Faculty Focus

HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS

Faculty Development

Classroom Management Tips for New College Instructors

The sheer volume of content faculty members are responsible for teaching is enormous, but being an effective educator takes much more than the mastery and delivery of material. It requires unique skills and knowledge that most new higher education instructors were never trained in. For newcomers, the challenges can seem overwhelming. […]

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Five Things College Professors Can Learn from K-12 Educators

Unlike their college-level counterparts, those who teach at the K-12 level spend a significant portion of their education studying the “how” of teaching. What they learn can be invaluable to college professors who enter classrooms with vast content knowledge but little (or no) background in teaching and learning. As those who teach these teachers, we’d like to showcase five teaching strategies college professors can learn from those who teach younger students. […]

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Creating Faculty Collegiality: Strategies for Department Chairs

Incivility in higher education has flourished in recent years, fueled by a convergence of factors ranging from the infiltration of a more corporate culture and a system that rewards individual accomplishments above collaboration to decreased state funding coupled with increased workloads and expectations. For department chairs, leading teams of educators during such a difficult time can be wrought with unexpected challenges and frustrations.

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Time Management Strategies for Academic Leaders

About three years ago, having served four years as department chair and having gone through the typical headaches that people in my position go through, I began studying and practicing time management techniques. After adopting some simple strategies, I find that the job I do today is much more effective and enjoyable than when I began my current leadership position. In this article I will share some key time management principles that you can implement on your own.

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Faculty Evaluation Serves Institutional, Individual Needs

The challenge of faculty evaluation is to simultaneously foster faculty development and fulfill the institution’s goals and mission, says Larry Braskamp, professor of Education at Loyola University Chicago and advocate of a humanistic approach to faculty evaluation.

“Evaluation involves setting the culture and climate for faculty to develop, and it has to take on an openness and respect for the individual to experiment and fail. You encourage faculty members to self-assess.

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A Focus on Teaching and Learning at Mid-Career

Are your experienced faculty members as effective in the classroom as you would like them to be? If not, perhaps a faculty development program like the University of Minnesota’s Mid-Career Teaching Program could be the answer. Many faculty members currently in mid-career have probably had fewer teaching enrichment opportunities than their more recently hired colleagues, and just because they are experts in their disciplines does not necessarily make them good teachers. In addition, teaching is becoming more complex: student populations are more diverse than they used to be, and they often expect more from professors than students did in the past…

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Teaching Circles: Low-Cost, High-Impact Faculty Development

Two years ago, a midcareer colleague in the mathematics department sent around an e-mail to all faculty at our college, inviting us to read a book with her. And as simply as that, a teaching circle was formed.

A teaching circle, the term we use at my institution, is simply a group of faculty interested in discussing teaching at regular intervals, ideally over food. As my colleague said, laughing, at our first meeting, “I need a support group, and everyone needs lunch!”…

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A Template for Designing a Perfect One-Day Retreat

A worthwhile faculty retreat can breathe new life into the academic community. The structure and content of a good retreat can contribute to the development of college or school identity and can inspire a shared sense of reflection and forward motion. As many of us know, a retreat also can be seen as a dreadful bore, an unwelcome obligation that faculty may regard as a distraction from their real work. How many faculty feel that they cannot pause and enjoy the possibility of refreshment in the confinement of the obligatory faculty retreat? So often, retreats are positioned against the momentum of fall, of new students, of new classroom power realized from good summer reading, of the desire to be focused on the future. Retreats, by their nature, seem to speak to the past, and to reflection, just when faculty are getting warmed up to look forward…

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Improving Instruction Through a Faculty-Driven Initiative

During the 2000-2001 academic year, a group of faculty from the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services in Ohio State University’s College of Education began meeting regularly with the school’s director to find ways to enhance instruction. From these meetings came the idea for the PAES Instructional Enhancement Initiative, a faculty-driven series of instruction-related activities, which includes workshops, a book club, a quarterly newsletter, and seminars.

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