Recently, I had the good fortune to meet fellow instructional technologists and CIOs at ACS colleges through an event hosted by Rollins College. A few takeaways from the meeting were on ways to support faculty and improve engagement. These examples are all programs that the instructional technologists have developed at Rollins.
In this format, a faculty member meets with four to five other faculty members and talks about how they’re using a specific technology, the pedagogy behind the decision, and the learning objectives the technology supports. The group is personally contacted by the instructional technologists, instead of a mass email sent out to all faculty. Due to the size of the group and peer interaction, the program has been quite successful at Rollins. Finally, the workshop is conducted over lunch with Instructional Technology providing the food.
Weekly Drop-in Workshops
Set a time, have everyone ready, prepare a topic and create something in-between office hours and a formal workshop. One person can guide the discussion, while other staff members can float among the group and help with specific questions. Instead of titling the workshops as “Google Docs 101,” create better titles that involve teaching, like “Student Peer Review with Google Docs.”
Course Redesign Institute
For this program, faculty members must apply to participate. It takes place after the academic year has ended and includes librarians and people in other support roles on campus. The faculty members take a course they’ve taught before and reimagine the course with technology incorporated in the new design. The final product is a new syllabus that the faculty member must implement the following academic semester. Stipends are provided for those who participate.
Faculty Instructional Technology Integration Grants
Faculty members apply for grants through Instructional Technology. When awarded, the grantees get a team of support staff who will work with them on their project. Furthermore, grant funds may be used on software, stipends, and the acquisition of skills, but not hardware. At the completion of the project, the faculty member must implement the use of technology in the next academic year and present to their colleagues.
What Ideas Do You Have
One program I’d like to begin at Hendrix is a form of the Professor-to-Professor Workshops. Last year, Dr. Amanda Hagood and I presented to our colleagues about digital storytelling. As the focus was on real-world classroom considerations and pedagogy, it seemed like one of the more successful workshops in which I participated. To add to that point, three faculty members are using digital storytelling in their courses this semester.
While we have to work within our constraints of staffing and budgets, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a format that appeals to you? Have you participated in programming from another institution that was highly effective? Please share your ideas below or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: http://goo.gl/dw0d0h.