Design of Faculty Development Workshops: Attempting to Practice What We Preach

By Davidson-Shivers, Gayle V.; Salazar, John et al. | College Student Journal, September 2005 | Go to article overview

Design of Faculty Development Workshops: Attempting to Practice What We Preach


Davidson-Shivers, Gayle V., Salazar, John, Hamilton, Karen M., College Student Journal


The purpose of the workshop was to teach faculty to use PowerPoint[TM] as a means to integrate technology into their classrooms. The approach to the design of these workshops was to use a modified version of the generic instructional design model, known as ADDIE, as well as use other ID principles when these workshops were implemented. Two constructs were extrapolated from factor analyzing the instructional strategies: Instructional Strategies and Video Support. Two regression analyses were then used to explore which instructional strategies influenced the dependent variables: (1) Workshop Satisfaction and (2) Impact on Teaching. The impact of instructional strategies, planned and employed, produced a strong satisfaction rating for the workshops. Likewise, using video may have added variety to traditionally provided materials in other faculty workshops and, hence, contributing to Workshop Satisfaction. The instructional strategies also explained Impact on Teaching but to a lesser degree than Workshop Satisfaction.

Introduction

Today's university faculty face many problems from decreased funding and resources to increased diversity in student populations that make it difficult to maintain the traditional faculty roles (Davidson-Shivers, 2002; Miller, 1995; Morrison, 1996). The average work week is 53 hours for faculty, with the hours ranging from an average of 47 hours per week for community college faculty members to an average of 57 hours per week for faculty in doctoral, or research, universities (Kubins, 2002). The traditional workload of higher education faculty at four-year institutions has been based on the three areas of teaching, research, and service. The tendency is that the higher the level within the Carnegie Classification System, the stronger the emphasis is on research (Davidson-Shivers, 2002). However, two-year college faculty are also being encouraged to conduct research in addition to their primary focus on teaching (Tsunoda, 1992).

According to Rutherford and Grana (1995), faculty roles in teaching are shifting from knowledge gatekeepers to knowledge facilitators. This change in roles is based on a trend toward active and less authority-dependent learners and students' access to information through technology. In addition, faculty are undergoing change due to the availability of technology for classroom use (Johnstone & Krath, 1996; Young, 1997). Even though this change is eminent and some faculty have made the transition, there are still many who have not incorporated technology into their teaching (Armstrong, 1996).

This resistance to change may be due to a variety of factors: faculty may lack the skills to use technology appropriately (Tsounda, 1992); lack of institutional support (Horgan, 1998), and new roles of the professor are not being rewarded (Armstrong, 1996). Faculty may be willing to use new instructional methods and technology in their classrooms as do their institutions (Armstrong, 1996; Lee & Johnson, 1998), but lack the necessary skills to do so (Davidson-Shivers, 2002). While most university faculty have been well schooled in their own disciplines, they are not educated in the use of instructional strategies or technology. Additionally, while university administrators desire that faculty integrate technology, limited training on teaching methods and technology use is provided.

Lack of institutional support for such services may be another factor. Teaching and learning centers and programs have evolved in the last decade (Davidson-Shivers, 2002); however, universities may not provide enough faculty development and technological support to meet the needs of faculty. Such support is needed in order to promote technology integration by faculty members.

Second, new roles for faculty such as course developer and facilitator are currently being suggested, rather than those of instructor and lecturer. However, incentives for promotion and tenure tend to be based on the traditional roles of instructor rather than facilitator according to Horgan (1998) and the 'publish or perish' paradigm still exists.

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