Debora Sasso Herold, Ph.D., IUPUI Faculty Fellow, Office of Academic Affairs
I began my fellowship with the Office of Academic Affairs in January 2017 and have found it to be an incredibly valuable professional development experience. My one-year charge was to collaborate with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) to review and implement suggestions made by the Faculty Development and Center for Teaching and Learning Task Force. The Task Force conducted a detailed review of the CTL in fall 2016 and provided a list of recommendations on how the campus should rethink faculty professional development in the areas of teaching and learning and how the CTL might refine their role in as a resource for faculty.
In collaboration with other members of the CTL Implementation Team (Terri Tarr, Etta Ward, Silvia Bigatti, Margie Ferguson, John Gosney, Douglas Jerolimov, and Randy Newbrough), I have spent the past nine months determining how best to enact the recommendations made by the Task Force. In this blog post, I will share information regarding the space redesign in the CTL and the establishment of the Forum Fellow and CTL liaison positions.
Space Redesign in the CTL and the Forum
The space subcommittee of the implementation team developed a vision for a new space to be known as the Forum. The mission of the Forum will be to support learning, instruction, leadership, and innovation at IUPUI by fostering faculty collaboration across units, cultivating community, and advancing a scholarly approach to teaching and learning. The Forum will occupy a space adjacent to the CTL and be open to faculty for access during library hours through card swipe access. Glass walls, pendant lighting, and a comfortable coffeehouse ambiance will create a warm, welcoming environment to encourage informal interaction and collaboration.
In addition to space dedicated to the Forum, the team also created a plan for how the CTL might be reconfigured to better meet the needs of faculty. The new space will consist of multiple areas for collaboration as well as individual consultations. The goal was to design an innovative space that encourages creative thinking. We have met with the architect’s office and designers who are in the process of turning these visions into a workable design with the goal of beginning construction before the end of the year.
Forum Fellows and CTL Liaisons
In September 2017, a call was put out to faculty for the inaugural cohort of Forum Fellows. The purpose of the Forum Fellow position is to generate a greater sense of community among faculty on campus, to support professional development in areas that intersect with teaching (e.g., mentoring, multicultural competency) and to encourage innovation in teaching and SOTL scholarship. Some examples of potential Fellow projects include:
- identifying emerging questions in teaching and learning and proposing, developing, and initiating workable solutions
- supporting faculty development and SOTL research related to the planned Institute for Engaged Learning (e.g., capstone experiences, course-based undergraduate research experiences, experiences with diversity, and the use of e-portfolios to promote integrative learning and to support structured reflection)
- supporting the design and implementation of signature assignments
- supporting adoption and research on transparent assignments
- creating opportunities for faculty interaction in the Forum
- supporting the improvement of courses and curricula through authentic forms of assessing student learning
- aligning research, teaching, and learning with community engagement in support of IUPUI institutional values
To help create a bridge between the CTL and departments across campus, the CTL is seeking a cohort of CTL Liaisons. These individuals will help communicate relevant announcements regarding CTL events to their home school/department and keep CTL apprised of specific teaching and learning needs of the school/department. They will also help update the CTL on faculty teaching accomplishments that the CTL can showcase for the benefit of faculty throughout the university.
I am looking forward to continuing my work with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Center for Teaching and Learning through the end of 2017. Look for another blog post toward the end of the year with an update on these projects.