute
  • Flipping the Classroom Institute
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques
  • Working in Canvas LMS from a Pedagogical Lens
  • Writing Observable and Measurable Learning Outcomes
  • Backwards Design