Dunwoody College of Technology offers faculty a number of resources to aid in their development both as educators and as technicians. Faculty instructional development is coordinated and provided by the Faculty Development Program.
The Faculty Development Program is intended to inspire and support effective teaching practices. Effective instruction at Dunwoody:
- Relies on current, evidence-based pedagogical/andragogical methods to engage students intellectually, scaffold learning, and to cultivate the metacognitive processes and intellectual habits of the experts in the field.
- Establishes a productive, equitable course climate in which the presence of each student is acknowledged and valued such that the trust, community, and belonging that precedes the change required for learning energizes students to reach their full potential.
- Practices accountability and purposefulness by aligning learning activities, instructional materials, and course tools with students’ achievement of the stated learning outcomes; providing explicit and transparent criteria for successful achievement and timely, goal-oriented feedback; and by adhering to the qualification standards, policies, and best practices set forth by stakeholders.
- Embodies the mission of the College by integrating authentic and relevant activities, materials, and tools that prepare students for a professional practice; by encouraging inquiry, collaboration, and mutual support to foster divergent thinking and a broader perspective; and by modeling the mindset, discipline-specific thought processes, and reflection needed to solve important problems.
Program Mission & Goals
The Faculty Development Program advances Dunwoody’s dedication to preparing high-quality graduates to engage in “the better performance of life’s duties” by providing all faculty members with a framework that fosters a culture of innovation, supports continuous improvement, and affords opportunities for reflection.
As a result, instructors will be able to:
- Strengthen their instructional capacity through growth in knowledge, application, and reflective practice
- Make choices about content, delivery, and evaluation based on evidence-based best practices for effective instruction and student learning
- Formulate an identity about themselves as an educator that informs their short- and long-term professional goals, classroom policy, and educational philosophy
At the center of the Program is the Instruction Collaborative (formerly the Faculty Development Advisory Committee). As a sub-committee of the College’s Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CIA) Committee, the Instruction Collaborative is charged with responsibilities related to advising the planning, delivery, and evaluation of the faculty development program. The group provides insight, feedback, and guidance to the Center for Innovation in Technical Education on the policies and activities that permit the faculty development program to fulfill its mission.
Details about the structure, membership, activities, and procedures are included in the Instruction Collaborative charter, which is updated regularly and posted on the Faculty Development SharePoint site.
Activities & Topics
The Faculty Development Program adheres to the same Dunwoody model of authentic, applied, and collaborative learning to translate a passion for the field into students’ success. To meet as many schedules and needs as possible, we offer program activities are flexible and utilize the full menu of resources and services available. Faculty can find activities that are:
- in-person, online, and/or blended
- asynchronously and synchronously
- just-in-time and thematic topics
- on-demand, regularly scheduled, and by request
- individualized and in small and large cohorts
Topics covered in these activities are related to current issues and interests, as informed by several stakeholders and measures. Notice of activities and topics will be given in the Dunwoody Observer e-mail newsletter, Dunwoody Dates Outlook calendar, and the Faculty Development SharePoint site. Dunwoody credentials are required to access the SharePoint site.
The activities offered by the Faculty Development Program contribute to a yearlong, continuous effort toward improving instruction. These include:
New Faculty Orientation
New Faculty Orientation prepares new faculty members for their first year of teaching. Orientation consists of four self-paced modules delivered through the College’s LMS, Canvas. Modules are done in phases throughout the first year to match what instructors need to do during that phase.
Adjunct instructors complete the first module in New Faculty Orientation. Modules 2-4 are optional.
Topics covered include:
Getting to know your students
Creating a productive, inclusive learning environment
Instructional techniques for effective learning
Assessing and providing feedback
Reflecting on your practice
signature faculty development Events
At key points in the academic calendar, Dunwoody holds all- or multi-day signature events. These provide opportunities for faculty to collaborate and learn from each other; explore new ideas and strategies; receive administrative updates; and reflect on experiences and goals together.
Signature events are typically conference-style events, and can include:
live and recorded breakout sessions
deep-dive working sessions
meet ‘n’ greets and open forums
assessment planning and reflection
Monthly Faculty Development Sessions
Each month during the academic year, the Faculty Development Program hosts a faculty development session. These sessions take many forms and focus on a high-interest, current topic related to classroom instruction.
Most sessions are held in a hybrid environment. Faculty can find session links and materials, including a recording of the session (as appropriate) and resources to supplement and extend learning, on the session page on the Faculty Development SharePoint site.
To promote innovative instruction and collaboration between faculty members, the Program supports and facilitates faculty cohorts. Faculty cohorts are learning communities of 3+ faculty from within or across disciplines who meet regularly over the course of a semester or year to engage in self-directed study about a teaching-related topic. A faculty cohort may focus on a particular area of interest or project (i.e., increasing cross-departmental collaboration), or a particular cohort (i.e., new instructors).
At Dunwoody, teaching observations act as one component of a more holistic peer review process. Schools and departments may have their own policies or practices regarding this process, and CITE is available to perform and/or provide support for teaching observations when requested.
CITE uses a collaborative model of teaching observations, wherein observations are made between peer instructors and within a culture of continuous improvement. The process for teaching observations includes four steps: a pre-observation meeting, the in-class observation, a post-observation debriefing, and then individual reflections. Such a recursive process reinforces its formative purpose and provides an opportunity to maximize the learning gained from the observation.
Since teaching observations can be applied to a number of situations, the frequency and timing of observations depends on the purpose of the observation.
Faculty can connect with the Faculty Development program to schedule an individual or small group working session to:
- Ask a Canvas question
- Discuss learning activity ideas
- Get support for assessment of student learning
- Strengthen your syllabus
Faculty have access to support and resources from other areas of the College:
- Instructional Strategies in Virtual Classrooms course from EdTech
- Support and resources to help you manage your classes and share information from Dunwoody IT including the Faculty IT Resources course (requires Dunwoody login)
- Resources and services from the Newkirk Learning Commons, including a collection of physical and ebooks, journals, and other media related to teaching and a Faculty Development Libguide
- Collaboration with Career Services for support with activities like scheduling speaking opportunities in classrooms for career preparation
- Publications sharing campus-related events and updates, such as the Dunwoody Observer, the Dunwoody news blog, and the Dunwoody Dates shared calendar on Outlook
Faculty Technical Development
Technical development opportunities are available for faculty through Human Resources and in coordination with department managers. These opportunities consist of a number of activities for the purpose of developing a faculty member’s effectiveness as a professional representative of his/her respective field, including developing content-area expertise.
Faculty will set a technical development plan in addition to an instructional development plan as part of yearly expectations. With their managers, faculty will determine appropriate professional development activities that serve the individual’s goal(s) for the upcoming year. Managers can then work with individual faculty members to coordinate resources and support for such activities to be fulfilled.
A variety of print resources are available in the Learning Resource Center to inform and update faculty and their practice. Electronic resources, such as academic journals and an ebook collection, are available through the EBSCOHost database, accessed through the Learning Resource Center. Faculty are encouraged to work with their managers to request resources of more specific nature.
Dunwoody encourages faculty to participate in activities that promote their abilities as content-area experts. Faculty should work with their managers to arrange, budget, and plan for these activities accordingly.
Dunwoody encourages faculty to seek out and realize opportunities to gain additional experience in their fields in order to maintain technical competence. These include professional organization memberships, continuing education as necessitated by industry licensure or certification and/or work in industry. Faculty should work with their managers to arrange for these opportunities.
Conferences & Field Trips
Faculty are encouraged to keep current in their field of study by traveling to and participating in industry tours, site visits, museum visits, conferences and seminars.