Sample Faculty Development Plans
As part of the Critical Thinking through Writing Template, majors are asked to provide a description of their respective CTW faculty development plans. The following plans are examples of good submissions.
Both AH 3000 and AH 4990 will be taught on a rotating basis by full-time faculty. The initial training of faculty will occur as needed between individuals and the CTW ambassador, preferably no earlier than one semester before the course is taught. During the training meeting, the ambassador will review the proposed CTW assignments with individual faculty members. A follow-up meeting will also take place at the end of the semester. During the follow-up meeting, the individual(s) and the ambassador will assess the value of the CTW assignments and identify "best practices." The ambassador will record and relay this information to the next group of faculty.
The Art Education courses are taught by two faculty members. An initial training session with the ambassador will take place early in fall 2009. At the end of each semester the AE faculty will meet independently to determine "best practices" and relay this information to the ambassador.
Currently, we are planning to have a two-pronged approach. First, we will have faculty members attend a two-hour workshop where they well get information about the philosophy and approaches of the CTW program. In addition, they will learn about the specific CTW courses in biology and their formats and example assignments. Finally, the assessment methods will be discussed.
The second part of the plan is to develop a detailed website with links, sample assignments, samples of student work, rubrics, and assessments. We will also develop an FAQ page and probably add other resources once we identify what will help the faculty the best.
The training of CTW faculty in the Film major is folded into the ongoing evaluation process. The faculty who are teaching CTW courses in a given semester will meet at the end of the semester to read sample papers, to evaluate how effective that semester's CTW instruction has been in bettering our students' writing and critical thinking, and to create a set of recommendations for improving the CTW instruction in the future. Faculty who will be teaching CTW courses in the following semester will also attend this meeting, read the papers, and listen to the discussion. In addition, the current semester's CTW faculty will discuss their "best practices," and the CTW ambassador will update a file detailing these practices, which will over time build a program-specific set of strategies for helping students with their writing and critical thinking about film.
The Department of Religious Studies will offer its first CTW classes during the 2009-2010 academic year. During the 2008-2009 academic year, all full-time Religious Studies faculty members will take part in two 90-minute training sessions on CTW, led by the departmental CTW ambassador. We will discuss effective CTW assignments for assessing how well students can think critically, the approved CTW template for Religious Studies courses and its implementation, and procedures for the collection of CTW data, among other issues. At least during this coming year, all fulltime faculty members will be included in the two training sessions both to afford the greatest amount of flexibility in assigning courses in 2009-2010 and to promote a departmental-wide understanding of the CTW initiative. Because there is such a strong affinity between the goals of CTW and those of the department in general, the hope and expectation is that some of the lessons and models emerging from our CTW efforts will be integrated into non-CTW courses in the department on a voluntary basis.
There are two aspects to our faculty development plans. Because we are a small department, we have the same two people teach all the CTW courses, at least for now, and I am one of them. In order to ensure cooperation, I am planning to meet with Dr. Megan Sinnott throughout the summer in order to collaboratively develop assessment procedures. We will then present these procedures to the core faculty, since they will also participate in the revisions called for through the assessment process.