As part of the faculty-development services at Cuyahoga Community College, the Academic Excellence Centers produce two to three one-page flyers each semester called the Approaches to Teaching & Learning series, addressing pedagogical approaches, often including new technologies, to briefly introduce faculty to new methods and tools to use in online, blended, and seat-based instruction. The flyers are distributed through email, on our blog, and from links in our campus portal. Flyer topics can become subjects for more in-depth workshops that are conducted face-to-face or in live and recorded webinars.
This series of one-page documents remind faculty that the AECs exist not only for training in the how-to of using technology, but also to advise on the pedagogical why. Each document answers these three questions: (1) what is it? (2) what does it look like in practice? and (3) how does such a method fit into my course? A few links to further reading on the subject, either to online resources or articles from journals, give faculty a chance to engage the material more deeply. The one-page design was developed to address new tools and teaching methods in a format appealing to our busy instructor population. There have been ten topics covered to date:
Based on informal feedback from faculty, some topics have grown into full workshops where subject matter can be explored in depth and with hands-on participation, and more are planned. The path from flyer to workshop is being implemented as a core component of further development of the flyer topics.
Such flyers could be created as pre-workshop documents for already planned and developed workshop topics to engage faculty beforehand and create more interest in workshops.
What began as an attempt at offering variety of instruction has grown into a core component of our offerings and our relationship with faculty.
To date, we have received only informal feedback from faculty who read the flyers in any of the spaces where they are distributed, and that feedback drives our development of workshops. Previously, we only distributed surveys for our LMS workshops, because they were required of faculty, but we plan to develop and distribute similar surveys to complement the workshops that grow from these flyer topics to see if there is a connection between the flyers and workshop attendance.
As part of our faculty development practices, these flyers support faculty interest in new teaching and learning methods, and consequently support better learning experiences for our students. Even in faculty development, student success is our end goal.
We create the documents initially in Microsoft Publisher for its ability to create attractive email delivery. To distribute the documents on the Web, they are uploaded to Scribd, from which we link or embed them in blogs and on our Facebook page. Links to the documents have moved to the author's personal blog and portfolio, listed below.