EdTech & the Faculty Role: Career Implications and Opportunities in an Era of Continuous Innovation
Concurrent Session 8
BRIEF ABSTRACT: This roundtable discussion explores the intersection of educational technology and faculty careers. Emphasis is placed on leveraging technology in service of career advancement.
ISSUE/OPPORTUNITY: Today’s academic environment calls for faculty—both full-time and adjunct—to develop significant expertise in educational technology (EdTech). Now more than ever, pedagogical effectiveness in a faculty role requires a host of contemporary EdTech skills such as facility with multiple learning management systems and fluency with social media. Knowledge of online and blended course design frameworks as well as open educational resources (OER) also figure prominently in contemporary course design and modern pedagogical approaches. Moreover, distance education research reports--such as the Babson Survey Research Group’s 2015 Online Report Card—confirm that a majority of academic leaders (63%) view online learning as “critical” (p. 5) to university-level strategy. Taken together, this information makes clear that EdTech has emerged as an integral component of the faculty role and faculty career development, and it raises important questions about how faculty members can leverage educational technology in service of role excellence and career development.
The proposed roundtable discussion provides a space for conference participants to collaboratively explore and share the intersection of educational technology and faculty careers. Specific focus will be placed on how educational technology can inform career expansion and career advancement for faculty.
TARGET AUDIENCE: The target audience includes full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, university administrators, and professionals seeking a faculty role. Instructional designers and academic technologists, in particular, are encouraged to attend this session.
DISCUSSION PROTOCOL: The following discussion protocol illustrates the main points that will be covered. The discussion will be facilitated by a selected panel of representatives within the fields of teaching and online learning and pedagogy. The Forum is designed for high-interaction; questions, comments, and recommendations from the attendees will be sought throughout and also at the conclusion of the Forum.
Innovative application of educational technology will be underscored. Overall, the discussion protocol aims to reveal emerging faculty career progression trends as impacted by educational technology.
- 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 should faculty should pursue? How might current work force trends inform professional development?
- How does educational technology figure into the picture for adjunct faculty members seeking part-time assignments?
- How can innovative uses of educational technology figure into 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 present/position, underscore and "advertise" their EdTech knowledge and experience?
- What is the single-most important piece of advice or guidance for faculty to strategically employ EdTech for career progression and advancement?
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 Forum panelists (and made available to all participants)
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/