Faculty Development in the Age of Evidence: Current Practices, Future Imperatives

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The first decade of the 21st century brought major challenges to higher education, all of which have implications for and impact the future of faculty professional development. This volume provides the field with an important snapshot of faculty development structures, priorities and practices in a period of change, and uses the collective wisdom of those engaged with teaching, learning, and faculty development centers and programs to identify important new directions for practice.

Building on their previous study of a decade ago, published under the title of Creating the Future of Faculty Development, the authors explore questions of professional preparation and pathways, programmatic priorities, collaboration, and assessment. Since the publication of this earlier study, the pressures on faculty development have only escalated—demands for greater accountability from regional and disciplinary accreditors, fiscal constraints, increasing diversity in types of faculty appointments, and expansion of new technologies for research and teaching. Centers have been asked to address a wider range of institutional issues and priorities based on these challenges. How have they responded and what strategies should centers be considering? These are the questions this book addresses.

For this new study the authors re-surveyed faculty developers on perceived priorities for the field as well as practices and services offered. They also examined more deeply than the earlier study the organization of faculty development, including characteristics of directors; operating budgets and staffing levels of centers; and patterns of collaboration, re-organization and consolidation. In doing so they elicited information on centers’ “signature programs,” and the ways that they assess the impact of their programs on teaching and learning and other key outcomes.

What emerges from the findings are what the authors term a new Age of Evidence, influenced by heightened stakeholder interest in the outcomes of undergraduate education and characterized by a focus on assessing the impact of instruction on student learning, of academic programs on student success, and of faculty development in institutional mission priorities. Faculty developers are responding to institutional needs for assessment, at the same time as they are being asked to address a wider range of institutional priorities in areas such as blended and online teaching, diversity, and the scale-up of evidence-based practices. They face the need to broaden their audiences, and address the needs of part-time, non-tenure-track, and graduate student instructors as well as of pre-tenure and post-tenure faculty. They are also feeling increased pressure to demonstrate the “return on investment” of their programs.

This book describes how these faculty development and institutional needs and priorities are being addressed through linkages, collaborations, and networks across institutional units; and highlights the increasing role of faculty development professionals as organizational “change agents” at the department and institutional levels, serving as experts on the needs of faculty in larger organizational discussions.
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About the author

Andrea L. Beach is a Professor of Higher Education Leadership and Co-Director of the Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education (CRICPE) at Western Michigan University. She founded and was Director of the Office of Faculty Development at WMU from 2008-2015. She received her Master’s degree in Adult and Continuing Education and her PhD in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) from Michigan State University in 1998 and 2003, respectively. Her research centers on organizational change in higher education, support of innovation in teaching and learning, faculty learning communities, and faculty development as a change lever. She has been PI and co-PI on several NSF-funded grants focused on instructional change strategies that have produced articles and book chapters on instructional change strategies as well as instruments to self-report instruction and academic department climate for instructional improvement. She was co-author on Creating the Future of Faculty Development (with M.D. Sorcinelli, A.E. Austin, and P.L. Eddy, 2006). She is most recently director of a $3.2 million US DoE FIPSE First in the World project to undertake, document, and measure outcomes of institutional transformation aimed at improving the persistence and academic success of students from low-income backgrounds.

Mary Deane Sorcinelli is the Inaugural Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Weissman Center for Leadership, Mount Holyoke College, and Senior Scholar, Bay View Alliance for the Reform of STEM Undergraduate Education. She previously served as Associate Provost, and Founding Director of the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She previously served as Associate Provost, Founding Director of the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development (CTFD), and Professor of Educational Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1988-2014) and as Director, Office of Faculty Development, Indiana University Bloomington (1983-88). She is a well-known researcher in the areas of professional development of faculty across all career stages, mentoring, learner-centered teaching, improvement of teaching and learning in higher education, and the role of teaching centers in fostering 21st century faculty learning. She has directed a number of externally grant-funded projects aimed at promoting educational innovations. In 2006 she was honored with the Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award for outstanding lifetime achievement and leadership in the enhancement of teaching, learning, and faculty development. She also served as President/Executive Board Member of the POD Network, 2000-04, and as Senior Scholar to the American Association for Higher Education.

Ann E. Austin is Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, where she twice has held the Mildred B. Erickson Distinguished Chair (from 2005-2008, and again in 2014 until taking a leave in 2015 to assume another role). She is now serving as a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation (on leave from MSU). Her research concerns faculty careers and professional development, teaching and learning in higher education, the academic workplace, organizational change, doctoral education, and reform in science, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Past-President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and she was a Fulbright Fellow in South Africa (1998). She is a founding co-leader of the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), and was the Principal Investigator of an NSF-funded grant to study organizational change strategies that support the success of women scholars in STEM fields. Her work is widely published, including Educating Integrated Professionals: Theory and Practice on Preparation for the Professoriate (co-edited with C. Colbeck and K. O’Meara, 2008), Rethinking Faculty Work: Higher Education's Strategic Imperative (co-authored with J. Gappa and A. Trice, 2007), Creating the Future of Faculty Development (co-authored with M. D. Sorcinelli, P. L. Eddy, and A. L. Beach, 2006), and Developing New and Junior Faculty (co-edited with M. D. Sorcinelli, 1992), as well as other books, articles, chapters, and monographs concerning faculty issues and other higher education topics in the United States and in international contexts. She served as a member of the study team for the Asian Development Bank’s project and monograph series on Higher Education in Dynamic Asia.

Jaclyn K. Rivard is a PhD student in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. While a student at Western Michigan University, she worked in the Office of Faculty Development as a graduate assistant with new faculty seminar, faculty learning communities, faculty development workshops, and research in faculty development With a focus on higher education, her research interests include equity and access, policy, civic engagement, and faculty development. She holds a Master of Arts from Western Michigan University in Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology with a focus on Higher Education and Student Affairs. While a student at WMU, she worked in the Office of Faculty Development as a graduate assistant with new faculty seminar, faculty learning communities, faculty development workshops, and research in faculty development. During this time she also held internships in the Graduate College and the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office. Her bachelor’s degree is in political science with a minor in women’s studies from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. While a student there, she worked as a research assistant in assessment, provided research support for By the Ore Docks: A Working People’s History of Duluth, and held internships with Congressman James Oberstar and the Human Rights Campaign. She previously worked as a program director for the Girl Scouts, where she focused heavily on community engagement, and served on a national committee focused on engaging girls with STEM.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Stylus Publishing, LLC
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Published on
Nov 2, 2016
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781620362709
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Higher
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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