Moving Faculty Forward to Innovation and Exploration

Concurrent Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The Faculty Forward Fellows Program project, centered around building a blended faculty development program, was one of six grant projects awarded through Johns Hopkins University Digital Education and Learning Technology Acceleration (DELTA) grants. In this session, the program developers will present the project goals and program outline replicable across institutions.


Dr. Olysha Magruder is a graduate from University of Florida's Educational Technology doctoral program. Her research interests include faculty development, blended learning, instructional design, and leadership. She is currently an instructional designer at the Whiting School of Engineering, Engineering for Professionals, Johns Hopkins University. Prior to this, she has worked in 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.
Director, Center for Learning Design, The Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Extended Abstract

The Faculty Forward Fellows Program, developed at Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering, Engineering for Professionals (JHU, WSE-EP), is a blended faculty development program designed for instructors who teach online and/or with digital technology. The project was submitted to the JHU Digital Education and Learning Technology Acceleration (DELTA) grants, offered to develop, implement, and evaluate new digital education initiatives that can enhance teaching and learning at Johns Hopkins, whether online or on its campuses. The Faculty Forward Fellows program was awarded the grant in the summer of 2018.  In this session, the project leads will present an overall description of the grant project, the faculty development program details, and plans for the program launch.

The Faculty Forward Fellows Program was proposed in an effort to increase faculty involvement in innovation and digital learning. The program is a blended model of faculty development easily replicable cross-divisionally, both within and outside the Johns Hopkins University community. Faculty collaboration is a key component of the program through the sharing of teaching practices and innovative technology uses. The model presented includes two main areas of focus: 1) Empowerment of faculty to adopt new, research-based, effective teaching practices into their courses in order to increase student engagement and learning across multiple modalities; and 2) Development of a faculty fellowship program to encourage participants to develop, pilot, and implement innovative practices.

The project is led by instructional designers along with a team of faculty and administrative staff supporting the effort and providing feedback on program components. The program includes several days of intensive workshop sessions combined with online modules that model the best practices in teaching and learning, online course design, and innovative uses of technology. The components of the program are online pre- and post-activities, intensive workshops, and a capstone project. The pre- and post-activities include video discussions, reflection activities, interaction with peers, and surveys. The face-to-face meetings model active learning such as cooperative learning, collaborative projects, discussions, and formative assessments all while exploring innovative technologies. The final project is presented online with a plan, proposal, or creation based on program curriculum. Select, outstanding faculty who complete the program become “Faculty Fellows” and play leadership roles in future iterations of the program. The project team anticipates that the faculty fellows who complete the program will push the boundaries for what is possible in online and digital learning and will be leaders in moving innovative initiatives forward

The program is set to begin with the pre-activities online in May of 2019 and the face-to-face sessions meeting in June of 2019. The authors will present examples of the online modules, lesson plans developed for a face-to-face session, and other program details. 

Participants who attend the session will find out more about a replicable model for faculty development and explore the components of the program. Attendees will learn about the project launch, including challenges and opportunities discovered while developing the program. The session is designed for instructional designers, faculty developers, administrators, faculty, and others who are interested in blended faculty development. The information relayed in the session will be available for participants digitally and on a handout.