Innovations in faculty development symposium logoFaculty Development was fortunate to have two presentations at the Innovations in Faculty Development Symposium at Shippensburg University on June 2.

Faculty Development Matters

Laurence B. Boggess presented Does Faculty Training Matter? Case-Making for Faculty and Administrative Support of Online Faculty Development. This presentation discussed a qualitative analysis of anonymous faculty self-reports of their experience taking a training course to learn best practices for online instruction. With the theme of “initial apprehension resolving in post-training relief,” session attendees discussed the credible metrics they can identify to make a case for faculty and administrative support of faculty development programs and services.

Competencies, Performances, and Badges

Andrew Tatusko presented Faculty Development as Flexible Performance: Towards a Competency-Based Curriculum Using the Teaching for Understanding Framework. This presentation imagines a theoretical and functional framework for faculty development fuses research in competency-based curriculum and the Teaching for Understanding (TfU) framework. What does it look like if we move away from a course-based curriculum to one where faculty increase mastery of online teaching through a series of clustered competencies that increase in rigor? Faculty would maximize their development time and be able to take a more targeted approach to professional development in order to focus on specific skills and abilities over time. Moreover, faculty would demonstrate understanding of online teaching and learning through flexible performances.

The foundation for the new curriculum is a map that faculty can use to support and improve their online teaching consistent with their prior learning and experience. Finally, the presentation covered how this would all look through thus of Penn State’s new digital badging system. The slides are available for viewing and download.

The Importance of Community

Other presentations at the symposium stressed the importance of community. Creating social spaces to talk about technology and teaching or to work with other faculty on writing is an important aspect of what we do. Between the various administrative tasks and committee meetings there is an endless stream assignment to grade and in all of that research and publication have to happen. But the importance of carving space to talk with one another and to share not only the problems that we face but also the success we are afforded is critical to doing better work and performing better in the classroom. Creating these spaces is important. It’s not about another committee, task force, or administrative duty, it’s about sharing a life together as faculty practitioners that should impact the art of teaching.

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