The arena of faculty development actually consists of three
combinations of all three. This section provides
definitions of each of these terms.
Faculty Development refers to those programs which focus on the
individual faculty member. The most common focus for programs
of this type is the faculty member as a teacher.
Faculty development specialists provide consultation on
teaching, including class organization, evaluation of
students, in-class presentation skills, questioning and all
aspects of design and presentation. They also advise faculty
on other aspects of teacher/student interaction, such as
advising, tutoring, discipline policies and administration.
frequent focus of such programs is the faculty member as a
scholar and professional. These programs offer assistance
in career planning, professional development in scholarly
skills such as grant writing, publishing, committee work,
administrative work, supervisory skills, and a wide range of
other activities expected of faculty.
A third area on
which faculty development programs focus is the faculty
member as a person. This includes wellness management,
interpersonal skills, stress and time management,
assertiveness development and a host of other programs which
address the individual's well-being.
While not all
faculty development programs include all these areas, most of
them have as their philosophy the faculty member as the
driving force behind the institution; therefore, assisting
that person to be as productive as possible will make the
entire institution more productive.
Instructional Development takes a different approach for the improvement of
the institution. These programs have as their focus the
course, the curriculum and student learning. In this
approach, instructors become members of a design or redesign
team, working with instructional design specialists to
identify appropriate course structures and teaching strategies
to achieve the goals of instruction.
Instructional development programs can also examine how a
course fits into the overall departmental and institutional
curriculum; they help define instructional goals and methods
which will maximize learning; they evaluate course
effectiveness in terms of goal achievement; they produce or
evaluate learning materials for use in the course. Many
instructional development programs include a media design
have expanded this focus a bit to include training faculty
members and teaching assistants to perform these functions
themselves. This involves the presentation of workshops on
course design, alternative instructional methods, materials
production, and so on. This expansion also frequently includes
a research component which either studies a variety of
questions about instructional effectiveness or assists faculty
members in conducting their own studies of course methods.
behind these programs is that members of the institution
should work as teams to design the best possible courses
within the restrictions of the resources available.
Organizational Development provides a
third perspective on maximizing institutional effectiveness.
The focus of these programs is the organizational structure
of the institution and its sub components. The philosophy
is that if one can build an organizational structure which
will be efficient and effective in supporting the faculty and
students, the teaching/learning process will naturally thrive.
such programs offer is administrative development for
department chairs, deans and other decision makers. The
reasoning is that these are the individuals who will be making
the policies which affect how courses are taught, how faculty
are hired and promoted, how students are admitted and
graduated. If those policies allow for growth and flexibility
while maintaining standards, the amount of learning which
occurs will increase.
activities include helping sub units understand how curricular
decisions are made how courses are staffed, and other
organizational matters. Do these administrative matters
reflect the mission of the institution? Is it still valid or
should it be changed? What is the change process?
programs deal with personnel issues involving faculty. How are
faculty evaluated and rewarded? How are they prepared for
changes in the institution, including their own retirement?
Where do faculty fit into the overall governance structure of
the institution? What is the effect of unionization,
Thus, it can be
seen that these programs look at interactions within the
institution and how they affect the functioning of the
individual as well as the institution. Then they seek ways of
making those interactions more humane and more effective.
Combinations of the
In reality many programs offer activities in all of these
areas. Each program must define for itself what is appropriate
for the institutional needs and philosophy. There is no magic
formula for what makes a perfect program. In choosing a
program focus appropriate for your institution, consider the
To what extent are faculty accustomed to working
independently? How much interaction among colleagues is there
around the topic of teaching or personal development? How much
do faculty participate in institutional governance on a
regular basis? If faculty are relatively independent
individuals, programs which focus on their needs will best
suit their style. If they frequently work in groups as units,
instructional development will be very successful. If they
regularly participate in governance, they will appreciate
programs in organizational development.
How stable is the institution? How centralized is the
administration? At what stage in its development is it? What
is the relationship of the parts to the whole? In times of
change and growth, instructional and organizational
development programs can be an exciting way to explore new
alternatives and seek solutions to problems. At those times
faculty development programs tend to focus more on helping the
individual cope with change. When the institution is stable,
faculty development helps the individual grow within the
security of that stability.
all, the direction of a program should be that which is
desired by the faculty, supported by the administration and
consistent with the resources. Before choosing a focus for the
program an institution would be well advised to identify the
desired program outcomes, determine what kinds of activities
are likely to bring them about and then decide if the
resources are available to carry out the plan.