Think outside the workshop: Revitalizing your faculty development program

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Let’s face it: Faculty development programs are in serious need of revitalization. Inject new life into them by thinking outside the workshop. Join us to learn how we reconceptualized the program at our institution by designing experiences such as a Virtual Community of Practice, a Best Practices showcase, a mentoring program, and interactive mini courses. Leave the session with tools and resources to inject new life into your own faculty development program!


I am a multilingual educator, trainer and manager with over a decade of experience in online learning, specifically in online program administration, faculty development, and instructional design. I create meaningful and impactful online learning experiences for faculty and students. Also, I continuously search for ways to improve the way online courses and services are designed and delivered at our institution. Finally, I procure the adequate implementation, integration and use of the Ed-Tech solutions that support our online learning experiences, such as Zendesk, Evaluation Kit, Articulate 360, Labster, and RP Now.

Extended Abstract

Most faculty development programs seek to improve teaching and learning. Ironically, many of these programs lack the characteristics they seek to inspire. We want to innovate the way faculty approach their role by using the same old methods. Faculty development programs are urgently needing a revitalization. We can inject new life into them by thinking outside and going beyond the workshop.

In this session we will present how an institution reconceptualized its faculty development program. The process began with the identification of the pedagogical, social, administrative, investigative and technological competences required for online teaching. Then, a survey was administered to the institution’s faculty to find out their development needs and preferences. Based on the survey’s results, we developed and integrated the following experiences into the program:

  • pool of resources (faculty and staff) that could contribute to the development program, either as content creators, workshop facilitators, or mentors.
  • virtual community of practice (VCoP) in the institution’s learning management system. The community includes spaces for exchanging ideas and best practices, as well as resources (webinars, tutorials, workshops, etc.) to support online teaching.
  • A one-day, online, synchronous faculty development event at the beginning of the academic year.
  • An online asynchronous event to showcase faculty's Best Practices
  • Various online synchronous conferences for National Distance Learning Week
  • An online mentoring program to help faculty create interactive micro-lessons and resources for their courses.
  • Various asynchronous and interactive mini courses that faculty can complete at their convenience.
  • Starter Kit for online faculty, with resources, checklists, and templates to help faculty set up their online courses.
  • Beta Testers program where faculty can experiment with technologies the institution is considering adopting.
  • Surveys to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of the initiatives.

Several months into their implementation, faculty have expressed being satisfied with the content and format of these experiences.  Most of these can be implemented in any institution. By the end of the session, participants will have the tools and resources to inject new life into their faculty development programs.

The agenda for the session is as follows:

Introduction (3 minutes)

Presentation of the institution’s Faculty Development Program

  • What we did: Overview of the reconceptualization process (7 minutes)
  • How it works: Details about each of the experiences/initiatives (15 minutes)
  • How did it go: Anecdotes about the challenges, the failures, and what we are learning along the way (7 minutes)
  • How you can do it: Recommendations and resources for the adoption of these initiatives in your institution (7 minutes)

Q&A (6 minutes)

To model some of the strategies we are using in our faculty development program, we will encourage participation and interaction through Mentimeter polls, question prompts, and collaborative documents. Similarly, we will use and share with the audience a Rise 360 interactive presentation.