Building a Faculty Development Culture for Instructional Innovation: Opportunities and Challenges

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

Can you drive instructional innovation by effectively marketing online faculty development opportunities to faculty? Many institutions overlook the need to market to one of its largest and most vital audiences – the faculty. This presentation examines marketing strategies that increase online faculty development participation and drive faculty toward instructional innovation.

Extended Abstract

Can you drive instructional innovation by effectively marketing online faculty development opportunities to faculty? In higher education, it is easy to associate marketing with online enrollment management, growing existing programs, drawing attention to online support services, or engaging alumni and potential donors. These areas are lush with ideas for developing strategic online branding, reaching people through digital marketing methods and channels, analyzing data and analytics to improve results, and building connections that will drive outcomes. While most online leadership focuses its marketing efforts on student recruitment and retention, administrators often overlook the need to focus marketing efforts on one of the largest, strongest, and most vital audiences within the institution – the faculty.

Faculty are often assumed to be above the fray of marketing techniques. Many academic administrators assume that either than marketing is a bad word in academia and avoid it or that faculty have superhuman powers to resist marketing techniques, that only rationale logic and academic arguments can be persuasive among faculty. However, the false perception held by many administrators about marketing and the false assumptions about faculty’s superhuman resistance to anything human simply are not true.

In this presentation, we examine how marketing principles and strategies can be effective with faculty. In particularly, we focus how faculty development opportunities in eLearning and online learning are marketed to faculty. The presentation will:

  • examine faculty as a marketing audience,
  • discuss marketing strategies that have worked to increase faculty participation in online faculty development,
  • examine a case study scenario where marketing was effective with faculty, and
  • summarize “lessons learned” both from the case study and from marketing strategies that other institutions have been applied toward faculty.

By the end of this session, participants will have gained several major takeaways. They will leave with 1) a practical tool for analyzing faculty as a marketing audience, 2) a list of effective practices for marketing faculty development to faculty, 3) gain a basic theoretical model for marketing to faculty, and 4) discover several lessons learned from a case study where the faculty marketing strategy was applied.