Teaching and Learning Excellence

In 2012, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development conducted a broad assessment of higher education, and the authors stated, “[l]earning outcomes are indeed key to a meaningful education, and focusing on learning outcomes is essential to inform diagnosis and improve teaching processes and student learning” (Tremblay, et al., 2012 p.9).  Moreover, research indicates that sustained formal and informal faculty development increases teaching quality (Condon et al., 2015). The bullet points below illustrate building blocks, rational, and tactical operations in support of this strategic goal.

Support a diverse array of faculty in designing and teaching programs and courses that promote: 1) comprehensive exploration of a subject through clear learning outcomes, 2) valid assessment of those outcomes, 3) appropriately rigorous content, 4) activities and assignments that actively engage students in the learning process, and 5) the use of tools and strategies that apply and expand new skills and knowledge.

CAES Strategic Plan
  • We seek to do this by building upon the academic structures required to support the outstanding work of the NYUSPS faculty.
  • Specific tactical operations include carefully designed onboarding of all new faculty and mentor programs for early-career faculty to encourage expert-in- field to expert-in-classroom development.
  • To measure impact, we will analyze multiple forms of teaching and design evaluations that build upon current efforts, including mid- and end-of- term teaching and course evaluations, peer-to- peer teaching observations, faculty feedback and reflections, and LMS adoption and ease of use surveys based upon the Technology Acceptance Model, to provide the basis for new and continued development programs.
  • In order to support school-wide initiatives, CAES will provide processes for data collection, analytics, and recommendations for teaching and learning initiatives.
  • These strategies further build upon and develop comprehensive intrinsic reward structures to encourage increased CAES participation and utilization.

 

Advanced Curricular Design

The discipline of instructional design is concerned with prescribing optimal methods of instruction to bring about and measure changes in student knowledge, skills, and thinking (Reigeluch, 1984. p. 4). It includes the entire process of analyzing learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. Instructional design also includes designing instructional materials and activities and evaluating student learning within a collaborative that involves faculty, industry, and other key School stakeholders (Reiser, 2001). In support of evidence-based instruction it is also important to keep the following best practices in mind:

  • It is an iterative integration of innovative curriculum delivered in experiential and dynamic environments utilizing technology to heighten mastery of professional and lifelong learning performances.
  • In order to develop a shared vision and optimal learning environment, instructional designers can work more effectively when they take the role of a consultant for faculty members (Bean, 2014).
  • As online learning can require enhanced design, expertise and development, instructional designers can support and be agents of positive educational change (Tracey, et. al., 2014).
  • Instructional design should encourage incorporation of NYUSPS tutoring, library, advising and other services into the learning environment (Fyle et. al., 2012).
  • Outcome-based models of design allow students, faculty, and administrators to organize and measure learning.
  • It should integrate problem- and inquiry-based learning into courses for theory-to-practice real world application and include cascading and diverse assessments for multiple learning styles.
  • Tactical operations should include incorporation of design models, such as ADDIE or SAM, with workshops, templates, toolkits, and sample curricula to encourage and support advanced design.
  • Intentional design can support innovative, experiential, and intensive field experiences and bridge the artificial gap between the classroom and industry.
  • Empowering faculty to conduct robust curriculum evaluation can improve student learning through informed redesign.

 

 

 

Technology Adoption

When implemented appropriately, emerged and emerging technologies can accelerate learning and provide support for pedagogically sound teaching strategies (Ouelett, 2010). Educational enhancements can and should happen in all modalities, including face-to- face. Moreover, while “[l]earning management systems are not pedagogically neutral technologies, but rather, through their very design, they influence and design teaching…they work to shape and even define teachers’ imaginations, expectations, and behaviors” (Coates et. al., 2005, p. 5). The most effective LMS system will fail to increase quality if it is not adopted; working closely with faculty is key to LMS integration.

Recommendations to advance emerged and emerging technologies include:

  • Education and adoption of interactive, engaging, and experiential educational technologies into all modalities, including effective videos, dynamic presentations and feedback tools, robust and critical discussion tools, gaming, multimedia, and interactive syllabi with samples and demonstrations.
  • Emphasizing that LMS teaching and learning tools are indicative of best practices in support of learning and should be utilized to foster quality.
  • Having particular focus on building vibrant, robust, and pedagogically sound online learning environments that increase access, equality, and support SPS growth.
  • Researching and piloting emerging technologies that will further distinguish and enhance SPS reputation, including virtual reality, Captivate and Articulate
  • Collecting valid LMS data analytics to further evaluate teaching and student behaviors in order to identify strengths and weaknesses for optimal learning environments.

 

Data-Informed Decisions

Many universities are data rich and evidence poor (Kuh, et. al., 2015). This goal to operationalize data-informed decision making should be directly aligned with the overall mission and reflect efforts to work across the School to determine available learning analytics, and combine with additional types of data, including, reflections, and feedback, and scale the use of analytics to inform quality teaching and provide evidence of student learning outcomes.

  • Data can make learning explicit with demonstrable evidence through multi-method evaluations.
  • Multiple forms of student learning assessments can provide valid triangulation.
  • Teaching evaluations and in-depth self-reflections can increase teaching performances.
  • Student Reflections of Learning provide valid data and informal and formal development opportunities.
  • CAES utilizes NYU and SPS survey tools to customize support and programming and measure its own impact on teaching and learning.
  • Our overall goal is to support closing the loop of continuous improvement.

 

Scholarship

Scholarship of teaching and learning is the use of evidence to catalyze impactful design,
teaching, technology, and support. The greatest impact for success is based upon evidence
generated from the very university that will utilize it to increase learning (Kuh et. a., 2015).

  • CAES seeks to encourage and advance scholarship of teaching and learning through a community of practice that is supportive and relevant for all faculties.
  • We hope to encourage and bring to the forefront faculty’s work as teaching and learning scholar-practitioners, recognize, and encourage this form of higher education scholarship on our website, during events, in white papers and publications.
  • Recognizing teaching scholars as SPS Fellows, for instance, can advance scholarly communities and encourage excellence.
  • Holding Teaching and Learning (T & L) events that focus on SPS classroom excellence and/or provide a forum for large-scale T & L events.

 

Global Communities of Support Practice

As facilitators and coalition builders, CAES seeks to build on current domestic communities of practice to share and advance SPS goals and increase CAES support and dissemination of best practices and faculty innovations. We seek to:

  • Foster an environment of support and sharing of best practices.
  • Design and implement a mentor program for early career faculty.
  • Build an international community of scholarly practice and support to provide essential tools necessary to advance scholarship.
  • Continue to utilize SPS and CAES liaisons to strengthen feedback in a continual loop of CAES performance improvement.
  • Build a CAES Advisory Board to increase communications, generate and facilitate ideas, and support pilot programs.

 

Faculty Development and School-Wide Events

As a central CAES role, we seek to encourage Department leadership to support CAES goals and build upon current success and coalitions to disseminate knowledge and facilitate participation. Programming and support will be based upon SPS goals and foster an environment of quality, collegiality and collaboration. Content will be based upon sound research-based practices and include instructional design, educational technologies and teaching strategies in all modalities Within these principles, our operational goals include:

  • Developing our industry experts to be highly effective facilitators of learning.
  • Designing an outcome based onboarding program that includes policy process, and effective teaching and design strategies.
  • Facilitating the sharing of scholarship and best practices at events.
  • Utilizing social media, including the new CAES website, blogs, webinars, and live streamed events, to educate faculty about the teaching and learning sciences and the roles of instructional designers and teaching experts and to broaden impact and enhance reputation.
  • Providing intrinsic motivation and inspiration necessary for advanced faculty development participation through a variety of credentials and rewards.
  • Planning a School-wide Teaching Excellence event that honors our teaching excellence award winners and provides dynamic learning opportunities for participants through expert panel discussions and presentations.

 

Administrative Excellence

Our administrative team serves in a variety of roles that support all of the CAES strategic pillars. The team’s responsibilities must be steadfast, organized, and professional while maintaining flexibility that fosters innovation. The team’s operational tactics include:

  • Initiate and measure operational changes that result in continuous improvement to CAES services, communications, and faculty satisfaction.
  • Coordinate and centralize faculty communications to enhance teaching and learning
  • Promote strategic and efficient use of CAES resource
  • Provide data collection and analysis
  • Deliver administrative and technical services that foster faculty access and student success

 

References