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12 Tips for Improving Your

Faculty Development Plan

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Leader
ACADEMIC

A MAGNA PUBLICATION
12 Tips for Improving Your
Faculty Development Plan
Table of Contents

Quick Reference ....................................................................................................................................................6

Why Do You Teach? ..............................................................................................................................................8

Teaching Circles: Low-Cost, High-Impact Faculty Development ..............................................................................9

A Focus on Teaching and Learning at Mid-Career ................................................................................................10

Web-Based Faculty Activity Reporting System Provides Easy-to-Update, Accessible Information ..........................11

Jump Start Program Prepares Faculty to Teach Online ........................................................................................12

Technology-Enhanced Faculty Learning Communities Expand Development Opportunities..................................14

Talk about Teaching That Benefits Beginners and Those Who Mentor Them ........................................................15

Content Knowledge: A Barrier to Teacher Development ......................................................................................17

Teaching vs. Research: Finally, a New Chapter ....................................................................................................17

Simple Commitment but Long-Term Challenge: P&T and SoTL ............................................................................18

Serving Students by Helping Faculty: Encouraging Instructional Technology Integration ....................................20

Senior Faculty and Teaching Effectiveness............................................................................................................22

Leader
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3
12 Tips for Improving Your
Faculty Development Plan
12 Tips for Improving Your Faculty Development Plan

P rofessional development should be an ongoing endeavor for all faculty members


because their growth as instructors has a profound impact on their students. There
are always opportunities for improvement, new teaching techniques to learn and master,
and experiences to share with colleagues.
This is why we have created this special report. Whether your institution has extensive,
well-funded faculty development initiatives or you operate on a shoestring, I’m sure you
will find some useful information in this special report to help with your faculty develop-
ment efforts.
The articles, compiled from The Teaching Professor and Academic Leader, offer inspira-
tion and practical (and often inexpensive) ways to accomplish the goal of improved
teaching and learning.

Rob Kelly
Editor
Academic Leader

5
12 TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR FACULT Y DEVELOPMENT PL AN

Quick Reference
Tips for Academic Deans and Department Chairs compiled from the Academic Leader

Faculty Development

W
hen teachers think the only, the best, the most important way
Quick Reference to improve their teaching is by developing their content
Sources: knowledge, they end up with sophisticated levels of knowl-
edge, but they may have only simplistic instructional methods to con-
(3) Content Knowledge: vey that material. To imagine that content matters more than process is
A Barrier to Teacher to imagine that the car is more important than the road. Both are essen-
Development
tial. WHAT is taught and HOW it is taught are inextricably linked and
very much dependent on one another. (3)
(1) Can Training Make You a
The best teachers are not always, not even usually, those teachers with the most
Better Teacher?
sophisticated content knowledge. The best teachers do know their material, but they
also know a lot about the process of teaching. They have at their disposal a repertoire
(5) Talk about Teaching
of instructional methods, strategies, and approaches — a repertoire that continually
That Benefits Beginners
grows, just as their content knowledge develops. (3)
and Those Who Mentor
Them What can administrators do to help faculty marry content
knowledge with appropriate teaching processes to enhance
(2) Teaching vs. Research:
Finally, a New Chapter
student learning?
• Support Comprehensive Training (1)
(6) Simple commitment but Countless workshops, seminars, retreats, and other training opportunities are
Long-Term Challenge: offered under the assumption that they can positively affect how faculty teach,
Promotion &Tenure and which in turn will help students learn more. However, there’s evidence that short-
Scholarship of Teaching term interventions, such as an afternoon workshop, don’t have much of an effect
& Learning when it comes to sustained behavior change. On the other hand, data suggest that
well-designed, substantive training programs are worth the time and effort.
(7) Serving Students by Gibbs and Coffey looked at the effects of training programs at 20 universities in
Helping Faculty: eight countries. Each training program involved at least 60 hours (300 for the
Encouraging Instruc- longest) and spread those activities across four to 18 months. Results provide con-
tional Technology firmation that this kind of training does make a significant and lasting impact on
Integration teaching. Faculty who participated in more comprehensive training programs
became more learner-focused and their students were more likely to take deep
approaches to learning.

• Use Mentoring Programs (5)


The fact is well established that college teachers benefit when they have an
instructional mentor; it is also well established that mentoring benefits the mentor
as well. Here’s a list of instructional topics that are particularly beneficial to
discuss:

✎ Complex Instructional Issues Mentors can help mentees with the questions
that don’t have easy answers on a level that reveals how much more there is
to learn about teaching and learning.
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6
✎ Student Ratings. It’s beneficial to consult with a least meritorious performance in teaching, and at least
colleague who’s been around for a while, one who meritorious performance in either scholarship or service
can look objectively at a set of ratings and say some- and satisfactory performance in the other.” As a result,
thing like, “Well, if these were my ratings, here are improvements in the quality of student learning are
the three things I’d conclude.” found across SIUE. These improvements are supported
by an array of activities and programs, including the
✎ Syllabus Construction Mentors can help a mentee commitment to meritorious teaching. (6)
see beyond the mechanics to convey the course
design, i.e., what the teacher believes contributes to • Encourage Instructional Technology Integration (7)
learning. In a recent survey of college and university students,
98 percent reported owning their own computer (PC or
✎ Exams Together. The mentor and mentee can talk laptop), and the same percentage reported owning more
about how exam events can be designed to promote than one electronic device (such as a computer and a cell
learning the course material not just as a means to phone). As a result, these “digital learners ... have differ-
grade student mastery of it. ent expectations of teachers, of the content, of the deliv-
ery, and of access to that content.” What can
✎ Intellectual Judgments Teachers need to give stu- administrators — deans and chairs, specifically — do to
dents accurate feedback about their performance, encourage IT integration so faculty are ready to meet
which is very different than saying or subtly convey- these student expectations and needs?
ing that a student doesn’t have the intellectual mus-
cle required to master the material. Mentors can help ✔ Regular overviews ensure that faculty are aware of
mentees see the difference. workshops on the different technologies and what
can be done with them.
✎ Classroom Management. It takes time and encour-
agement from a mentor to learn that students can be ✔ Roundtable discussions within departments can
trusted—not believed in blindly, but trusted enough help faculty identify and articulate discipline-specific
for teachers to show them respect and believe that it ways to achieve IT integration.
will be returned.
✔ Emphasize student need and demand and advo-
• Commit to Meritorious Teaching cate for student participation in departmental or
It is time to move past the old teaching vs. research college IT roundtables and service on IT-related
debate and consider useful ways to talk about these committees at their institutions.
related but very different parts of a faculty member’s job.
Michael Prince, Richard Felder, and Rebecca Brent (2) ✔ Create departmental and course-specific templates
report that “integrating research into the classroom in the to lessen the learning curve for faculty and to
way integration is normally conceived — i.e., instructors provide students with standardized resources and
discussing the content of their research — has not been materials.
shown to occur frequently or to improve instruction.”
What these authors propose as a richer potential nexus ✔ Facilitate a peer review process for courses using
are those forms of teaching (inquiry-based approaches IT to help improve the quality of those courses and
and problem-based learning, for example) that mirror the to clarify best practices criteria for instructors.
research process. In this case, “a faculty member’s
research provides experiences that have the potential to ✔ Increase the credit given to IT users by promotion
enrich instruction by introducing students to the research and tenure committees, and more clearly articulate
process and to important research skills.” how IT integration relates to the scholarship of teach-
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville made a com- ing and learning development stages for their first
mitment to meritorious teaching for promotion and online class. ●
tenure in 1994-95. The new promotion policy included
the following statement: “A candidate for promotion shall
demonstrate, at the level commensurate with rank, at

Academic Leader Editor: Rob Kelly


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7
For the rest of us, this exercise can
Why Do You Teach? be a confirming and motivating expe-
rience. It’s easy to forget the reasons
or to take them for granted. Preparing
an essay like this and then reading it
By Maryellen Weimer at least once a year would be a bene-
ficial endeavor for most faculty.

Reference:
L et’s imagine a “required” profes-
sional development activity for
faculty: after 20 years of teaching, all
ers), the declining levels of prepared-
ness of college students, and others.
Teachers can bemoan these changes
Soldner, L. B. (2002–2003). Why I
continue to teach: Reflection of a
mid-career developmental literacy
college instructors must prepare and respond to them with much com- educator. Journal of College Literacy
(we’ll skip the and-submit-for-credit plaining, or see them as opportunities and Learning, 31, 71–78.
part) an essay that explores the rea- for growth. Soldner says that her
sons why they teach. The idea for commitment to teaching remains
this assignment derives from an essay because it provides her with so many
by Laura B. Soldner (reference opportunities to grow and change.
below) who found herself restive dur-
ing a sabbatical year. She couldn’t Ability to scaffold development—
seem to focus on the textbook she Soldner is a developmental educator.
was supposed to be writing but kept She works with students on basic
revisiting the reasons she chose to reading and writing skills. She
teach and exploring how those rea- explains that the “ability to scaffold
sons related to her current profes- development, to provide students
sional life. The four reasons Soldner with the initial assistance they need
chose to teach and that continued to and to withdraw that help gradually
motivate her to remain in the profes- as they are able to use the skills and
sion may not be reasons you’d list, strategies independently, is another
but they illustrate the importance of reason I find teaching so satisfying.”
this kind of introspection, and they (p. 75) The success of one’s students
might springboard your own reflec- can bring teachers much satisfaction.
tion.
Sense of “mattering”—“Develop-
Sense of discovery—“I am contin- mental literacy educators are often
ually struck by the simultaneous the front line of defense in stemming
nature of teaching and learning. In student attrition. They may be the
one instant, I may be the teacher or only ones to have daily instructional
facilitator of a lesson, discussion, and personal interactions with their
or activity, but I am, at the same students.” (p. 77) That makes their
moment, a learner who is reconsider- work important—to their students, to
ing previous knowledge, seeking out their institutions, even to our soci-
new information, or making connec- ety—and this sense of doing work
tions between the two.” (p. 73) that makes a difference can be a
Teaching is a profession for those powerful motivator for all kinds of
who love to learn. educators.

Quest for self-improvement— Perhaps in preparing an essay on


Soldner writes about the many “why I teach,” some educators may
changes teachers regularly face: find that what brought them to edu-
favorite texts that go out of print, the cation in the beginning no longer sus-
increased presence of technology in tains them. Those teachers should
the lives of students (and their teach- make a change.

8
Teaching Circles:
Low-Cost, High-Impact Faculty Development
By Barbara A. Mezeske

T wo years ago, a mid-career col-


league in the mathematics depart-
ment sent around an e-mail to all
ning of the next school year and this
time read two books, one each
semester: Bain’s What the Best Col-
Most important of all, those of us
who are at mid-career are finding
new energy for our profession. What
faculty at our college, inviting us to lege Teachers Do and Cross and Stead- began as a support group for one
read a book with her. And as simply man’s Implementing the Scholarship individual has supported us all.
as that, a teaching circle was formed. of Teaching. Our numbers increased
A teaching circle, the term we use to about a dozen faculty members. Barbara A. Mezeske is an associate
at my institution, is simply a group of Currently, the group is in its third professor of English at Hope College in
faculty interested in discussing teach- year, and as many as 15 people turn Holland, Michigan. ●
ing at regular intervals, ideally over up for lunch and discussion. Our
food. As my colleague said, laughing, book selection this year is L. Dee
at our first meeting, “I need a support Fink’s Creating Significant Learning
group, and everyone needs lunch!” Experiences.
That first year, we chose to read What makes a teaching circle work,
Maryellen Weimer’s Learner-Centered and could it work at other institu-
Teaching, a chapter at a time. We met tions? Modest administrative support
every three or four weeks in a private is helpful. In addition to paying for
room attached to the student cafete- cafeteria lunches, our provost pur-
ria, where we picked up our lunches chased books for participants, begin-
by going through the line. Our ning in the second year. It is also
provost, perhaps impressed by our important to have someone interested
initiative, agreed to foot the bill for in leading the group, setting dates,
our lunches, a modest expenditure and sending e-mail reminders. Our
from his point of view. As many as leadership has changed each year. We
nine people participated, though the have decided together, at the end of
core group consisted of five faculty one year, which book to read for the
representing sociology, nursing, next. No other structure is necessary.
chemistry, english, and math. No one ever takes attendance. There
As we discussed each month’s is a very populist, grassroots feel to
assigned reading, we shared stories what we do.
and strategies. One person redesigned The benefits of ongoing conversa-
her entire approach to assessing stu- tion about the art of teaching are
dent learning; our math leader incor- obvious. However, here are a few you
porated lots of writing activities into may not think of:
her upper-level course. As we came • we have come to know one
to know each other better, someone another better;
suggested that we observe one • we have become teaching
another’s classes, which several of us resources for each other;
did. In the spring, six of us arranged • we have embraced new ideas in
to attend the first Teaching Professor our reading that we might have
Conference. dismissed without the support of
The group reformed at the begin- the group.

9
hour sessions (six sessions per semes-
A Focus on Teaching and ter) for a full academic year. They meet
in groups of six to 15 led by facilitators

Learning at Mid-Career from the Center for Teaching and


Learning Services. The facilitators sug-
gest topics, but encourage participants
to refine those topics.
The following is a sample of topics
By Rob Kelly this program addresses:
• Student Population: Characteristics
and Learning Needs

A re your experienced faculty mem-


bers as effective in the classroom
as you would like them to be? If not,
nity to converse with peers about
improving student learning
through effective teaching
• Educational Paradigms: From
Teaching to Learning
• Inclusive Course Syllabus: Design
perhaps a faculty development pro- • offer a forum for faculty to discuss and Detail
gram like the University of Minnesota’s mid-life events that have an impact • Styles of Learning: Influences on
Mid-Career Teaching Program could be on their personal and professional Instruction
the answer. lives. • Active and Cooperative Learning:
Many faculty members currently in Students as Participants
mid-career have probably had fewer Recruitment • Faculty at Mid-Career: Professional
teaching enrichment opportunities than The program is intended to attract and Personal Themes.
their more recently hired colleagues, faculty from different disciplines and
and just because they are experts in with different teaching abilities. “We The sessions are a mix of presenta-
their disciplines does not necessarily set this up so that it isn’t a program for tion and discussion. Between sessions,
make them good teachers. In addition, people who are bad teachers,” Romano participants often continue conversa-
teaching is becoming more complex: says. To recruit interested faculty tions through e-mail and electronic
student populations are more diverse members, the Center for Teaching and discussion boards. Participants also
than they used to be, and they often Learning Services makes announce- consult with each other about issues
expect more from professors than stu- ments at deans’ meetings and on fac- within their classrooms.
dents did in the past. ulty and administration listservs. The Diversity within the groups is a
“Faculty at this level don’t generally program also offers a small stipend. strength of the program, Romano says.
come together to talk about teaching. Some faculty members come to the “We feel there is some benefit from a
At a university like this and a lot of program because they are good teach- nursing faculty member talking to a
other universities and colleges, faculty ers who want to improve. Some are business faculty member and a liberal
may come together to talk about the concerned about less-than-stellar eval- arts person talking to someone from
administration, procedures and policies uations from students. Some are education because, especially in
in the department, curriculum, looking to increase their emphasis on Research 1 institutions, people get
research, or research grants, but it’s teaching now that they have tenure. fairly isolated within their own depart-
relatively rare that faculty come Some are encouraged to sign up by ments and sometimes within their own
together to talk about teaching in the their department chair or dean. program within a department. We feel
classroom,” says John L. Romano, For purposes of this program, the this cross-fertilization is important.”
professor of educational psychology faculty members determine for them- In addition to exposing faculty mem-
and one of the early developers of selves whether they are “mid-career” bers to the perspective of colleagues in
the MCTP. faculty members. They don’t need to different departments, working with
be tenured, and are admitted even if faculty members outside one’s depart-
Goals they have been teaching for just a few ment also can create a safe environ-
The program has four goals: years. Most participants are between ment to explore personal or
• introduce faculty to pedagogical 40 and 60 years old, and faculty mem- embarrassing issues that might be diffi-
strategies to improve student bers who are close to retirement age cult to bring up with critical colleagues
learning can participate as well. or those who don’t have as strong an
• support faculty as they apply new interest in teaching and learning. Being
knowledge and techniques in their A multi-disciplinary approach able to open up in the group tends to
classrooms The program brings together faculty
• provide faculty with an opportu- from a variety of disciplines for 12 two- PAGE 11

10
FROM PAGE 10 them who participated along with a MCTP facilitators, and select MCTP
copy of the MCTP syllabus. Partici- participants.
get easier over time as well. This was pants also receive a letter of recogni- For more information about the
one of the reasons for asking faculty to tion from the provost. A copy of this MCTP, visit www1.umn.edu/ohr/
commit to the program for an entire letter is also sent to the department teachlearn/faculty.
year, Romano says. chair and dean.
The MCTP culminates in an event Reference
Recognition called “The Celebration of Teaching,” Romano, John L., Hoesing, O’Dono-
Although department chairs and which acknowledges each participant’s van, Kathleen, and Weinsheimer,
deans are not directly involved in the commitment to teaching and learning. Joyce. 2004. Faculty at Mid-Career: A
program, their support has helped it The event includes speeches from vari- Program to Enhance Teaching and
succeed. At the end of the year, the ous stakeholders, including central Learning. Innovative Higher Education.
CTLS sends them letters reminding administrators, the CTLS director, 29, no 1: 21-48 ●

Web-Based Faculty Activity Reporting System


Provides Easy-to-Update, Accessible Information
By Rob Kelly

F aculty activity reports have the


potential to guide faculty develop-
ment, resource allocation, and even
vide evidence as to how they are
engaging in the various forms of schol-
arship (e.g., the scholarship of discov-
mitting them.
The system provides examples of the
various types of scholarship to help
fund-raising efforts. But too often fac- ery, the scholarship of teaching and faculty categorize their scholarly activ-
ulty perceive these reports as a burden learning). “The key for us was that it ities. Faculty describe each of their
that yields few, if any, benefits. This provides a way to begin the dialogue scholarly activities and identify which
perception can change with a user- on what it means to be a faculty mem- categories they fit into. They do not
friendly electronic faculty activity ber in an institution that is seeking to provide the actual products of their
reporting system like the one Maryville integrate liberal and professional scholarship, however. The quality of
University uses. learning,” says Brian Nedwek, acting faculty’s scholarly work is addressed
The main driving forces behind the president of Maryville University. in promotion and tenure reviews. The
creation of this system were the need A major concern in building this sys- purpose of the annual activity reports
to better integrate the university’s mis- tem was to make it as easy as possible is to ensure that faculty are on track
sion with the process of recruiting and for faculty to use. To this end, the for their promotion and tenure reviews
retaining the best faculty members, university’s system does not require and to indicate areas in which faculty
and to make clear to faculty how they faculty to input information about the need professional development.
contribute to the university’s mission. classes taught or enrollment figures. The main criterion for scholarly
Development of the university’s That information is preloaded into the activity is that it is made public
Web-based activity reporting system electronic forms from the university’s through publication in a journal, a
was based largely on the faculty roles administrative database. Inputting evi- conference presentation, or other out-
that Ernest Boyer outlined in his influ- dence on their scholarly activities is reach activities. For example, if a
ential book Scholarship Reconsidered: very similar to composing a Word mathematics professor investigates
Priorities of the Professoriate (1990, document. and determines why some students do
Carnegie Foundation for the Advance- In addition, faculty have two not succeed in his course, develops
ment of Teaching). months after the end of the academic interventions to address the problem,
The system is an electronic journal year to make any final edits of their
that enables faculty members to pro- individual activity reports before sub- PAGE 12

11
FROM PAGE 11 involved in, and they can begin to untenured faculty begin their dossiers
build professional development for their second-, third-, or fourth-year
and improves student success but does programs around that to help fac- reviews.” (The main difference
not share that work publicly, it would ulty improve in various areas. between the activity reports and the
not count as scholarly activity. • The data can be made available dossiers for formal reviews is that
“Transparency has to be a part of all for other management functions. the dossiers include information
activities. It’s in becoming public that “I can have a report in a couple of that demonstrates the quality of the
one begins to enter truly scholarly minutes that tells a donor what scholarship.)
activity. That’s where we leave it. We our faculty are doing in the area of At the department level, detailed
do not have peers evaluate or the dean applied research, and it comes out information in these activity reports
evaluate the overall quality of that as a beautiful, easily read report,” can bolster the strength of requests for
public scholarly activity. It’s that spirit Nedwek says. “I also use it in my new faculty lines or additional
of faculty just coming out and taking work with the board of trustees to resources.
that risk of being public that we think demonstrate the faculty’s produc- In addition, there may soon be mon-
is going to continually transform the tivity.” (Of course, privacy is a etary rewards attached to the informa-
culture,” Nedwek says. concern, and the system has a tion in these activity reports. “The
series of security measures, and issue facing us in our fourth year is, to
Outcomes when the information is used for what extent can we use the activity
Maryville University implemented reports, faculty are asked for their reports as a means for compensation
this electronic faculty activity report- permission to use the informa- modeling? That’s a really tough ques-
ing system nearly three years ago, and tion.) tion because when I was academic
in that time there have been several vice president, I sold this whole model
positive outcomes: Motivation for compliance on the notion that this is purely devel-
• The university is undergoing a Faculty compliance with the system opmental, and now some might per-
major reconsideration of promo- has been good, Nedwek says. The ease ceive this as changing the rules of the
tion and tenure criteria to reflect of inputting their information has game. On the other hand, for faculty
the Boyer orientation to scholarly helped, but faculty also realize that who are productive, it will finally be a
activities. they stand to benefit. “We have gotten way for us to begin to engage in merit
• Capture of the data electronically enormous compliance on the part of pay,” Nedwek says. ●
and ease of use make it easy for the faculty, who are just beginning to
academic leaders to see what see the utility of this approach for
scholarly work faculty are their requests for sabbaticals or as the

Jump Start Program Prepares Faculty


to Teach Online
By Rob Kelly

I ndiana University-Purdue University


Indianapolis had mixed results get-
ting faculty to develop and teach
Now, rather than having to convince
faculty members to create and teach
online courses, the university can be
amount of time it would take. “Their
response was, ‘I don’t know how to
create online courses, and I really
online courses before implementing its selective as there is more faculty inter- don’t know that that’s what I want to
Jump Start program, a faculty develop- est in creating online courses than the spend my time learning to do,’” says
ment initiative that provides faculty program can accommodate. Terri Tarr, director of instructional
members with a team of online learn- Despite the administration’s interest design and development at IUPUI’s
ing experts to help develop online in developing online courses, many
courses. faculty members were leery of the PAGE 13

12
FROM PAGE 12 - maintains copyright compliance ply altered or reused several times,”
records. says Rhett McDaniel, director of
Center for Teaching and Learning. instructional technology at IUPUI’s
The Jump Start program was devel- The program begins with a four-day Center for Teaching and Learning. “Is
oped in response to this issue. “We workshop in which participants learn the content best suited for a drag-and-
provide them with support so they about the basics of online course drop exercise or some sort of 3-dimen-
don’t have to develop the course totally design and best practices. “We found sional model?”
on their own. Their concern is mainly that faculty have trouble envisioning The goal for the initial workshop is
with the content and how to teach the right away what an online course is for each participant to develop one
course,” Tarr says. and what it looks like. So we start off module for his or her course, which is
Selection for the Jump Start program by giving them some ideas on how to handed off to digital media services to
is competitive because the program can write goals and objectives, and how develop a prototype. “We found that
accommodate only eight to 10 partici- to ‘chunk’ content. We show them that’s really important having that one
pants per year. Faculty members are examples of different Web interfaces very intensive week and getting that
given a $5,000 stipend so they can buy they can use,” Tarr says. prototype plan developed. We’ve done
themselves some time, usually during Then faculty spend time working on some online course development with-
the summer, Tarr says. their individual courses with their out the Jump Start program and found
The program gives priority to high- design team, fleshing out their goals it was very easy for faculty to keep
enrollment freshman courses, courses and envisioning different course ele- spinning their wheels as they think
that are part of online certificate pro- ments. As they get farther along, they about what they are going to do before
grams, and courses needed by associ- start considering which multimedia they get started creating anything,”
ate degree holders to complete a might be used in the course. “We talk
general studies degree. The selection about learning objects that can be sim- PAGE 14
committee also considers the faculty
member’s plan for the course, how
well those plans fit with the univer-
sity’s goals, and how the program Jump Start Week Workshop Schedule
might be able to help a particular Day 1
faculty member. • Learn the basics of online course design.
Each faculty participant is assigned a • See examples of online courses with interactivity.
support team that consists of • Introduce writing goals and objectives.
• An instructional design consultant • Consider Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance issues.
who: • Meet with design team to develop work plan.
- helps faculty develop course Day 2
objectives, activities, and assess- • Develop or refine goals and objectives for individual courses.
ment strategies • Learn visual design principles for online courses.
- directs the creation of a work • Meet with Digital Media Services (DMS) production group to learn about
plan and design document for the available production support.
course • Consult with information resource library faculty about support for the
• A subject specialist librarian who: project.
- provides information resources • Select user web interface and types of interactivity available for IUPUI
- helps with remote access to Online courses.
library materials Day 3
- designs library instruction specifi- • Discuss best practices in online teaching.
cally for the course • Identify departmental and school supports for the project.
• Media production staff that • Work with copyright consultant to determine elements of fair use and
- creates Web interfaces, images, those that will require permission.
illustrations, video, and audio • Learn about assessment of online courses.
• A copyright management • Continue course design work and develop prototype.
consultant who: • Share your course design and view other faculty projects.
- determines whether a work is Day 4
copyrighted • Continue course design work.
- assesses fair use • Establish calendar for completion and finalize work plan.
- manages permission requests

13
FROM PAGE 13 McDaniel says. gets the same quality of help from the
There is a showcase of all Jump Center for Teaching and Learning, but
Tarr says. Start project prototypes in June and a without the structure that the Jump
The program does not end with the midpoint project check for content Start program provides, which keeps
four-day workshop. The entire process development. In July, faculty partici- faculty members on a tight schedule
goes on for 67 days. Faculty partici- pants submit their course contents to and helps ensure quality. ●
pants work mostly with the instruc- the production unit, which completes
tional design consultant, and “the rest production in August.
of the team members flow in and out Faculty members who do not go
of the process as they’re needed,” through the Jump Start program still

Technology-Enhanced Faculty Learning


Communities Expand Development Opportunities
By Rob Kelly

Creating and maintaining


F aculty learning communities pro-
vide opportunities for faculty to get
together to discuss similar interests
For example, an interdisciplinary
group of faculty interested in dis-
cussing the teaching of statistics in
technology-enhanced FLCs
Establishing technology-enhanced
and improve their teaching and learn- various disciplines might use the tech- learning communities is becoming
ing practices. In the past 15 years, they nologies to: easier to do as more faculty members
have become more formalized through • take an online course together on become familiar with Web-based
the work of Milton Cox and others as the teaching of statistics technology and institutions develop
well as through use of Web-based • collectively or individually down- the infrastructure to support this
technologies to connect faculty in new load trial versions of new software technology.
ways. and talk about it Faculty learning communities should
Web-based technologies can • participate in listservs and chat be a group of six to 16 people, Sherer
enhance faculty learning communities rooms with colleague from other says. They can be members of a
by providing faculty with more ways institutions cohort such as junior or mid-career
to communicate and by providing a • write a joint article for an online faculty, or they may be faculty mem-
collection of internal and external newsletter bers brought together for a particular
online resources, says Pamela Sherer, • serve as a group of experts for topic such as multicultural course
associate professor of management at other colleagues. transformation, problem-based learn-
Providence College. ing, the capstone experience, teaching
Sherer, who helps faculty establish Web-based technologies also can writing, teaching and learning in a lab
and maintain technology-enhanced make visible the work of these com- setting, teaching a foreign language, or
learning communities, says that by munities to a wider audience than the teaching and learning in large classes.
using listservs, threaded discussions, work of faculty who meet only face to These communities may exist for a
chat, Webcasts, and portals, technol- face, which can be helpful for other short time and have clear goals such
ogy-enhanced faculty learning com- faculty members. It also can let admin- as development of a published report
munities can bring faculty together istrators know the kinds of activities or article, or they may continue indefi-
across campus as well as from other the group is engaged in and the nitely with new members sustaining
institutions. progress they are making, which can the efforts and bringing new ideas to
Sherer sees a wide range of possibili- be helpful in seeking funding. add to a growing list of best practices
ties for the use of Web-based technolo-
gies in faculty learning communities. PAGE 15

14
FROM PAGE 14 In technology-enhanced faculty • bring the scholarship of teaching
learning communities, the goal is to and learning to a wider audience.
that can be made available to others. develop a portal where community
“Most faculty learning communities members and others can go to access Continued need for F2F
emerge out of an on-campus faculty all the tools and resources related to communication
development program with a person or that learning community. A logical Sherer does not think the technology
persons helping to maintain them over place to house such a portal would be will replace face-to-face faculty learn-
time. That’s where I think a faculty on the institution’s faculty develop- ing community meetings but will
development person can help,” Sherer ment website. become “just another way of conduct-
says. Institutions with large faculty learn- ing business.”
Faculty developers and department ing community programs such as “Contrary to what some other people
chairs can be instrumental in generat- Miami University, Indian University- may say, people do like to meet face to
ing topics and identifying cohorts. To Purdue University Indianapolis, and face, and I think face-to-face meetings
maintain a technology-enhanced fac- The Ohio State University can serve as have been critical and will continue to
ulty learning community, there should resources for institutions that have fac- be critical for faculty learning commu-
be a person in place to ulty learning communities that are less nities,” Sherer says. “I think we’re
• coordinate funding established, Sherer says. developing our [communication]
• provide technology support styles. These are major changes in how
• educate faculty and administrators Benefits we communicate, how we get together,
about faculty learning Sherer says that the technology- and what we consider being in touch.
communities enhanced learning communities can And for people like me where every-
• identify people with common inter- • create more faculty development thing had been face to face, we need to
ests opportunities learn new ways of thinking about
• help faculty find relevant resources • expand faculty development from things.” ●
• form partnerships with others on an event on campus to every-
campus such as student affairs and where, all the time
the library. • provide resources for faculty in
times of need

Talk about Teaching That Benefits Beginners


and Those Who Mentor Them
By Maryellen Weimer

B eginning college teachers benefit


when they have an instructional
mentor. That fact is well established;
rienced teachers to address. Here’s a
list of possibilities.
Early on, new teachers need to real-
ize that real instructional issues are
much more complex and much more
as is the fact that mentoring benefits Talk about teaching that gets past intellectually intriguing. Mentors can
those who mentor. The influx of new the pleasantries and basic tech- help new faculty talk about teaching
faculty over the past few years has niques. Most new teachers do need on a different level—the level of ques-
caused mentoring programs to flour- help with the mechanics. But details tions without easy answers and the
ish. All kinds of activities have been about how many points for extra level that reveals how much more
proposed so that mentors and mentees credit, what prevents late papers, and there is to learn about teaching and
can spend their time together prof- whether students should eat in class learning.
itably. Addressed less often are those should be part of a first conversation.
instructional topics particularly benefi- They should not dominate subsequent
cial for the experienced and less-expe- exchanges. PAGE 16

15
FROM PAGE 15 learning. They “force” an up-close and rules grows out of an interesting
personal encounter with the content of conundrum. Despite having lots of
How to put student ratings in per- the course. power over students, teachers are not
spective. Most college teachers don’t Students review their notes, they in control of the classroom. It takes
get their best student ratings in the read the text, they ask each other time and encouragement from a men-
first courses they teach. But most new questions, they decide what’s impor- tor to learn that students can be
college teachers do take early ratings tant, and they make guesses about trusted—not believed in blindly, but
more seriously than those received what they need to know for the exam. trusted enough for teachers to show
subsequently. Much like beginning All these activities promote the learn- them respect and believe that it will be
(and sometimes not-so-beginning) ing of course material. Together, the returned. ●
writers, new teachers have trouble teacher with experience and the new
separating themselves from the per- teacher can talk about how exam
formance. So it’s beneficial to have a events can be designed so as to maxi-
colleague who’s been around for a mize their inherent learning potential.
while, who can look objectively at a
set of ratings and say something like, Warnings about the folly of pre-
“Well, if these were my ratings, here dicting who will and won’t make it
are the three things I’d conclude.” in the course/major. Making judg-
ments about who is and who isn’t
Help seeing syllabus construction going to succeed in the course is natu-
as the design of learning environ- ral, and with experience, the accuracy
ments and the construction of of those calls improves but doesn’t
learning experiences. For beginning mean it’s always reliable. Honest
teachers, there’s the mechanical ques- teachers have lots of stories about how
tion of what goes on a syllabus—it’s a badly they missed.
pragmatic question and often needs to What any teacher must avoid is let-
be answered in a hurry. But syllabus ting students think that the teacher
construction is not just about what doesn’t believe they have what it
happens in the course and when. It’s takes. Yes, teachers do need to give
really about course design. The poli- students accurate feedback about their
cies placed on a syllabus convey what performance in a course and what that
the teacher believes contributes to level of performance will lead to if it
learning. Assignments dictate the continues. But that’s very different
terms and conditions under which stu- than saying or subtly conveying that a
dents will have their most in-depth student doesn’t have the intellectual
encounter with the content. A mentor muscle required to master the mate-
can help a new college teacher see rial. Students need teachers who
beyond the details and look for the believe in them and who recognize
assumptions on which a policy or that ultimately, the decision about suc-
practice rests. cess or failure is one that students
make.
Reminders that exams not only
assess learning, they promote it. Too Wise advice on classroom manage-
often faculty (not just new teachers, ment. Not being seasoned, confident
although new teachers are particularly pedagogues, new teachers can be
susceptible) see exams as the means suckers for rules, especially those that
that allows them to gauge and then make clear the teacher’s authority over
grade student mastery of material. life in the classroom. New teachers
Faculty forget that exams promote need to learn that the attraction to

16
defensive. The truth about how much

Content Knowledge: A Barrier to isn’t being learned in these courses is


hard to ignore, no matter how rou-
tinely students are blamed.
Teacher Development The typical college teacher has spent
years in courses developing the knowl-
edge skill set and virtually no time on
the teaching set. This way of preparing
By Maryellen Weimer professors assumes that the content is
much more complex than the process,
when in fact both are equally formida-
ble. Marrying the content and the

N ow, there’s a headline you might


read in the educational equivalent
of the National Enquirer. Aware that
that the car is more important than the
road. Both are essential. What we
teach and how we teach it are inextri-
process requires an intimate and
sophisticated knowledge of both.
Some kinds of content are best taught
your material prevents instructional cably linked and very much dependent by example, some by experience.
growth? How can that be? on one another. Other kinds are best understood when
A love of the material and a willing- Even though both are tightly linked, discussed and worked on collabora-
ness to convey that to students only they are still separate. Development of tively. Other kinds need individual
enhances learning. The problem is one doesn’t automatically improve reflection and analysis. Besides these
when the content becomes the be-all how the other functions. So you can inherent demands of the content itself,
and end-all of the teaching process, work to grow content knowledge, but there are the learning needs of individ-
when the content matters more than if the methods used to convey that ual students, which vary across many
anything else. When content is that knowledge are not sophisticated and dimensions.
important, faculty are prevented from up to the task, teaching may still be The best teachers are not always,
using methods that enhance how quite ineffective. It may not inspire not even usually, those teachers with
much students learn. In this case the and motivate students. It may not the most sophisticated content knowl-
content orientation of faculty hurts result in more and better student edge. The best teachers do know their
students, but the argument here is that learning. Because teachers so love the material, but they also know a lot
it also hurts teachers. content, they almost never blame it. about the process. They have at their
When teachers think the only, the No, it’s the students’ fault. They aren’t disposal a repertoire of instructional
best, the most important way to bright enough. They don’t study methods, strategies, and approaches—
improve their teaching is by develop- enough. They don’t deserve to be pro- a repertoire that continually grows,
ing their content knowledge, they end fessionals in this field. just as their content knowledge devel-
up with sophisticated levels of knowl- But teachers who teach courses in ops. They never underestimate the
edge, but they have only simplistic which large numbers of students power of the process to determine the
instructional methods to convey that struggle and routinely fail are not gen- outcome. With this understanding,
material. To imagine that content mat- erally positive about teaching. They content is not a barrier to teacher
ters more than process is to imagine are more often cynical, rigid, and development. ●

Teaching vs. Research: Finally, a New Chapter


By Maryellen Weimer

T he argument persists: teaching and


research are complementary—each
in some synergistic way builds on and
between teaching effectiveness and
research productivity. Because
administrators have a vested interest
nonproductive.
Could it be that the two sides are
actually debating different proposi-
supports the other. Standing against in faculty being able to do both well, tions? That’s what Michael Prince,
the argument is an impressive, ever- the two sides continue to exchange Richard Felder, and Rebecca Brent
growing array of studies that consis- arguments and accusations in a debate
tently fail to show any linkage that has grown old, tired, and terribly PAGE 18

17
FROM PAGE 17 tion.” (p. 286) projects, and those that are tend to be
What these authors propose as a the very best students.
(all well-known in the field of engi- richer potential nexus are those forms As for whether broader definitions
neering education) propose in the of teaching (inquiry-based approaches of scholarship make it easier for fac-
article referenced below. The first and problem-based learning, for exam- ulty to integrate their research and
proposition rests on the notion that ple) that mirror the research process. teaching work, the authors found
research has the potential to support In this case, “a faculty member’s “limited but encouraging evidence”
teaching. The second side is arguing research provides experiences that that these models do help faculty
whether it has done so in practice, and have the potential to enrich instruction make stronger connections between
the evidence supporting that it has not by introducing students to the research teaching and research.
is comprehensive and persuasive. process and to important research It is time to move past the old teach-
In an extraordinarily well-referenced skills.” (p. 285) ing vs. research debate and this article
article, these authors move the discus- The effects of undergraduate provides a new and useful way to con-
sion forward by exploring the effec- research experiences have been stud- sider and talk about these related but
tiveness of three strategies that could ied in some detail. Does the opportu- very different parts of a faculty mem-
strengthen the research-teaching nity for students to be involved in ber’s job. “The primary goal of
nexus: 1) bringing research into the research projects strengthen the teach- research is to advance knowledge,
classroom, 2) involving students in ing-research nexus by producing better while that of teaching is to develop
undergraduate research projects, and learning for the student? The authors and enhance abilities. Researchers are
3) accepting broader definitions for answer that question with a qualified valued mainly for what they discover
scholarship. They review the literature yes. Involvement in undergraduate and for the problems they solve, and
to see whether and how much each of research does correlate positively with teachers for what they enable their
these strategies has improved under- retention and with the decision to pur- students to discover and solve.” (p.
graduate teaching, ways each nexus sue graduate study. Students evaluate 283)
might be strengthened, and what their experiences positively and say
further research questions merit those experiences helped them learn. Reference
attention. But direct evidence of impact on Prince, M. J., Felder, R. M., and
Briefly, here’s what they discovered learning is scant. “[T]here is very little Brent, R. (2007). Does faculty research
about each. “Integrating research into evidence that undergraduate research improve undergraduate teaching? An
the classroom in the way integration is has much of an effect on students’ analysis of existing and potential syn-
normally conceived—i.e., instructors content knowledge.” (p. 288) Another ergies. Journal of Engineering Educa-
discussing the content of their limitation of this nexus: very few stu- tion, 96 (4), 283-294. ●
research—has not been shown to dents have the opportunity to be
occur frequently or to improve instruc- involved in undergraduate research

Simple Commitment but Long-Term Challenge:


P&T and SoTL
By David Sill

F or well over 20 years we have


heard that higher education does
not reward teaching. We have also
to increase our valuing of teaching
continues.
The Spellings Commission Report
for broadening our understanding of
faculty work to include forms of schol-
arship other than discovery, including
heard that research accomplishments calls for new forms of teaching and a scholarship of teaching, underlies
come first in determining tenure and directs FIPSE to promote innovative much of the conversation regarding
promotion decisions, and teaching sec- teaching and learning models. Boyer’s
ond. At the same time, the imperative argument in Scholarship Reconsidered PAGE 19

18
FROM PAGE 18 expected to have strong student course the classroom and AAC&U’s Greater
evaluations; stay up to date in the Expectations, balancing faculty roles,
faculty roles to this day. Yet acceptable field, incorporating new develop- and redefining rigor. Exploring the
teaching is too often defined as “not ments; use appropriate pedagogies; scholarship of teaching and learning,
disastrous in the classroom,” particu- develop quality syllabi, handouts, and framing questions of quality teaching
larly for stellar researchers. If there is exams; and meet all normal responsi- in broad intellectual terms, and model-
no damage, no lawsuit, no newspaper bilities such as office hours. The chal- ing scholarly pursuit in teaching and
headline about bad teaching, nothing lenge, then, was to determine what learning became the means of defin-
illegal or immoral, then the teaching was better than good. ing, documenting, evaluating, and
must be OK if the research record is If meritorious teaching must be developing meritorious teaching.
great. something better than good teaching, FRR adopted the analytical frame-
This leads to an interesting series of is that simply a matter of degree? One work from Scholarship Assessed: Eval-
questions: What if higher education could look for higher course evalua- uation of the Professoriate by Glassick,
actually responded to these calls to tions, better or more handouts, more Huber, and Maeroff (1997), which
increase the value of teaching? What if developed syllabi, more office hours, includes six standards for scholarly
colleges and universities demanded or better class management. But work that apply both to teaching as a
higher levels of teaching performance where do we draw the line? Looking scholarly activity and to a scholarship
for tenure, for example? Would that for super-quality syllabi or extra- of teaching and learning. The six stan-
make a difference? Perhaps and per- appropriate pedagogies made no dards of scholarly work are clear
haps not—making a commitment to sense. The temptation is to slide the goals, adequate preparation, appropri-
higher levels of performance is one scale down so that what had been ate methods, significant results, effec-
thing, but determining how to achieve defined as satisfactory teaching now tive presentation, and reflective
higher levels of performance is becomes meritorious, because the dif- critique.
another. ference between quality and super- Lee Shulman’s claim that “intellec-
Southern Illinois University quality, between appropriate and tual communities form around collec-
Edwardsville made a commitment to extra-appropriate, is indefinable. tions of texts” (Course Anatomy: The
meritorious teaching for promotion The same problems arise when look- Dissection and Analysis of Knowledge,
and tenure in 1994-95 when the fac- ing at the differences between merito- AAHE Forum on Faculty Roles and
ulty senate and the provost negotiated rious and satisfactory teaching as a Rewards, 1996) provides a useful
new promotion and tenure policies. matter of practice or of differences in heuristic at SIUE for making concrete
The new promotion policy included student learning. Using improvement the abstract framework provided by
the following statement: “A candidate strategies, involving students in Scholarship Assessed. Peer review
for promotion shall demonstrate, at research or engaging activities such as activities provide a variety of texts,
the level commensurate with rank, service learning, and demonstrating from course portfolios to published
at least meritorious performance in quality student learning are expecta- articles, including model promotion-
teaching, and at least meritorious per- tions of satisfactory teaching. All these tenure dossiers in the library.
formance in either scholarship or serv- approaches are suspect when they are Each year, the dossiers that make
ice and satisfactory performance in the used to differentiate between different the strongest case for promotion or
other.” The commitment to meritori- levels of quality teaching, because tenure are selected for inclusion in
ous teaching raised four questions: they are necessary conditions for good library course reserves. We started
How would we define meritorious teaching. with six dossiers the first year, and
teaching? How should we document The year after SIUE reworked its there are now 25. Some of the early
it? How could we evaluate it? And promotion and tenure policies, faculty dossiers have been removed because
how might we help faculty become began the Faculty Roles and Responsi- they are no longer models of best
meritorious teachers? bilities Initiative (FRR), part of the Illi- practice. Faculty with dossiers in the
The four questions turned out to be nois Board of Higher Education’s library participate in workshops and
interconnected, and all four presented Priorities*Quality*Productivity man- faculty development activities. The
challenges. The first question, how to date. FRR developed a multipronged professional schools and the College of
define meritorious teaching, was far approach to implementing a commit- Arts and Sciences are represented.
more challenging than it first ment to meritorious teaching by devel- These dossiers indicate how to docu-
appeared. The problem was that satis- oping a meaningful peer-review ment meritorious teaching. The ana-
factory teaching at SIUE was consid- system (course portfolios and recipro- lytical framework answers questions
ered good teaching. To receive cal classroom interviews), exploring
satisfactory rankings, faculty were broader issues such as technology in PAGE 20

19
FROM PAGE 19 ing of faculty who participate in other supported by rich texts and institu-
parts of the array, including internal tional commitment.
of definition and evaluation. FRR pro- grant programs, assessment activities, SIUE’s commitment to meritorious
vides assistance for faculty to become and faculty development programs. teaching was simple compared with
meritorious teachers. While SIUE cannot claim to have the challenge of implementing that
Improvements in the quality of stu- found the answer to raising the value commitment. We have made much
dent learning are found across SIUE. of teaching, we have found that there progress, but also know there is far to
These are supported by an array of is no single answer. The answers rely go yet.
activities and programs, including the on differences in degree, kind, prac-
commitment to meritorious teaching. tice, and student learning, but only if David Sill is a senior scholar at
One of the strongest contributions they are looked at through the lens of Southern Illinois University
from that commitment is the reward- a scholarship of teaching and learning, Edwardsville. ●

Serving Students by Helping Faculty:


Encouraging Instructional Technology Integration
By Maria A. Clayton, Thomas M. Brinthaupt, and Barbara J. Draude

I n a recent survey of college and uni-


versity students, 98 percent reported
owning their own computer (PC or
tantly, their expectations about the use
of technology in higher education. Are
faculty ready to meet these student
pensation, lack of tenure and promo-
tion credit for the teaching and schol-
arship associated with the use of IT,
laptop), and the same percentage expectations and needs? What barriers and concerns about job security. An
reported owning more than one elec- stand in the way of faculty integration extended discussion of these barriers
tronic device (such as a computer and of instructional technology (IT)? What can be found in Brinthaupt, Clayton,
a cell phone) (Caruso, 2007). Starrett can administrators—deans and chairs, and Draude (2008) as well as in the
(2005) calls these students “digital specifically—do to encourage IT inte- EDUCAUSE Quarterly 2002 Special
natives” and uses the term “digital gration? Issue.
immigrant” to distinguish a good num- Even if we assume adequate levels What can deans and chairs do to
ber of educators from them. Digital of training, support, and access, there help their digital immigrant faculty
natives are individuals “born in the are many barriers to faculty members’ overcome these many barriers and
last 30 years or so, who [have] always adoption and integration of instruc- incorporate IT in their courses? First,
or mostly known a life with comput- tional technology. These barriers can academic leaders must recognize that
ers” (p. 24). In addition to their bond be placed into two general categories: different faculty will be interested in
with computers, Starrett argues, these technology-related and academic- different kinds of technologies,
“digital learners . . . have different related. The most common technol- depending on their interests, experi-
expectations of teachers, of the con- ogy-related barriers include the wide ences, and disciplines (Beggs, 2000).
tent, of the delivery, and of access to range of IT options, the potential for Working with campus IT trainers
that content” (p. 24). ensuing faculty role conflicts (for and consultants, deans and chairs can
Also referred to as NetGeners or Mil- example, between being a technology ensure that their faculty receive regu-
lennials, digital natives make up the expert versus a content expert), and lar overviews of or workshops on the
great majority of students in academia. the rapid pace of IT improvement and different technologies and what can be
Although many faculty members are innovations. The most common aca- done with them, especially within spe-
not part of that generation, the major- demic barriers naturally include time cific disciplines. Of course, deans and
ity are increasingly aware of students’ and effort, concerns about the aca- chairs would benefit from such
multitasking habits, their demand for demic quality of courses that use IT,
immediate feedback, and, more impor- lack of adequate incentives and com- PAGE 21

20
FROM PAGE 20 facilitate this process, taking some of good beginning. Deans and chairs
the time and effort load off faculty. need to solicit and understand the job
overviews and training themselves. As institutions attend to accredita- concerns of their faculty when it
To minimize potential faculty role tion standards, learning outcomes, comes to the use of IT. For example,
conflicts, academic leaders can assessments and benchmarks, and how will online and Web-enhanced
encourage regular roundtable discus- course design and redesign efforts, courses impact teaching load, the use
sions within departments to help their academic leaders must understand the of adjunct faculty, what one teaches
faculty identify and articulate disci- pedagogically sound ways that courses and how often? Failing to address
pline-specific ways to achieve IT inte- can implement and integrate IT (Semi- questions like these will lead to
gration. For example, some institutions noff and Wepner, 1997). This will help greater faculty resistance and distrust.
have created intradepartmental train- address concerns about the academic
ing programs that rely on experienced quality of courses that integrate IT. References
IT users to help prospective or new One promising development along Beggs, T.A. (2000, April). Influences
users (Clayton, 2005; Efaw, 2005). these lines is the creation of institu- and barriers to the adoption of instruc-
Identifying experienced faculty mem- tional centers that focus on learning tional technology. Proceedings of the
bers within departments can also pro- and teaching. Such centers can help Mid-South Instructional Technology
vide deans and chairs with local IT faculty to better understand the peda- Conference, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
experts who can be drawn on for sup- gogy associated with IT integration. Available electronically at
port and training. Academic leaders can also facilitate www.mtsu.edu/~itconf/proceed00/
Students will come to expect and a peer review process for courses beggs/beggs.htm.
depend on new instructional technol- using IT. Such a process can help to
ogy, further increasing the demand for both improve the quality of those Bombardieri, M. (2006, September
incorporating IT into courses. Aca- courses and clarify the best practices 5). Harvard studies ways to promote
demic leaders, in addition to empha- criteria for instructors (Bombardieri, teaching. The Boston Globe. Available
sizing this student need and demand, 2006). New IT users can reduce the electronically at
could also advocate for student partici- time and effort involved by following www.boston.com/news/local/articles/
pation in departmental or college IT the developmental guidance and feed- 2006/09/05/harvard_studies_ways_to_
roundtables and service on IT-related back associated with such reviews. At promote_teaching/.
committees at their institutions. the same time, experienced IT users
Let’s now consider the major aca- can improve their pedagogical expert- Brinthaupt, T.M., Clayton, M.A., and
demic barriers to IT integration. The ise by conducting these reviews. Draude, B.J. (2008). Faculty integra-
greatest concern for both faculty mem- Even if there are sufficient incen- tion of instructional technology in
bers and academic leaders has to be tives and compensation to help faculty higher education: Barriers and strate-
how to reduce the time and effort integrate IT into their courses, gies. Manuscript under review.
needed to learn about and implement demands on time and effort will still
IT. There are several ways to address be an issue. Deans and chairs must Caruso, J.B. and Salaway, G. (2007).
this concern. For example, some insti- also work to increase the perceived ECAR study of undergraduate students
tutions have created departmental and value and necessity of incorporating IT and information technology, 2007.
course-specific templates within their into their faculty’s teaching. Of course, EDUCAUSE Center for Applied
LMS platform (Clayton, 2005). These faculty members will do this only if Research. Available electronically at
templates lessen the learning curve for they are held accountable and if they http://connect.educause.edu/Library/
faculty and can provide students with get sufficient “credit” for doing so ECAR/TheECARStudyofUndergradua/
standardized resources and materials. (Beggs, 2000). Thus, academic leaders 45075.
There is also some discussion of uni- can increase the credit given to IT
versity and departmental standards or users by promotion and tenure com- Clayton, M.A. (2005). Faculty devel-
requirements (Seminoff and Wepner, mittees, and more clearly articulate opment is only the beginning: How to
1997), such as developing guidelines how IT integration relates to the schol- get faculty interested in technology
on the minimal technology tools that arship of teaching and learning (Bom- integration. Higher Learning, 5, 13.
all faculty members need to under- bardieri, 2006; Hagner and
stand and use. If an institution decides Schneebeck, 2001; Seminoff and Wep- Efaw, J. (2005). No teacher left
to mandate a Web presence for all its ner, 1997; Young, 2002). behind: How to teach with technology.
courses (e.g., having all faculty pres- With regard to concerns over job EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 28(4), 26-32.
ent their syllabi and contact informa- security, open dialogues between aca-
tion online), local support staff could demic leaders and their faculty offer a PAGE 22

21
FROM PAGE 20 Seminoff, N.E. and Wepner, S.B. work with technology in tenure deci-
(1997). What should we know about sions. Chronicle of Higher Education,
technology-based projects for tenure 48 (24), A25.
Hagner, P.R. and Schneebeck, C. A. and promotion? Journal of Research on
(2001). Engaging the faculty. In C.A. Computing in Education, 30, 67-82. Maria A. Clayton is a professor of
Barone and P.R. Hagner (Eds.), Tech- English, Thomas M. Brinthaupt is a
nology-enhanced teaching and learn- Starrett, D. (2005, September). Do professor of psychology, and Barbara
ing: Leading and supporting the we have to talk the talk? Campus Tech- J. Draude is director of academic and
transformation on your campus (pp. 1- nology, 24-26. instructional technology services at
12). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Middle Tennessee State University. ●
Young, J.R. (2002, February 22).
Ever so slowly, colleges start to count

Senior Faculty and Teaching Effectiveness

By Maryellen Weimer

N ow that I’m one of those “senior”


faculty, I hear a lot of digs about
faculty who need to retire … dead-
general teaching effectiveness.
However, one of the definitive
sources on senior faculty (see refer-
ing lives in particular, faculty members
report that their ‘teaching vitality’
tends to slip.” (p. 24)
wood, still standing but hopefully ence below), after a review of research And despite these needs for renewal,
about to topple. The belief that the on the topic, offers this conclusion: half of these interviewees said that
teaching effectiveness of most “In summary, no studies found a large they did not discuss teaching with
“seniors” declines is strong and per- negative association between a faculty their colleagues. Only one in 10
sistent. Is it true or yet another one of member’s age and effective teaching. reported talking to colleagues about
those academic myths? If a negative effect exists, it is small. It instructional topics such as books, lab
Interestingly most of the research on is clear, however, that senior faculty materials, and student complaints.
the subject is rather dated. To believe are interested in, committed to, and And this kind of pedagogical conversa-
it applies now, you must assume that devote significant time to teaching.” tion wasn’t happening for this cohort
senior faculty teaching today are the (p. 31) in departmental meetings either. Only
same as seniors were in the ’70s and That last conclusion is justified in one in 14 reported that classroom
’80s. Given everything else that has part by a study of New Jersey senior teaching was discussed at those meet-
changed in higher education, I’m not faculty who participated in a lengthy ings. If faculty in this cohort talked
sure how valid the assumption might 50-question interview. The researchers about teaching, it was through some
be. wondered if these veterans still found institution-wide faculty development
Second, as with so many other top- “joy” in teaching. “The data were program.
ics in social science research, the clear: the overwhelming majority According to these data, “seniors”
limited results that do exist are not enjoy teaching and care a great deal do care about teaching, and they don’t
consistent. For example, one study about student learning.” (p. 25) decline precipitously in their effective-
from 1974 found that only 6 percent of That’s encouraging, but not every- ness as measured by student ratings.
the variance in ratings could be attrib- thing that came out of these inter- But for these folks, those who know
uted to age. On the other hand, a 1989 views was. The daily obligations of their institutions and colleagues best,
study of 106 psychology faculty mem- teaching keep even senior faculty very teaching remains a private, isolated
bers (all faculty members are probably busy, leaving little time to focus on activity; and if it is this way for those
not like psychology faculty members) teaching per se. “Without periodic with years of experience, it’s not a big
was able to document an overall nega- opportunities to revitalize their profes-
tive correlation of .33 between age and sional lives generally and their teach- PAGE 23

22
FROM PAGE 22

stretch to assume the same for faculty


in all age cohorts.

References:
For a good review of the research on
age and teaching effectiveness see,
Bland, C. J., and Bergquist, W. H.
(1997). The Vitality of Senior Faculty
Members: Snow on the Roof—Fire in
the Furnace. ASHE-ERIC Higher Educa-
tion Report, Vol. 25, No. 7. Washing-
ton, DC: The George Washington
University, Graduate School of Educa-
tion and Human Development.

The results of the interview study of


New Jersey faculty appear in, Finkel-
stein, M. J., and LaCelle-Peterson, M.
W. (1993). Institutions matter: Campus
teaching environments’ impact on sen-
ior faculty. In Finkelstein, M. J., and
LaCelle-Peterson, M. W. (eds.) Devel-
oping Senior Faculty as Teachers. New
Directions for Teaching and Learning,
No. 55. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

23
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