WVU Celebrate: Fostering a Culture of Professional Development

WVU Celebrate: Fostering a Culture of Professional Development


Hey good morning I guess it’s time to
get started. Thank you so much for coming to our session my name is Laurie Ogden
I’m a teaching assistant professor in the Department of mathematics here on
the main campus and the other members of our panel are Jessica Deshler.
She is also in the math department here on the main campus and Yelena Meadows
who’s at Potomac State also in math, a lot of math people excited about
professional development. So anyway we all are excited to talk to you about
what we’ve been up to this year if I can get this to work. But basically what we
want to talk about today is we’re gonna get started with just talking about why
we need professional development, what opportunities for professional
development exists on campus, that’s when we’re gonna kind of take some turns
telling you a little bit about some of the initiatives that we’ve been leading.
And then just really what we’ve learned through this last year in terms of
what’s working, where we’re having some difficulties and then we’d love to hear
from you and hear about the different things that you’re doing in terms of
professional development in your own departments and on campus. So first we
thought we’d just get started with this general question, why do we even need
professional development? And we wanted to give you just a couple minutes to
kind of think about that maybe talk to the folks around you and kind of report
back just why you know why is this even something that we’re talking about this
morning? Talk amongst yourself. Okay so why do we
need professional development? Would anyone like to offer something that they
came up with? Very frequently we have people come back
and we use some of the things that they’ve heard in these sessions and
they’re operationalized and making the organization a better place to work.
Definitely that’s something that we’re finding to it that the
professional development that we’ve been leading has been contagious that that’s
really how we’ve gotten a lot of people more interested in some of the things
that we’re doing. Anything else? I think when we go to professional development
sessions or seminars or whatever it always helps us to continue to grow with
the times, to you know continue moving forward with like cultural changes. The
different things that students are experiencing in life and it keeps us up
to date. Absolutely I think I don’t know how many of you were in the previous
talk with John Campbell but that was a lot of what he was talking about in
terms of the troubles that we’re having with retention is just today’s student
and the way that they learn. Anything else that anyone would like to offer? Thanks what I like about professional
development is I think it just simply recognizes that what you do is important
and it’s needed and it’s significant for for spending the time to do it. Thanks yeah I think all of those things
are reasons why we need professional development and again we’re kind of
probably preaching to the choir as you came to this talk because it’s probably
something that you value and are interested in. We wanted to also talk
about and this might not even work in here but that’s okay we could just shout
it out but what I wanted you to come up with, and I had put a pull up that we can
either use or not, but just in one word describe today’s student. What one word
comes to mind? You can ignore that we’ll skip the poll, pardon?
Distractible. What else? Crazy? Oh, lazy! Lazy. So distractible and lazy anything else? Low attention span. I was actually doing
some research on Generation Z and over and over again it was saying their
attention span initially is 8 seconds. Anything else that you would like to
offer? They’re probably more complex. The way they’re raised, the environment they live in, they’re more complex than the scoop of the 1950’s. Exactly I think that’s exactly it I found a couple I found several kind of
infographics that talked to this I kind of liked this one. Just talking about
this generation Z that students that were born after 1995 and those are the
students that are now coming to college and you think about it these students
don’t know a world without technology. They were born into this where I think
they were saying the Millennials were always using three screens where Gen Z
is five. They talk through pictures they don’t even text kind of as John Campbell
mentioned they don’t use Facebook it’s snapchat. I mean they talked through
emojis through pictures you think about even some of the simple things I know
talking to my own children what it takes to do some research like they they have
never stepped foot into a public library I don’t think. They have access to
everything at the touch of a their finger on their phones but they also
have trouble differentiating what information is valid and what’s not. they have instant they’re used to
instant gratification and they often are very frustrated when they can’t get an
answer to something very quickly. So I think on some levels some of these
students are somewhat misunderstood because they’re not responding to the
same ways that we were taught. And so just another reason and I think a lot of
you alluded to that is why professional development is important and why we
really do have to consider changing the way that we teach and changing the way
that we approach these students. So what professional development
opportunities exist on our campus I’m gonna turn it over to Jessica she’s
gonna start off by telling you a little bit about the things that she’s doing.
Sure, thanks. We just talked about students because we were thinking that’s
one reason that we might want to participate in professional development
is because we understand that our students are changing. It’s just one of
many I heard a lot of talking so I know there were more than two other answers
out there to why we would want to do PD but I wanted to talk about professional
development opportunities specifically for graduate students. So how many of you
in here are graduate students? are there grad students? Yay, they’re grad students.
How many of you work with graduate students? Okay so for the graduate
students do you feel like you’re aware of professional development
opportunities on campus? Could you be aware if you wanted? Do get an email like
from the office of graduate education occasionally that says these are the
things we’re doing or Teaching and Learning Commons puts on sessions that are
specifically about grad students, are faculty aware of these things as they’re
happening? So as the faculty members are you aware of the professional
development opportunities that exist for your graduate students on campus? I can’t
tell if that’s yes, no, maybe, not really yeah we have to go find that information
right. So this is just a snapshot of the office of graduate education and life’s
webpage when you click on the tab for professional development opportunities.
So they specifically, you can go there and they do a lot of things around
writing your dissertation, career services, practice interviewing, getting
your CV ready or your resume to go out on the job market things like that and
then these are some of the things from the TLC website. So this is just like a
snapshot of the calendar they have up and they do specifically put on
worksheet workshops for graduate students. So I supervise our TAS in the
math department and so anytime I see workshops that are specific towards TAS
or that have a graduate student focus I try to forward that information to them.
I know they get information in emails from these various places but I also
know they’re not necessarily looking for those right. So I want to call their
attention to some of these things because they just may not be paying
attention to that they’re thinking of things like graduating, getting a life. The
TLC also puts on the TA orientation and then they have the certificate program
in university teaching and so that’s a program that I encourage my students who
are interested in education and who know they want to go into teaching and who
know they probably don’t want to do research and be like at an r1 school
like this or who might want to be just like this but aren’t interested in
teaching upper-level graduate courses. They want to teach freshmen who are
coming in and the basic level courses in their discipline and so that certificate
in university teaching I feel is something that can help them be a little
more competitive on the job market compared to all the other people who
have the same disciplinary background. Okay so I wanted to talk a little bit
about what I’m doing in the math department here, we have teaching
practicum seminars for TAS and I put in math because I feel like this is gonna
be the same for a lot of other departments too. But we have teaching
practicum seminars for our TAS, TAS have to take it at some point maybe they take
multiple and then we have seminars for all of the other grad students including
TAS on other things that are related to our discipline so things that are not
teaching focused. I also will tell you that I hate that picture of teaching
because I don’t like to stand up at the board and have three people sitting here
watching me teach like this, right. So like when I go watch TAS teach I don’t
want to see them pointing at stuff on the board and students just sitting
there doing nothing but when I started working with the TLC I started thinking
about what kind of professional development could we perhaps offer in
the department that isn’t there already? And so I started thinking what about
teaching professional development opportunities for grad students who are
not TAS. So currently we do a lot of teaching PD for our students who are out
there leading recitations, teaching classes, working with students, but what
about the grad students who don’t have that opportunity and never get to talk
about teaching and so that’s really what I wanted to do because I have a love of
teaching. And so that’s what I tried to do we’ll talk about difficulties later
but I tried to start what’s usually called a faculty learning community but
for graduate students specifically. And so I reached out to all of our graduate
students and specifically tried to recruit students who are not teaching
and are not TAS but who have an interest or just would like to know more about
teaching. And I wanted to make sure that what we did in those faculty learning
communities was really different than the teaching seminar. I didn’t want to
do case studies for teaching calculus and things that can go wrong in
a recitation I wanted to just talk about teaching and learning and students and so
we kind of treated it like a class. We would set up meetings once a week or
twice a week and have assigned readings and so I did this for two semesters with
grad students, the first one I also did with instructors. So not faculty who
teach these grad students because I wanted them to feel comfortable in this
environment to talk about good teaching bad teaching whatever and not feel like
their professor was sitting right next to them and they couldn’t really say
what they wanted. But I did invite some of our full-time instructors who don’t
teach our graduate students and what we did was we used these three books which
are not books about teaching math. I didn’t want to read that with my math
grad students I wanted them to just think about how students learn, how
learning works, small teaching some students really really enjoyed that one.
One of the grad students who is a TA when when we finished reading that book
and discussing it said, “I think all the TAS really should read this.” So then that
became an assignment in my teaching seminar for TAS later in the semester I
was able to kind of hand that out and have them read through that and try to
implement some of that in their teaching. So this was just a little bit of some of
the things that I’ve tried to do in the math department with TAS around teaching
but who, or with grad students around teaching but who are not actually
getting a chance to teach. I wanted them to have a space to have conversations
about teaching, the truth is that in our discipline the majority of PhDs are
going to go on to teach. And they’re going to teach full-time and they’re
getting really good expertise in research and in math but they may not be
getting what they need in teaching if they aren’t having those opportunities
as grad students so I wanted to kind of provide a little bit of that to them.
The majority of them go on to teaching full time this probably is the same in
many other disciplines they’re not going to be at r1 schools they’re gonna be at
smaller schools and they’re gonna have to teach a lot and so if they aren’t
getting a lot of experience teaching I wanted to at least have a little bit of
opportunity to work with them. Like I said we’ll talk about difficulties and
things that came up later but that was kind of the set up of what I was doing
in the math department, I’ll give it back to Lori to talk about things without
graduate students. Thank you. All right so I’ve led
campus-wide cohort of faculty members using the ACUE which is the Association of
College and University Educators course on effective teaching practices and then
Yelena, and she’s gonna talk here in a couple minutes also contributed to this
cohort with several faculty learners at Potomac State. So I just want to tell you
a little bit about how this was set up and how it worked so it’s basically an
online course ACUE came to, they came to WVU’s campus and filmed people teaching.
They’ve been to campuses all over the country actually in classrooms filming
people teaching and they did these modules on a variety of topics. This is
just to name a few but the basic idea here is that when you you log into a
module you’ll observe people using these practices. So they’ll they’ve recorded
teachers actually implementing some of these things and there’s also loads of
resources for you to use for teaching face-to-face and online. Then there’s
also a discussion forum where there’s these scenarios they call it observe and
analyze where you’ll see people kind of in a developing practice where they’re
trying to use some of these techniques, a lot of these are staged where there’s
mistakes happening and things like that. And in part of the discussion is talking
about what could have been done better maybe what was wrong with the way the
person implemented this technique but just to kind of get this discussion
going. And then at the end of the module you take time to reflect you’re actually
expected to implement one of the strategies that was discussed in that
module in your own classroom and then think about how it went, talk to the
students get some feedback. In addition to that that we’ve met face to face at
least once a month to talk about our experiences. So when we got together
usually we were focused on one of the modules or two of the modules and the
things that we tried in our own class rooms and sometimes it was almost like a
support group. It was an opportunity to get together and you know someone might
say hey before we get going this is what happened in my class this
week and it was this really nice opportunity to just talk about really
teaching our students how they learn and supporting each other as we’re trying to
change the way that we’re approaching our classrooms. So all in all there’s
about 25 modules that we have peppered throughout both the fall, spring, and then
summer and it really takes you through this cycle of you know learning
and observing, implementing trying something that you’ve learned, taking the
time to reflect about it discussing it with your peers, and then
revising it so you can try it again and then just to keep that cycle going. And
it’s really nice I think it’s nice for anybody whether regardless of your level
of experience. I mean I’ve been teaching for a really
long time but I found myself trying things that I probably wouldn’t have
tried this year if I wasn’t a part of this group and so I think that’s the the
best the best part of it. And then in this particular organization they
acknowledge your efforts when you’re finished. These are just some of the
things that they do you get a badge kind of online each time you complete a
module but you do get this certificate in effective College instruction at the
end. And you do have access to the course for a year like I said there’s just
hundreds of materials and things like that would be great to have access to because there’s no way to try it all in
the one year. I also have tried to implement…In the previous session someone from the TLC said there will be another cohort forming in the fall. So if people are
interested they should look for the information about joining the ACUE cohort
here in Morgantown. Yeah absolutely John what’s the best thing to just reach out
to the TLC? Okay yeah so just to reiterate if anyone
who’s interested in joining the next cohort feel free to reach out to the TLC,
I’ll have my contact information on the slide at the end too I’ll definitely be
happy to point you in the right direction if that’s something you’re
interested in. And Yelena’s gonna tell you a little bit about a little more
about what she did with the ACUE cohort too, before that I hand that off I was just
gonna talk a little bit about some of the things that I did in our math
department as well. We offered a professional development series
throughout mostly throughout the spring semester that was now just department
specific and that was one thing that I wanted to talk about just the the
difference between something that’s campus wide and then something that’s at
the local level and kind of the pros and cons to those things. And as Jessica
mentioned we’ll talk about some of the challenges for all of us here at the end
but again I think in terms of successes you know it was nice to talk with people
that are specific to your discipline about some of these things. Whereas when
something is campus wide it’s really great to interact with people all
over campus so I definitely think there’s pros and cons to that. I’m gonna
let you Yelena jump in and tell you a little bit more about what she was doing
a Potomac State and then we can kind of talk about successes and challenges. So
this is a third year Potomac State is participating in ACUE modules and we were
one of the first cohorts that piloted it when WVU signed up to it and at that
point, so three years ago we had probably about forty faculty members and
12 of us signed up and tried it. And after two years so we’re still waiting
for this year’s results we have at least 10 who are certified nationally and I
cannot tell you how much value our campus president puts on it and she said
she went out to some conferences and universities were bragging about how
many faculty members are nationally certified and she said well we have that
too. And so now we’re up to 47 faculty
members and this year cohort, so last year’s was about ten and this year is
only six and we are kind of isolated from Morgantown so we’re excited to be
part of the bigger family. And so this opportunity is something that is low
cost to us so the administration doesn’t have to pay for traveling to the
conference and I’m here to first eyewitness testify that this is absolutely
top-notch quality things for for professional development that you would
travel to a big conference to learn. And it comes right to your campus just click
you know at the keyboard, so our dynamics is slightly different we’re not big
we’re a little college and so with that we are not department specific. So in our
cohort you’re gonna have a librarian, a mathematician, biologists, chemists so
it’s really good to to have that variety of opinions of how these modules
implement and so we meet once a month. We have a schedule that we follow and
usually there are two modules that we would discuss one primary and then
there’s a secondary but we don’t always get to the secondary. So I brought my
person purpose because I wanted to show you what we started doing last year. So
this says what happens here stays here so we put, in its account we meet in the
conference room it’s a kind of round not round oval table really nice cushy
chairs as a small institution all of us are teaching but you know as a primary
responsibility a lot of us at least 15 credit hours some we have to teach
overload. So we usually come up to the you know at 4 o’clock on Thursday yeah
so number one the huge huge challenge is to find a common time
to meet. So first Friday of the month is a kind of scheduled for division
meetings, last Friday’s assembly, second one is what is it college wide or
something like that. So you do try so we just did all sorts of gymnastics and
Thursday night ended up being the best, and so with that comes the challenge
okay so how do you how do you get people to get excited and to come? And so we
implemented that you know when so it’s okay to not agree with the modules
technique you know these are things that work for some contents of disciplines
that do not work for yours and so we say that’s okay.
And so people feel free to you know kind of take a breath and say okay so what’s
you know recognized nationwide is not necessarily what works for me and that’s
okay. This year so last year when we were we
had a cohort particularly that a lot of people were up for promotion and
the big files were due and here I am sending a reminder email okay guys
two more modules we’re gonna be discussing that. And so I ran it by Tracy
I said how about we’ll do pizza and movie? So I would send out okay I’ll tell
you what our deal is sponsoring pizza and soda just come bring your laptop
we’ll watch the module together, you complete it together and people just
exhale okay we can do that. And usually the hour flies by very fast and people
kind of mill around and they don’t want to leave some do leave I have a
three-year-old so I have to. But people do stick around and the
camaraderie that’s built, we have our campuses organized around the quad we
could see each other across and I cannot tell you “hey Yelena have you seen this
module?” And you know we just start talking about things and that would be a
criminal justice professor and that’s a great way to make the culture
of professional development uniting rather than okay doesn’t
for method doesn’t work for CJ’s. So it just really unites those topics are all
about having your students succeed get them engaged so that’s great. So this
year I also started the book club discussion and the I selected a book
from one of the resources that I think Laurie mentioned, there’s tons of them. I
said, “Dr. Julian we need to buy that book.” He said, “sure” yeah so I said yep and
he approved it and we said you know that was such a great book. I chose
topics for discussion and I said you know what whether you can read it or not
in its entirety is probably gonna be beneficial but not you know
don’t make that a determination whether you come to these sessions or not
because somebody have read it and there will be a starting point for discussion
and so people did come. So in that held two workshops and I think 14 you know
repeated, some repeated some new you know. Out of 47 that’s not bad and so we did
talk about how that is helpful to us and this particular book was working with
underprepared students which you know we have open enrollment so everybody’s
welcome. That’s probably our most students and I’m sure in one way or
another yours as well. So we are really excited to be part of the one WVU
family and so once or twice a year we actually organize a trip here. So for the
kickoff we were here of the ACUE and so we brought faculty who wanted to come and
then we’re here today. We had a party bus with 14 on but yeah it was a good
bus yes. I’m sorry you’re recording and in
these cohorts there’s a palpable vibe that you feel there and and one of them
the President and the Dean came and they were just like astounded they said, “oh my
God we didn’t want to leave this is so exciting and we we see faculty who were
on fire about teaching and learning.” And he really helped a lot to get other
people interested in the program because they spoke so highly of it. But Yelena
is absolutely right people do genuinely talk to each other they give each other
ideas or they’ll disagree with each other but you don’t want to leave you
really, it’s it really is just an exciting place to be to talk about
teaching and learning. This year in particular so we grew from 40 to 47
faculty so you can imagine we had some few new hires and I absolutely love this
particular cohort for the reason that there are so many new or new to Potomac
State faculty. And just to see the relief on their faces that says oh I thought I
was the only one and then they realize nope I am not the only one everybody’s
struggling with the same motivation piece or attendance or having students
completing certain assignments. And so that was in itself such a great
contribution that’s not measurable easily. I know John’s probably gonna want
me to complete some form of my objectives but that’s one objective so
that is one objective that just kind of floated up right there in the air and
it’s like oh my gosh this is so beautiful. Just to see the new people new
hires saying you know what I belong here I know I’m not quite as seasoned as
other faculty member but you know what they’re experiencing the same
challenges and I’m not alone. And you know and they stop by the
office they feel free to ask opinions knowing that nobody’s gonna judge them
like this this sign lives in my office, you know nobody judges it’s a judge free zone. And we’ve not always
that we find the solution but we definitely discuss it and find some kind of path
forward. We probably need to give a shout-out to Tracy too. Tracy Beckley she
comes from Morgantown to Keizer to sit in on these sessions and you know she
could Skype we could do Go to Meeting but she says, “I just love coming here I
feel great after I leave.” But we appreciate the fact that there’s that
dedication at a time and she’s been doing it for several years now. So the
last thing that we wanted to talk about before we open this up to questions and
comments is just kind of what we’ve learned in terms of best practices and
I almost think starting with the difficulties makes sense because it’s
it’s not easy. And I think probably the three of us would agree that these were
the two biggest difficulties is as much as I think people really enjoy
participating, participation is hard to get. And I think everyone’s very much
into it if and when they show up but everyone is
busy. Everybody is so busy that I know I would find that we would have people
show up for our face-to-face and some would comment like you know they kind of
walk in with their head down like your students would like I didn’t do my
homework like they didn’t get to the module yet weren’t sure if they should
come or not. Which you know the biggest success to me is just having the
opportunity to sit down with my colleagues and talk about these things,
so I think anytime you have the opportunity to do that that’s a success
but it is time-consuming. I mean it does take time to sit down and engage with
these modules and it does take effort to then try these things in your classroom
and come back and talk about it. So for me that’s been the biggest challenge
is just getting people to engage and participate, where I have found that the
people that are most interested in these things are the people that are teaching
the most and so the people that are teaching the most have very little time
sometimes to participate in these things. Did you want to add something?
I’ll just say participation for me was a difficulty in a different way. I
was trying to recruit graduate students that I didn’t necessarily work with on a
regular basis because they weren’t TAS and that’s the group that I supervised.
So one of the things I just kind of realized was that it was really hard to
get people engaged who didn’t already know me and have some sort of
relationship with me, so when I would send mass emails to the grad students if
they don’t know me because they don’t work with me I think it was much easier
for them to just kind of ignore that and not feel like it was relevant to them
because they don’t know me already. So that’s one of the things I’ve learned is
that I have to reach out more to them individually or through someone that
they do know like the graduate program director who sees all of them to get
them to see like know this is something for you. Yeah, usually her emails just go
to the TAS and you can ignore them but this one actually is something that you
can respond to. And then scheduling just like instructors who teach a lot and
have tons of classes our graduate students also had a ton of classes and
so that was really I feel like scheduling is always the problem with
everything I try to do including this, right. Finding an hour once or twice a
week that everybody who was interested in was free that also worked for us in
our outside lives, so those were definitely the biggest difficulties
for me. I don’t know if you had others? So we’ve run it so this is our third year
and what I noticed that we, our faculty just busy as well and sometimes we fall
behind on that online piece and then May 15th comes and people just start
submitting work. And so as a matter of fact most everybody with a few
exceptions earned their national certification during the summer so those
of you who are awfully busy and you’re thinking either
I just cannot possibly add one more thing to my schedule consider that maybe
summer time could be spent, Ken this is our one of the graduates didn’t you
finish all you like some of it during summer? So the first two years right,
so this the first two years we during the the eight months or the nine months
of the contract we would only require one module per month and then it changed.
So right now ACUE itself is growing and they’re a little bit more strict with
their schedule. So we did, no we did nine in the fall
nine in the spring and then seven in summer and then some people would fall
behind and that I kept telling that that’s okay if you can come back to it
later. And Dr. Julius is correct Julian is correct reminding me that there are
reflection papers that you have to write and submit and it does take a piece you
know this time to implement it and then think about it how it affected you. But
majority of our graduates finished bulk of their work in summer so that’s
something to consider if you’re thinking about it definitely worth it though, it’s
not textbook knowledge. I can’t even describe it it’s so practical
like you could recognize either yourself being the teacher or the student and
asking I didn’t get it or this teacher is like so not you know doesn’t have it
and then like oh that was me that other day. So definitely consider that and
participate in that. But you can also recognize which is kind of, which is kind
of fun that these things that some things there just are not realistic.
You know the students sitting there with their syllabi reading along or the
students who have already they all bring their syllabi to class every class yeah
we know where that doesn’t happen. But it’s fun to talk about that kind of
stuff too, like where do they get these students from? No and I think sometimes
with some of the modules it makes you think about some of the things that you
do, do. You know that you they’re making it very obvious that you shouldn’t and
you think oh I think I do that but it does make you reflect. Just in terms of
some best practices that we’ve kind of come up with in terms of trying to start
your own PD, is to know your audience. It’s often I think helpful to do a needs
assessment to see what kind of topics people are interested in and to build
the professional development experience around those topics. You know when to
practice what you preach you know so if you are hoping that people change their
teaching style to be more engaging than so should your
professional development experience. The modeling and demonstrations I think are
very important so you can actually see what it is that you’re gonna try to do
and then that support piece I think is is really key I mean and I think that’s
probably the most important part is just having this almost like support
group for the different things that you’re trying. And then the reflection
piece as well that you know that cycle is kind of what I keep in mind you know
that you have this opportunity to try something new you have a support system
there to help you along the way and then you have time to really think about how
it worked and how you might change it in the future.
You know but even despite trying to set things up this way like for example in
the initiative that I mentioned that I started in the math department I did do
a needs assessment. I did say, “okay what topics do you guys want to focus on this
semester?” I set it up around those topics I asked people “when are you free, what
days of the week, what time of day?” And still we had a couple that Jessica and I
were actually doing one on best practices in terms of the MAA and it was
just the two of us sitting there. So, oh she did Katie showed up yeah so
even I think when you do try to do all these things that’s the challenge you
know just because you organize it doesn’t mean that anyone will come. So
that’s basically what we wanted to share with you do you have any questions or
comments? I would also be interested in hearing
from you all about other things that you either participated in or led in terms
of professional development. And I would especially like to hear things that
worked well because we did struggle with participation in the two department
level initiatives that we were leading. So for people who have done similar
things or participated in similar things that seemed to work really smooth I
would like to hear about those too. And John’s pointing at someone…So my name is
Cathy Mezera I feel like I’m stealing thunder from the panelists, I also have
been a faculty associate and I’ve been leading an on-campus once a month
teaching large lecture classes and we get faculty together and we talk about
best practices and same thing what’s working, what’s not working and we find
that the time it’s it’s timely it’s relevant and it’s basically
university-wide. We actually have folks from the different campuses as well
so we currently have folks from let’s see biology, I teach in media, we have
business folks, we have wildlife fisheries Ross is here with me, we have
folks from physics, geology and it’s amazing how at first glance you think
that you know we teach different disciplines but we’re really not talking
about content. We’re talking about just how can we help each other out and kind
of our best practices of all of our years of experience. So we’ve actually
found that while we’re kind of small I think some people think they can’t come
if they don’t teach a large lecture class but really we’re talking about
best teaching practices in general and there’s always something that I even
walk away with that day saying, “wow I’m gonna try that in my class too.” So I
think it’s been really good for me leading it to also have lessons from the
folks there too, so I definitely think if you haven’t had a chance to get involved
in professional development I think we fear that it has to be this formal
approach. We have to write for the, wait for the right time and we have plenty of
time to commit I think really we can all get involved even on small levels. So
Teaching and Learning Commons is a great place to get started with that so
I would encourage all of you to find a way that you
can become part of a learning community. And if you’re teaching a large lecture
class or if you’re just teaching there’s lots of ways you can get involved so
even if your department doesn’t have something reach out to the TLC and they can
put you in touch with someone. Thank you so much Kathy, any other comments or
things that you’d like to share about experiences that you’ve tried? I
should say hats off and thank you to Cathy and John, I finished my PhD here
last year and now I’m a postdoc. And during my PhD I taught a fair amount and
some of them were large lectures but transitioning to like a staff role I do
more research now but being able to participate in their learning community
has sort of allowed me to keep my foot in that part of my professional
development. And the biggest benefit to me was for that community was not
feeling like I’m on an island and not like I have to do everything myself
because regardless of what our topic might be whether it is teaching
strategies in a large lecture for using technology or something, every single
time I walked away with a new perspective and I think part of that is
because it’s so interdisciplinary. So just echoing what Cathy has to say and
I’m a big fan of those kind of communities. Thank you. I wanted to give a shout out
to our some of our faculty here from Kaiser.
I always nudge them to make a poster or a presentation and Joan right there we
just had a great presentation and we on our campus are not required to produce
research you know for our continuation of the employment. But I think it’s good
to have this structure of professional development where we foster that culture
and maybe Candace is gonna be pre…so come to poster section Candace has a
poster and maybe after she has done it she’s gonna say, “well I can go to even a
bigger conference next year and present my thoughts and you know other things
that I’m doing on our campus.” And that growth is so important just not to
forget that so my big, one of the biggest messages that I would like to you know
for our learning cohorts to remember is that we don’t have just a day-to-day job,
you know. It’s not you know get through Friday and then start over again let’s
get a five-year plan and you know how can we grow and how can we contribute
from what we learned to others? And so that’s one of the other perks of being
part of the cohorts that you get that resource and somebody nudging you to do
that. So John was nudging me to say something, so I’m a faculty associate too
and I direct the business communication center over in the Chamber’s College of
Business. And I’ve been trying to do some professional development opportunities
through those the various roles that I have this year and we’ve had ups
and downs. Some things we’ve had really good turnout like 11 or 12 people that’s
that’s good for us and then others you know like two people. And one of the
things that I’ve found is that for adult learners which is really what we’re
trying to appeal to it really has to be a timely topic that they can take back
to the classroom or to their position the next day.
And we’ve had we’ve been trying to reach staff as well within the college with
some of these professional development opportunities and they’ve been really
engaged. When they’ve, for instance our recruiter one of our recruiters came in
and because he wanted to learn something that he was going to take the next day
as he was going on a recruiting trip so if you can make it timely and take it
back to the classroom or their job it really helps to get people in in the
room. I was gonna say one more thing Yelena was talking about being at a
school where research is not necessarily required so I’m an educational research
and one of my areas is in professional development. So I would also encourage
you if you’re thinking of doing some activities and especially if you’re
thinking of I want to do them but I also want to like systematically examine how
well they work or what things went well what things didn’t is too if you reach
out to people who do this kind of research. So I have to do research and I
enjoy doing research around professional development so if people are reaching
out to me and saying, “hey I have this project this PD project.” It’s beneficial
to me to not just to get involved because I like professional development
but because I need scholarly output in that area as well so I would say and I
can think of a handful of people on campus who do work around professional
development so that would be you know they may be resources for you. I just
wanted to point out that a number of people that you’ve heard from are
faculty associates with the Teaching and Learning Commons. So if this is something
that you’re interested in pursuing you know building a learning community to
focus on you know professional development consider applying as a
faculty associate. The pay is not great we do provide a small and when I
say small very small stipend for faculty to use for their own professional
development. But the work with, can work with us and in different capacities to
do something either within your department like Jessica did or campus
wide like Kathy and Laurie and Yelena have done. So just as a
consideration it is a yearly academic year and again you’ll work with our
staff Amy Coon many of you know and myself. And you know this is all new
this is the first year that we’ve implemented learning communities, so I
think they have been successful but as you could see we’re learning a lot and
we want to build upon the progress and the energy that that has occurred so far
so thanks. They are open yeah you can go to the TL
Commons page and and apply and I think the deadline is near the end of May, June.
What’s the day? June 3rd and I should know that and I shouldn’t have to ask as
Cathy. The other thing is this to Kathy’s birthday so everybody wish Kathy a happy
birthday today, so I’m sorry to make you talk on your on your birthday.
So anything else? Thank you for coming and thank you to our presenters,
did a wonderful job.

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