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Innovations in Conversations About Teaching

Beyond the Workshop

Edited By Maria B. Hopkins and Rachel Bailey Jones

Centers for teaching and learning all face the same dilemma: In a context where faculty are not required to partake in our services, how do we provide transformative learning experiences to which faculty willingly give their limited time? The answer, Maria B. Hopkins and Rachel Bailey Jones propose, is to move away from a workshop model of faculty development and toward a model that supports the kinds of connections among faculty that lead to self-sustaining growth and development. This edited book provides a breadth of innovative alternatives to fixed-schedule faculty development workshops that faculty are rarely attending due to the increasing complexity of their professional lives. The audience for this book is higher education administrators, faculty, and staff responsible for faculty development related to teaching and learning. Each chapter provides a detailed description of a faculty development initiative in practice that provide opportunities for creativity, adaptability, and collaboration among faculty. Public, private, and community colleges, small and large, research-focused and teaching-focused institutions are represented. The editors have taken on this project because this is the resource they wish they had when they began their work as directors of the teaching lab at their institution.

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9. Faculty Development Online


Christopher Price

Effective faculty development is engaging, practical and collaborative. One cannot learn to be a better teacher through simply memorizing all of what is known about best teaching and learning practices. Professional development for faculty should consider the context of where the participants teach since the challenges facing someone at a community college are often different than for those at a university. Programs should be designed with activities that help faculty critically reflect on their teaching in order to develop realistic strategies to improve their practice. Faculty developers should not take on the role of expert. Instead, developers need to act as facilitators who help faculty learn research-based teaching and learning practices through working with their peers (Beach et al., 2016; Condon et al., 2016; Sorcinelli, Austin, & Beach, 2016). When faculty development is engaging, practical, and collaborative, participants usually enjoy and value the time spent face-to-face with colleagues. Even when the workshop, discussion, or other event does not work as planned, faculty often report that they appreciate being able to get out of their office to interact with colleagues from other departments. When I left my position as a director of a campus center for teaching and joined the State University of New York Center for Professional Development (SUNY CPD) in 2014, I knew that because of the size of New York State (55,000 square miles) and the SUNY System (sixty-four campuses and 35,000 faculty), I would not be able to rely on face-to-face...

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