Spring 2015 Faculty Development Day Recap

Our Journey Forward took a big leap on Saturday, March 21st, as 494 faculty members attended Faculty Development Day. This was our largest gathering of faculty ever for Faculty Development Day, besting our previous mark by 54 faculty members!

A video recap of the day is provided via this link. The highlights and themes provided by our attendees in our survey, workshop archives and resources, and our thank you message is provided below.

Survey Results: Spring 2015 Faculty Development Day

For the item "My overall satisfaction with today’s program" 84.6% of respondents rated the day as "Excellent" or "Good."

In terms of the new format for the day: "I believe that the time spent discussing content with faculty who teach similar classes was valuable" 85.9% of respondents rated this new format as "Definitely" or "Mostly" valuable.

faculty development day photo

In terms of the new format for the day: "I believe that the time spent discussing content with faculty who teach similar classes was valuable" 85.9% of respondents rated this new format as "Definitely" or "Mostly" valuable.

faculty development day photo

For those that missed our gathering on March 21st, you may be surprised to hear that the agenda for the event was quite different than in past Faculty Development Days. Based on previous feedback we devoted a good portion of the day to class content and planning. During this one and a half hour session faculty members were given the opportunity to meet in small groups with faculty who teach similar courses to discuss what they are doing well, and what they can improve in the classroom in ways that are specific to the course content that they teach. The overwhelming majority of comments seemed to be in favor of this opportunity. For the survey item "What did you learn and what were your takeaways from time devoted to working with faculty who teach similar courses?" faculty reported the following:

faculty development day photo
  • "The valuable resource that our fellow adjuncts can be to each other"
  • "We all seem to share similar concerns. Collectively I think sharing the ideas is very helpful."
  • "As a new instructor I had a lot of doubts regarding myself. The immersion with like-minded individuals and instructors who teach the same course(s) allowed me to confirm that my methods were indeed effective and sound. This was a fantastic meeting set-up and a wish the university offered a similar no-frills "Coffee Shop" style meet-up for faculty members on a monthly or quarterly basis."
  • "Shared best practices, discussed scheduling changes, and we can be a great resource for each other."
  • "I learned that we have similar issues/questions. We were able to brainstorm ways to "fix" those problems. I am a fairly new faculty member and it was so helpful to receive tips, ideas and validation from experienced faculty."
  • "This was extremely informative and beneficial. It helped us make some future plans to collaborate and bring our classes into greater alignment."

Workshop Recap and Resources

Two of our sessions were recorded via Blackboard Collaborate and can be viewed via the following links:

Creating Excitement in the Classroom - 30 tips in 30 minutes Presented by Dr. Bonnie Kirkpatrick, Assistant Professor, Senior Director of Faculty Development and Support.

Engaging the Brain Long After Sundown Presented by Dr. Denise Hollingsworth, Adjunct Faculty.

Our workshop agenda follows below. Some of our presenters have graciously granted us permission to share documents from their sessions. If you have any questions about the material presented or if you are interested in learning more please send an email to facultydevelopment@wilmu.edu.

1- Help! My Students are Falling Asleep presented by Dr. Rachael Rudinoff, Adjunct Faculty. No matter what topic you teach, no matter whether your students are undergraduate or graduate, to enhance learning they must be engaged. To absorb the material, students must actively participate in their learning. We will look at the pacing of a lesson and when to make a change in the structure of it. The presenter will demonstrate a variety of techniques to enhance engagement, and in turn, enhance learning. Resource(s): Student Engagement

2- Reducing Psychological Distance in an Online Course presented by Dr. Leo-Rey Gordon, Assistant Professor, College of Business. Psychological distance (PD) as it relates to student learning describes the extent of a real class/course feel a student gains while pursuing distance education. It has been argued that reducing PD will increase student participation and retention, thus increasing student learning. The workshop describes using Blackboard Collaborate for the delivery of virtual lectures as a method of reducing PD in online courses.

3- How Do you Like them Apples? Adding to our Repertoire of Instructional Techniques presented by C. Josh Simpson, Adjunct Professor, Faculty Development Manager.This workshop will center around an active learning exercise that focuses on increasing the variety of instructional techniques we employ in the classroom. Participants will engage in a game similar to that of Apples to Apples where the goal is to pair a learning outcome with the most creative instructional strategy. By adding some madness to our instructional methods participants will leave the session equipped with new ways of addressing different learning objectives to help keep our students engaged during our class sessions. Resource(s): How do you like them apples - Directions,Objective Cards and Methods Deck

4- Teaching Naked presented by Dr. Rebecca Ghabour, Associate Professor, Regional Chair-Psychology Program. No, it’s not what you think. The term Teaching Naked was coined by Dr. Jose Bowen and relates to the flipped classroom model. The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model which reverses what typically occurs in class and outside of class time. Students are first exposed to the material outside of class (videos, PowerPoint, readings, web searches, etc.) and then class time is used to engage in activities such as problem solving, discussion, and analysis. In this session, the facilitator will guide you through the concept and discuss ways in which you can begin to flip your classroom. Resource(s): Teaching Naked

5- Creating Excitement in the Classroom-30 tips in 30 minutes presented by Dr. Bonnie Kirkpatrick, Assistant Professor, Senior Director of Faculty Development and Support. This workshop session will provide you with a brief overview of active learning and how you can create a classroom that is exciting for both you and your students. This will be a fast-paced presentation that will provide faculty with 30 tips in 30 minutes. The goal is for each faculty member to walk away from the presentation with ideas and activities that be immediately implemented in his/her classroom. Resource(s): Creating Excitement in the Classroom - 30 tips in 30 minutes - Video

6- Building Subject Knowledge through Effective Library Research Assignments presented by Jim McCloskey, Assistant Professor, Library Director. Well-designed course-related library assignments are an effective way to help your students deepen their subject knowledge as well develop information competencies. In this session faculty will be provided with the tools for creating effective library research assignments as well as the tools for assessing information competencies.

7- Writing Expectations for College Students presented by Lara Crowley, Adjunct Faculty.This workshop will provide tips on how to establish clear expectations for student writing and how to communicate these expectations with your students. Topics to be presented include enhancing your course rubrics to better communicate with students, supporting your students’ efforts to improve their writing skills, and communicating discipline specific and course level appropriate student writing expectations. Participants will be able to use the information provided to improve student writing through clearer communication of writing expectations.

8- Streamlining Grading for Writing:Less Work, More Effective Feedback. presented by Matt Whelihan, Assistant Professor, Chair-English Department; Kate Cottle, Assistant Professor, Chair-Literature and Humanities; and Liz Slater, Adjunct Professor. Grading writing can be frustrating and time-consuming for instructors whether or not they have writing backgrounds. Sometimes teachers spend hours giving feedback on papers only to discover students don’t even look at feedback, which can be disheartening for both instructors and students. This workshop will give instructors strategies to counter these feelings of dissatisfaction. These strategies will save time on giving feedback while making the feedback more effective and accessible for students. We will explore what to comment on, how to comment, and what technological tools can be used to save time in giving feedback. Resource(s): Streamlining Grading for Writing

9- Cultural Variation in the Classroom: Instructional Strategies. presented by Adriana Marini Cossetti, Adjunct Faculty. Appreciating and addressing cultural diversity in the classroom goes beyond meeting the needs of international students by creating a more dynamic and productive learning environment for all students, and a more rewarding teaching experience for faculty (Carnegie Mellon, n.d.). This workshop will provide faculty with instructional strategies needed to support a productive learning environment for all students.

10- Formative and Summative Assessment to Improve Learning presented by Dr. Sande Caton, Adjunct Faculty. The workshop will focus on the use of formative assessment (assessment FOR learning) and summative assessment (assessment OF learning). The presenter has successfully used assessment strategies throughout courses and has experienced much higher student learning. The workshop will describe the two types of assessment, how they are used and strategies to use throughout the course. Resource(s): Formative and Summative Assessment

11- Problem-Based Learning presented by Dr. Joseph Crossen, Assistant Professor, Program Chair-Educational Leadership. This workshop will have participants come to a common understanding of Problem-Based Learning and its implications for students. Participants will learn how to make their classes more experience based. As such, participants should come prepared to imbed a problem in their class. By planning experiences for our students that are aimed at their level of readiness through problem based learning we can prepare them for job demands that they have yet to experience.

12- Identifying, Assessing, and Documenting Plagiarism presented by Dr. Anthony Carcillo, Assistant Professor, Chair-Information Assurance and Diane Murphy, Adjunct Faculty. The workshop provides participants with information that will better equip them to find, document and support the charge of plagiarism. It includes tips on how to find plagiarism using SafeAssign, Search Engines (including reverse image search engines), and popular sites that post and sell papers.

13- Engaging the Brain Long After Sundown presented by Dr. Denise Hollingsworth, Adjunct Faculty. Most students are working full-time and carrying a significant course load. They arrive tired and, thus, it is challenging to invigorate their minds and stimulate the desire to learn. Use of 3-4 distinct teaching styles in each class in helps re-engage each student as the hours pass during our seven week courses. This workshop will introduce participants to different strategies to encourage critical thinking, class collaboration, and independence of thought to help keep students engaged with class content long after sundown. Resource(s): Engaging the Brain Long After Sundown

14- Missing the (Grade) Point presented by Dr. Sheila Sharbaugh, Professor, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to review the University’s grading policies and practices, along with the potential pitfalls with grading. Case scenarios will allow participants to discuss best practices of grading. What practices should be followed in order to defend your grades?

15- The Quest for Quality: Defining Academic Quality presented by Dr. Jim Wilson, Professor, Vice President of Academic Affairs. This session will review questions such as: How do other universities define the term academic quality? How is it measured? What are some of the challenges related to quantifying the term, academic quality? During this session, some examples of Wilmington University’s efforts to define academic quality will be presented. As a result of this session, participants will have a better understanding of the many challenges related to defining academic quality in higher education as well as some ways the University is meeting these challenges. Resource(s): Academic Quality

Thank You!

An event this size requires the hard work and dedication of many people. The Faculty Development and Support Department would like to thank everyone who made Our Journey Forward Possible:

  • Our faculty-for your continuing efforts to improve the educational experience our students receive.
  • Our workshop presenters, for your willingness to share your knowledge and expertise with our attendees: Dr. Rachael Rudinoff, Dr. Leo-Rey Gordon, Dr. Rebecca Ghabour, Dr. Bonnie Kirkpatrick, Jim McCloskey, Lara Crowley, Josh Simpson, Matt Whelihan, Kate Cottle, Liz Slater, Adriana Marini Cossetti, Dr. Sande Caton, Dr. Joseph Crossen, Dr. Anthony Carcillo, Diane Murphy, Dr. Denise Hollingsworth, Dr. Sheila Sharbaugh, and Dr. Jim Wilson.
  • The Educational Technology department for making access to Faculty Development Day possible for our online participants: Russ Lichterman, Mary Beth Youse, and Drew Cline.
  • The Classroom Technology department for ensuring all audio and visual equipment functioned properly: Steve Cope, Jay Finney, Dane Strosnider, and Ben Cutler.
  • The Maintenance department for scheduling and configuring classrooms and overflow rooms throughout the day: Jane West, Clarence McManus, Donald Kukawski, Bruce Passalacqua, Jim Dunwoody, and Michael Mundy.
  • The Faculty Senate-Faculty Development Day Committees for helping to organize the day’s theme, presenters, and lunchtime ceremony: Dr. Thelma Hinds, Dr. Olivia Roane, Nora Hufe, Niecy LeBright, Dr. Don Durandetta, Dr. Audrey Parajon, Janice Wardle, Karen Sundquist, Dr. Pat Ramone, Nancy Doody, Dr. Bonnie Kirkpatrick Pam Shukitt, Sherry Wilson, Regina Giannone-Tyler, and Dr. Doreen Palucci.
  • The Faculty Development and Support department for assisting with registration and addressing faculty concerns during the day: Dr. Bonnie Kirkpatrick, Nancy Doody, Nina Campanicki, Josh Simpson, Taquana Woodards, Robin Foraker, Tara Fridley, Barb Quattro, and Patti Winter.

Archived Workshops:

Faculty interested in reviewing our archived Blackboard Collaborate sessions may do so via the links below:

Focused Discussion on our Mission, Vision, and Values; the Middle States Self Study moderated by Dr. Shella Sharbaugh

Focused Discussion on our Mission, Vision, and Values; the Middle States Self Study moderated by Dr. Jim Wilson

Writing Expectations for College Students presented by Lara Crowley

Giving them What they Want: Providing Feedback to Students presented by Kelly Cheeseman

Streamlining Grading for Writing: Less Work, More Effective Feedback presented by Matt Whelihan, Kate Cottle, and Liz Slater

The Rubik's Cube of Learning: Linking Knowledge Construction to the Learner's Time Dimension Scaffolding presented by Dr. Cynthia Sosnowski