HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
The pandemic took us all by surprise, and it completely turned our education world upside down. Without many options, instructors had to make extreme adaptations
An initial look at a conference program can lead attendees to become (in the words of a former colleague) “paralyzed by the possibilities.” There are
I have been an online educator for almost 10 years and feelings of isolation and complacency were familiar companions on my teaching journey. Many virtual work environments lacked channels for educators like myself to connect and maintain meaningful conversations and I longed to build a sense of community with my colleagues in the field. The constant dripping of policy changes from the top made for limited self-reflection and minimal opportunities for collaboration. Departmental attempts at transformative shifts in work culture were captured in ephemeral professional development methods that operated on low frequency when it came to encouraging personal growth and knowledge creation.
As higher education budgets for professional development have shrunk in the last few years, it has become more important than ever to plan your professional development goals in a meaningful way. What is it you want to accomplish in the next year? Do you want to become a better instructor, research a specific area, or just attain the funds to attend that great meeting? All of these are goals that you can use to design your comprehensive professional development plan.
Colleges and universities have realized increasingly that effective teaching by instructors and successful learning by students does not occur through serendipity. Even though more and more graduate programs are providing doctoral students with experience and training in how to teach at the college level, many faculty members still reach their positions largely through an education based on how to perform research, not on how to include students in that research or train others in their disciplines.
As a former editor in the business profession and now educator, I see connections between business and classroom best practices, especially applying professional development plans and performance reflection exercises as academic learning agreements in order to promote student leadership and engagement.
What is the best way to train and support a beginning online faculty member? At some colleges, the only option is on site training held on the campus over a day, a weekend, or a period of days during the summer. These on-site workshops, while potentially very effective, commit the faculty members to time, travel, and often inflexible scheduling. However, Berkeley College, with campuses in New York and New Jersey, has designed an online faculty workshop and set of training and support tools to complement its other professional development offerings.
Lately I’ve been wondering if there’s a set of initial assumptions made about teaching and learning that inhibit instructional growth and development. Here is list of a few of these assumptions, and why I think they make teaching excellence less attainable.