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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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10. Space: The Final Frontier

Extract

Rachel Bailey Jones

As I finish this chapter, I am sitting at home between virtual office hours on Zoom with my students. All of New York state and most of the country (and world) are on lockdown, a form of social isolation due to the COVID-19 virus that is a global pandemic. This is a strange new normal for the spring 2020 semester, that is full of uncertainty for everyone as there is no clear conception of when the isolation will end. The only thing that is certain is that “normal” will be forever changed. Depending on the response to the increasing call for social isolation, faculty had between two and seven days to move all instruction for the semester into a virtual environment. “Collectively, they pulled off a remarkable transition this spring, shifting instruction they had previously been delivering predominantly in person for most students to an almost entirely remote experience for pretty much everybody” (Lederman, 2020, para. 3).

Some faculty who have used and integrated a Learning Management Systems (LMS) in their courses, whether in person, hybrid, or online, felt more comfortable with this move, while others who rely on paper, notebooks, and traditional lecture or seminar pedagogy were not prepared. In this very tight timeline, administrators, faculty developers, and faculty colleagues went to work producing resources, workshops, virtual office hours, websites, videos, etc. to meet the spectrum of faculty need. At Nazareth College, the Teaching Innovation and Integration Lab (TIIL) participated in the...

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