The Challenges and Successes of Innovative Faculty Support Teams

Concurrent Session 6

Brief Abstract

This session addresses structural/institutional challenges, job titles, and interpersonal dynamic/trust issues encountered by faculty support personnel.  Through research, reflection and problem solving, there is an opportunity to identify, discuss and propose potential solutions to these issues so that innovation can occur in educational communities.

Presenters

Dr. Kurzweil is the Director of the ETI and has worked at USU since 2006. In this capacity, she provides strategic direction for the ETI, instructional and educational technology support for faculty, supervision of ETI personnel, and management of the ETI office. Prior to that, she worked at the National Defense University providing direction and vision of the instructional team supporting the Center for Educational Technology. She also is a faculty member in the Health Professions Education program at USU. She has served on numerous committees and task forces examining a wide range of topics including educational technologies, interprofessional education, professional development for K12 and higher education faculty, learning management systems, program assessment and evaluation, instructional design, and teaching/faculty support paradigms. Dr. Kurzweil has presented at international, national, and regional conferences, including American Educational Research Association (AERA), multiple conferences offered by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the Open Apereo (Sakai) Conference and AAMC.
Dr. Linda Macaulay is the Instructional Technologist at Elizabethtown College (PA). She has over 15 years of experience teaching in online, blended, and traditional higher education programs. Before coming to the college, she taught graduate and undergraduate educational technology courses and was also an elementary teacher for eleven years. Her background in leadership for change, technology, and learning theory provides a broad base of knowledge to support faculty as they work to enhance their face-to-face, blended, and online courses with innovative teaching strategies and technology. She states that she is a "teacher first, techie second" because it is good teaching and course design that makes all the difference for student success. She lives in Landisville, PA with her son and pets and enjoys listening to Kenny Roger's music and spending time with her family to unplug and recharge. Look for her around the OLC Conference buzzing about in her red mobility scooter!

Extended Abstract

It is clear from research ( Halupa, 2019; Kenny, Zhang, Schweir and Campbell, 2005, Campbell, Scheier and Kenny 2009 ,etc.) that the field of faculty support for teaching and learning, especially as it relates to digital tools and online and blended learning, is varied and draws upon different resources and personnel.  Researchers (Allen and Seaman, 2014; Olcott and Wright, 1995;Carnevale, 2000; Fredericksen, Pickett, Shea, Pelz, & Swan, 2000, etc.) have discussed the relationships between faculty and instructional support teams from various perspectives.  Xu & Morris (2007) have noted faculty support relationships can be challenging and is often a “delicate and negotiated role” (2007, p. 36).

Drawing on sources such as Inside Higher Ed’s 2017 article  “Boosting Faculty Buy-In For Online Learning”,  “Instructional Design in Higher Education” by Intentional Futures,  International Board of Standards for Training (IBSTPI), Hall and Hord’s “Implementing Change: Patterns, Principles, and Potholes,” and Rogers; Diffusion of Innovation theory, the facilitators will lead participants in a collaborative presentation.  The discussion portion will open up complicated relationships of faculty support team (ISD, Learning Engineers, Instructional Technologists, Faculty developers, etc) in their institutions.

The education session will focus on topics including: challenges providing new perspectives and innovations for those in higher education, influence of faculty support teams and the structural/institutional challenges brought about by job titles and interpersonal dynamic/trust issues.

It is aimed at participants who are in and/or work closely with those who hold such higher education instructional/curriculum support roles as instructional design, learning engineers, curriculum development, program evaluation, student assessment, faculty development, educational technology and the like.

Participants will come away from the education session with methods, techniques and ideas to overcome structural/institutional challenges brought about by job titles and interpersonal dynamic/trust issues. They will develop trategies to advocate for technological innovation in support of improving the overall educational environment.

Objectives for the Education Session:

Learners will be able to:

  • Identify innovative leadership initiatives, programs or structures that promote faculty support teams.

  • Recognize roles for faculty support team members such as (ISD, Learning Engineers, Instructional Technologists, Faculty developers, etc

  • Implement strategies for navigating the complex web of professional relationships, organizational structures, group dynamics, and shared goals.

  • Support individuals and teams in making institutional change.Identify challenges that are brought about by job titles and interpersonal dynamic/trust issues.

  • Identify challenges that are brought about by job titles and interpersonal dynamic/trust issues.

This education session is highly interactive. Participants will use Google documents during this education session to reflect on questions and spur discussion.  They will also engage in Think, Pair and Share activities to come away with methods, techniques and ideas to overcome structural/institutional challenges brought about by job titles and interpersonal dynamic/trust issues. They will develop strategies to advocate for technological innovation in support of improving education.