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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How Student Learning Can Begin before the First Day of Class | Faculty Focus - Faculty Development

Photo: Rachel C. Plews
As a faculty member working in educational development, there is a question at the forefront of my work—how do we drive and maintain engagement in faculty development initiatives? summarizes Rachel C. Plews, conseillère pédagogique and lecturer at the Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne, where she coordinates faculty development initiatives and programming. 

Photo: Faculty Focus
In the book The Four Cultures of the Academy (Bergquist, 1992), those in academia who identify with developmental culture can be seen as idealistic and unproductive; they are busy imagining what things should be like as opposed to the more pragmatic colleagues in the collegial and managerial cultures who focus on plans and strategies that are often easier to implement and produce quantifiable impacts. With these competing forces and priorities, it can be easy for initiatives related to faculty development to get left behind or relegated to the compliance box of the checklist of things we simply must have. So how do we move away from this and promote a culture of sustainable engagement for faculty development?

The Four Cultures of the Academy

Here are five simple points to consider:

1. Leverage marketing. Get back to the basics of the four Ps of marketing, also known as the “marketing mix” (Kotler, 2011): product, price, place, and promotion. In the context of faculty development, the product, or what we are “offering,” is the service of professional development. Although sometimes there is a financial cost, the most significant price for faculty is time. For place, the development is traditionally done in a face-to-face environment whether on or off campus. With the advancement of digital tools and new technologies, we can offer online solutions in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, including courses, webinars, and virtual environments. Finally, we increase awareness of what is available through promotion.

Consider the ways in which you promote your workshops or programs. E-mails are easy to ignore and easy to delete. Consider something new, but make sure the core message is still present. Recently, I promoted a pedagogical working group series using Adobe Spark. Click on this link to see a sample:
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Source: Faculty Focus