Strategizing Faculty Engagement in Curricular Reform

A Tale of Two Universities: Faculty members and administrators at Boise State University and Miami Dade College joined forces in this session to share their two stories. Their hope was that the similarities between reform processes at two dissimilar institutions could suggest a few best practices for faculty engagement.

Here are four overarching strategies with specific ideas for investing in each:

Build and Leverage Conditions and Structures to support faculty engagement
Conditions and structures might include:

    • Faculty Open Forums
    • Drafting faculty beyond “the committee”
    • Connecting curriculum to other activities
    • Developing ideas based on the university’s mission and values
    • Utilizing existing structures (discipline, CETL, IT infrastructure) and new structures (that might add to the university)

Engage Faculty through Intentional Professional Development
Intentional Professional Development might include:

    • Faculty work sessions on outcomes-based learning
    • Summer course design institutes
    • Faculty learning communities for course development
    • Campus workshops
    • Peer Facilitation Series
    • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Seminars
    • Symposia
    • Analysis of Teaching
    • Adjunct Faculty Workshop Series
    • Known Course Development Standards: Know the outcomes, ensure they are on the syllabus, intentionally integrate them into the course, and create rubrics to assess each
    • Authentic Assessment

Foster Community Dialogue around Curriculum
Examples of community dialogue opportunities:

    • Task Force Open Sessions
    • Faculty Information Sessions (Online and Face-to-Face)
    • Student Information Sessions, presented by students
    • Annual Executive Briefings for Senior Leadership
    • Campus-wide Updates as Launch Parties for Assessment Results

Student-based Collaborations that inspire faculty engagement

    • Make collaborations written and tangible
    • Use a common language across campus
    • Employ iterative change
    • Identify a champion
    • Mapping with Student Services
    • Utilize centers and special programs

Thanks to Sharon McGuire and Susan Shadle from Boise State University and Jose Donis, John Frederick, and Marina Rodriguez from Miami Dade College for these specific and tangible ideas.

The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) annual conference on General Education and Assessment was held at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 23-25, 2012. I attended on behalf of Queens University of Charlotte with four faculty colleagues. Read all the articles on this conference here.

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