ff-tp-blog April 15

Pedagogical Knowledge: Three Worlds Apart


We know a lot about teaching and learning, but our knowledge is scattered across three separate domains.

Educational research
The first knowledge domain is centered on the world of educational research that’s been advancing what we know about teaching and learning for more than a hundred years. There’s hardly an educational issue that hasn’t been studied in education or its associated subfields, like educational psychology, adult learning, and higher education. On this large empirical foundation we could rest a more evidence-based instructional practice.

ff-tp-blog November 5, 2014

What Can We Learn from Accidental Learning?


“I just stumbled onto this. . .” I heard the phrase a couple of times in presentations during the recent Teaching Professor Technology Conference. Faculty presenters used it to describe their discovery of an aspect of instruction that worked well, such as an assignment detail or activity sequence. Since then I’ve been thinking about accidental learning and the role it plays or might play in the instructional growth of teachers.

451373465 man teaching smile September 15, 2014

Six Principles for Measuring and Communicating the Value of Your Faculty Development Center


This is an era of rapid transformation and heightened opportunities for Faculty Development Centers (FDCs). There is a growing realization that faculty development can be a crucial component in addressing some of the most significant challenges facing higher education, including technology’s impact on teaching, reliance on part-time and distance faculty, and student success.

ff-tp-blog May 21, 2014

Making the Most of Professional Development Days


I am on my way to speak at another professional development day at a college. I do these events with misgivings—frequently persuading myself on the way home that I really shouldn’t be doing them.

Some time ago, a colleague and I reviewed the literature on interventions to improve instruction. If I were to do that paper again, I would pay special attention to those changes that improved student learning. The research we looked at then did not give workshops very high marks. If teachers changed, they did so right after the event, but soon reverted to their old ways of doing things

26243382_web April 11, 2014

From Rusty to Robust: Overcoming the Challenges to Effective Faculty Development


The past 10 years have witnessed some massive growing pains in education. Nearly all aspects at all levels have been touched by efforts to reform in an attempt to create meaningful learning opportunities for today’s students. New tools, skills, approaches, and media have redefined the way we create those experiences, and educators who don’t learn and engage in them will see themselves become increasingly irrelevant. In short, faculty development now more than ever is necessary to an institution’s viability.

ff-icon-default-200x200 October 8, 2013

McGraw-Hill Education and Magna Publications Launch Magna Campus to Support Faculty Development in Higher Education


Professional development in the higher education industry is becoming increasingly important as shifts in student demographics, pedagogy and classroom technology usage mean that faculty require a new generation of training tools. To help educators respond effectively to these challenges, McGraw-Hill Education today announced the launch of Magna Campus, the first professional development product created through the collaboration between Magna Publications and the McGraw-Hill Learning Institute, the company’s professional development unit designed to help faculty navigate new and emerging educational technologies.

ff-tp-blog May 1, 2013

It’s Time to Face What Isn’t Working in Our Courses and Find Out Why


Not everything we do in our courses works as well as we’d like. Sometimes it’s a new assignment that falls flat, other times it’s something that consistently disappoints. For example, let’s take a written assignment that routinely delivers work that is well below our expectations. It might be a paper that reports facts but never ties them together, an essay that repeats arguments but never takes a stand, or journal entries that barely scratch the surface of deep ideas.

TPC2012.DSC_3344.230 June 29, 2012

Professional Faculty Development: The Necessary Fourth Leg


The well-known three-legged stool of academic life—teaching, research, and service—has been assumed to cover the main responsibilities of faculty in academic communities. But is there a missing leg that would add strength and stability to the stool? I propose there is. It’s professional faculty development, and I would also propose that faculty committed to teaching should be its most articulate advocates.