1st Edition

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

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Introduction 1. Who Are We? 2. What Guides Our Work? 3. Where and with Whom do We Work? 4. Services We Focus On 5. Our Approaches to Faculty Development 6. Where are We Going? 7. How Does Assessment Fit in Our Work? 8 )What Have We Learned? Appendix A. Survey Instrument Appendix B. Services Tables by Institution Type Appendix C. Top Issues Faculty Development Should Address in the Next Five Years References About the Authors Index


    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. Dr. Mary Deane Sorcinelli is the Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development at UMass Amherst. She was awarded, along with two colleagues, an NSF Institutional Transformation Grant through the American Association of Universities (AAU) in Washington, D.C.Mary Deane has directed a number of externally grant-funded projects aimed at promoting educational innovation from the Andrew W. Mellon, Microsoft, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Pew Charitable Trusts. She has served on advisory boards and as an external evaluator of NSF ADVANCE CC

    “Overall, Faculty Development in the Age of Evidence is an essential resource for the field of faculty development and for the higher education sector. Beach and colleagues provide an updated examination of the status of the field, and create meaningful arguments in favor of continually strengthening faculty development. Beyond that, the book asks important questions for practitioners to reflect and act upon, in order to continue evolving the field of faculty development and the overall impact of higher education in society.”

    Teachers College Record

    "Faculty Development in the Age of Evidence: Current Practices, Future Imperatives (2016) is essential for all in the field of faculty development, regardless of years in service, as well as those considering entering the field and those with leadership roles at higher education institutions. The main focus of the text is on “faculty development today—its purposes, the roles of developers, key priorities, and new directions” (Beach et al., 2016, p. 12). This book provides a broad view of who faculty developers are, the work they do, and the work they wish to expand in the future. Each chapter answers a posed question (e.g., What Guides Our Work?), and most chapters end with a conclusion and highlights, making the book conducive for referencing in the future.

    Overall, this book depicts a bird’s eye view of a field that continues to grow, gain recognition, and find its place within the structure of higher education institutions. To my knowledge, there is no other literature that provides such a comprehensive overview of the field. This book is an excellent guide for gaining insight into cross-institutional practices and it may help guide developers in planning for the future. Faculty Development in the Age of Evidence: Current Practices, Future Imperatives is a significant addition to the literature on faculty development."

    Journal of Faculty Development