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Faculty Development Toward a Learning College: A Successful Story

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 18, 2008
Faculty Development Toward a Learning College: A Successful Story


Guide Description:
Discover how a business woman became a tenured faculty member and Chair of the faculty development committee and implemented with passion and with her team,  a five-year strategy to move faculty toward learner-centered classrooms and workforce preparation. The key to success was “peer mentoring” to educate colleagues in learner-centered strategies.


Full Description:  

The faculty development committee at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California went through a four-year action science-based evaluation of faculty development toward a learning college.  At the same time, the Chair of the Faculty Development Committee conducted research while working on her dissertation titled: Faculty Development Toward a Learning College: Peer Mentoring and Critical Reflection on Learner-Centered Teaching Techniques.  Another faculty member, also working on his PhD, conducted research on student response to learner-centered versus teacher-centered classroom instruction. Both found significant results in their qualitative and quantitative data. 


The uniqueness of this presentation is the strong tie between problem-based learning and learner-centered classrooms to the preparation of students for 21st century employment.  The model used at this college also helped faculty incorporate “workplace skills” into higher education curriculum, such as flexibility, team decision making, problem solving, leadership, goal setting, and managing change.


The real value-add is the experience of the presenter - a business woman recruited from the business sector (companies include Hewlett-Packard, Electric Lightwave, and Executive Forum) to implement a Continuing Education and Workforce Development program as a tenured faculty member.  She discovered “the land of 1000 ‘no’s’” when it came to moving toward learner-centered classrooms and work preparation skills.  The true story is the strategy she used to influence change.


Handouts will include journal articles written on the subject by Dr. Wendy Flint and faculty survey tools.  Participants will have access to her book Problem-based Learning: Welcome to the Real World, course syllabi designed around student learning outcomes, problem-based learning, and workplace skills.  A PowerPoint will be used along with one interactive activity.


Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate the use of action science research as a method of quality assurance and improvement for faculty development
  • Plan future workshops for faculty that give practical instruction on implementing workplace skills into existing course outlines and curriculum
  • Develop a strategy to move faculty toward learner-centered classrooms using a diverse committee
  • Discover what works and what doesn’t work when influencing faculty

Dr. Wendy Flint, Senior Vice President, Boston Reed College, CA

Tags:  Faculty Development 

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