There are a lot of professional development opportunities for higher education faculty, staff and administration today. A recent study by Bishop & Keehn (2015; in print) shows a correlation between the increase in institutionally-organized teaching and learning centers (such as SPU’s Center for Scholarship & Faculty Development) and positive changes in how institutions consider their teaching practices.
One finding in congruence with the Bishop & Keehn study is from Michelle Pacansky-Brock (2015) who sees the role of teaching and learning centers as a bridge for faculty of all stripes and designations to more fully engage the potential of the classroom. In a recent keynote presentation, Pacansky-Brock utilized a graphic from MindWires Consulting (h/t Phil Hill & Michael Feldstein) to show the role a teaching and learning center often plays at higher education institutions.
The Online Teaching Working Group was launched in the Spring of 2015 in the spirit of such bridges, under several platform planks:
- effective teaching and learning must be modeled rather than shown
- it is the responsibility of the instructor to go more than halfway to meet learners
- people learn best when it is in a supportive environment where expertise is shared and knowledge is created
- the construction of products and artifacts is vital to the transformation of the learner.
This Fall, our Online Teaching Working Group revolves around the power of Web-based publication. We will explore this while we develop websites of various stripes and needs (some for scholarship, some for classrooms, some for research, some for special interests, some for a myriad of reasons). Taking the notion that learning is a manifestation of identity management, we will see how a web hub can help us develop our digital identities in congruence with our more physical selves.