Businessy language or not, I think continuous improvement leading to increases in quality are where we are at.
It has crossed my mind that a nationally developed collection of "lesson plans" and notes and resources for topics we address in teaching and learning centres would be awesome. They would need to be open to all of us (not copyright restricted) and changes to the materials to suit the specific institutional situations would need to be allowed. I think this approach would help encourge consistency and high standards and also save huge amounts of time as each educational developer is not having to start at the beginning and build material.
As we develop new lesson plans for the same topics or new topics, we could add them to the lesson plan bank.
Is that too perscriptive?
I ask myself - what problem is this initiative trying to solve? Answering that question then moves me to understanding what a solution (or solutions) might look like. Then I consider who might implement such a solution(s). If faculty development officers (which is short hand for the many titles for such positions) are the ones, then I believe treading carefully is called for.
There's a lot of "teaching in higher education sucks" rhetoric "out there" without the evidence to back it up. Who are the "good teachers" - whether one subscribes to language of effective or language of excellent - and what is good about them? Can a list of desirable outcomes flow from such an investigation?
I sense the development of a mechanistic approach to a practice that is very un-mechanistic (unless one counts mapping out a course outline someone else can read and understand). Someone who facilitates learning would have a much different sense of standards than someone who is teacher-centred and transmits knowledge much of the time.
Yes, indeed, I (we?) have all been the victims of poor teaching. Some of this poor teaching was at the hands of highly credentialled teachers (I'm thinking of the elementary and secondary systems as well as certified educators in higher and adult education) who had the stamp of authority from their educational institutions all over them and everything they did. They were still poor teachers. I also have been lucky enough to be in learning environments with gifted and effective educators, who were good in their own ways.
As a faculty member and someone who cares deeply about teaching, the last thing I want is someone telling me what consistent national standards are unless I've had a full opportunity to be a voice in such a development. The language of business seeps into the language of learning, and I find that troubling. Sometimes - to wildly mix metaphors here - the person up on deck looking for the life boats is the one who ran us into the ice berg in the first place ... and the one "resisting change" is not hunkered down having a nap but more likely - like Scotty in Star Trek - trying to keep the engines running.
The last time I was at the UK conference of SCUTREA, the adult educators association in the UK, I heard quite a bit that was interesting about the UK initiatives to have a credential of higher education, and a fair amount of critique. I'd appreciate hearing some of those voices. Is this conversation open to some of those folk who are affected by the implementation of such a credential Vivian is talking about?
The prescriptive-ness that Alice, Rosalie and Barb all discuss is central to how we go about support the HE teachers. The notion of lesson plans in HE would be frowned upon here in the UK I am sure. However, the Higher Education Academy has gathered a huge number of teaching resource in a wide variety of subjects, and these can be used by anyone to support their teaching - see the Subject Cetres at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/networks/subjectcentres
I'll also attach a one-page document which describes the learning outcomes of the first required course on our LTHE program. You can see that the learning outcomes are very general, yet for our second course (sorry, I can't seem to attach 2 documents to the same posting) we have a separate course for lecturers in the creative disciplines such as architecture, dance and fine arts - we found that the standard set of learning outcomes was too narrow for the creative domains.
I'm attaching a one-page document which describes the learning outcomes for our second course, the Developing Professional Practice: Supporting Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. For creative disciplines, we have a separate, but similar course, with slightly differenct learning outcomes, Develoing Professional Practice in the Arts.
I'd be interested in knowing how applicable (or not) these attached learning outcomes would be in a Canadian or American context. See also the sheet I attached to my last posting.
(Edited by Sylvia Currie - original submission Monday, 9 March 2009, 08:56 PM. Fixed link)
Thanks for this project module assessment rubric. I like the expectations in the (left) column however, I think that the "pass-fail" approach reinforces a paradigm that may not "fit" for all.
What happens if someone "fails"?