Instructional Design Summit - Part 1: Instructional Designers As Change Agents Through Faculty Development

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

As instructional designers, we go to great lengths to design and develop high-quality courses.  But how can we support (especially adjunct) faculty’s efforts to continuously improve their teaching skills to match course quality? In this session, we explore JHU engineering school’s approach to faculty development: the Faculty Forward Academy.



Dr. Olysha Magruder is currently the Assistant Director, Center for Learning Design, at the Whiting School of Engineering, Engineering for Professionals, Johns Hopkins University. Prior to this, she worked as an instructional design at Hopkins and other higher education institutions as an instructional designer and adjunct faculty. Olysha started her career in a K-12 classroom, which sparked her love for all things teaching and learning. She is a graduate of the University of Florida's Educational Technology doctoral program. Her research interests include faculty development, blended learning, instructional design, and leadership.

Extended Abstract

At the Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering, we support a wide range of faculty clients in the design and development of online asynchronous and virtual (synchronous) classes:

  • Adjuncts who teach for Engineering for Professionals (EP) -- a part-time master’s degree program for working professionals;
  • Full-time faculty who teach full-time graduate students at the main Homewood campus;
  • And other faculty who have been contracted to facilitate one of our lifelong learning offerings (MOOCs, workshops, executive education programs, and online non-credit courses).

In these efforts, we follow a well-defined systematic instructional design process for designing and developing high-quality instructional materials. We provide faculty one-on-one instructional design support throughout the course development project. Although faculty undoubtedly acquire new knowledge and skills by partnering with an instructional designer, in 2018 we recognized the need to be more intentional about our approach to faculty development. 

In 2019, we received a Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration (DELTA) grant from the provost’s office and launched the first cohort of the Faculty Forward Fellowship program, which models best practices in online, face-to-face, and blended learning modalities by offering both online and face-to-face components.

We invite you to join this session to learn more about the Faculty Forward Fellowship, how it evolved into the Faculty Forward Academy, and how the initiative influenced the culture within the engineering school. We will share insights about our past, present, and future faculty development offerings including a new initiative impacting the entire Johns Hopkins University. We will provide a faculty development framework that can be implemented at your institution.

This session will also include interaction opportunities in which you can share your own faculty professional development opportunities: what’s worked and what hasn’t.