EdTech & the Faculty Role: Changing Expectations and Career Implications
Concurrent Session 3
BRIEF ABSTRACT: This roundtable discussion explores the impact of educational technology and online learning on the faculty job role and faculty career.
ISSUE/OPPORTUNITY: Pedagogical effectiveness in today’s faculty role requires both full-time faculty and adjunct faculty to attain a broad constellation of EdTech skills, such as knowledge of online and blended course design frameworks, familiarity with multiple learning management systems, social media fluency, and the ability to locate and use open educational resources (OER).
The much-cited Babson Survey Research Group’s 2015 Online Report Card confirms that a majority of academic leaders (63%) view online learning as “critical” (p. 5) to university-level strategy yet “only 29.1% of chief academic officers believe their faculty accept the value and legitimacy of online education” (p. 10). These data confirm the mainstream role of EdTech in academia while simultaneously pointing to the considerable expectations placed upon faculty who serve at an institution that has adopted this strategy.
Reprising a popular annual tradition at OLC Innovate, this proposed roundtable discussion provides an opportunity for conference participants to explore the intersection of educational technology and the faculty role. Specific focus will be placed on how faculty members can leverage educational technology and online learning initiatives in efforts towards high-quality pedagogy, service excellence, and career development.
TARGET AUDIENCE: The target audience includes full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, university administrators, instructional designers, and professionals seeking a faculty role. Individuals currently serving in EdTech roles transitioning to faculty—and faculty transitioning to EdTech roles—may also find this discussion useful.
DISCUSSION PROTOCOL: The following discussion protocol depicts the main points that will be covered. A select panel of representatives within the fields of teaching, online learning, and EdTech pedagogy will lead the discussion.
- In your experience, how does educational technology (and innovative uses of educational technology, in particular) figure into career attainment and career progression for faculty members seeking tenure or promotion?
- Are there initiatives, projects, committees, or special assignments that faculty should seek? What initiatives get noticed?
- What professional development opportunities are most beneficial relative to EdTech? Why?
- How does educational technology figure into the picture for adjunct faculty members seeking part-time assignments?
- How can innovative uses of educational technology drive career attainment or career advancement for those seeking full-time academic careers in educational technology?
- Social media/networking: What is the best way for faculty to promote/position their EdTech knowledge and experience?
The session is designed for high interaction, and attendees will be encouraged to share experiences and ideas that reveal emerging faculty career progression trends as impacted by educational technology.
TAKEAWAYS: The discussion protocol is designed to lead to a specific set of takeaways that include:
- Illustrations of innovative technology use in the faculty role and how they relate to the faculty career.
- Professional development approaches that lead to career advancement and growth (e.g., committee assignments, projects, organizational memberships and positions).
- Self-promotion and networking approaches.
- A list of resources compiled by the Career Forum panelists (and made available to all participants via the OLC Innovate Conference website).
Allen, E., Seaman, J., Poulin, R., & Straut, T. (2016, February). Online report card - tracking online education in the United States. Retrieved from: http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/read/online-report-card-tracking-online-education-united-states-2015/