Using a Blog to Support Faculty Development

Author Information
Author(s): 
Dori Digenti
Author(s): 
Berkshire Community College
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Berkshire Community College
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

The Center for Teaching and Learning at BCC has developed a Wordpress blog to support faculty development. The Blog serves as a newsletter, resource clearinghouse, and archive for the Center's activities. Postings include summaries of events, links to articles of interest, video clips of workshops, calls for proposals, and professional development opportunities. The blog is searchable by tag, category, or search. All postings include a Share This button, and the blog is available through RSS. The choice to use a public blog was made intentionally to both invite in outside feedback, and to promote the accomplishments and activities of BCC faculty and staff. Faculty and staff are increasingly referring to the blog for announcements and news. Links to googledocs for registration, and surveymonkey for workshop evaluations are promoted through the blog. The blog is linked from the campus website, and has proven to be a lively, interactive, and importantly low-cost solution for communication.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 
The blog facilitates rapid online communication to faculty and staff, providing broad access to information, knowledge, events, and feedback.
Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 
The blog was started in January 2008 and has received over 2500 page views Analysis of usage reveals that faculty and staff increasingly rely on the blog for registration, evaluation, and news Faculty development professionals at other community colleges have asked for information about the blog
How does this practice relate to pillars?: 
Faculty satisfaction - they have easy access to information that supports effective teaching Learning effectiveness - faculty and staff can increase their knowledge of key topics Cost effectiveness - the blog and supporting services are based on free Internet software
Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 
Computer and Internet access
Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 
Staff time - about 3 hours per week to maintain and enhance the blog
References, supporting documents: 
http://www.berkshirecc.edu
Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Dori Digenti
Email this contact: 
ddigenti@berkshirecc.edu