New resource aims to fulfill faculty’s higher ed dream, too

Adjunct faculty now have access to services, programs, and community online

adjunct-AFT-facultyThe treatment of contingent faculty in higher education today has not only been called the “corporatization of higher education,” but through increasing exploitation, has also led to a weakening of the university status, the devaluing of education, and the stripping of campus democratic values.

It’s an issue that at its least understood may sound like work gripes, but at its most nuanced understanding could undermine the promise of the American Dream through higher education…not only for faculty, but students as well.

According to data released by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), there are more than 1 million contingent faculty across the country, making up approximately 75 percent of the college teaching workforce. Seven in 10 are part-time, and most lack employer-provided benefits.…Read More

How to flip faculty PD

Flipping helps faculty get more personalized support, provides community

flipped-PD-facultyThe recent focus on flipping courses for students highlights the multiple benefits this method of teaching and learning can provide. However, faculty, otherwise known as perpetual students, can benefit from this method through professional development (PD).

But how do you actually flip PD? In much the same way a professor would flip course material, with a few slight adjustments; for example, in offering IT or other departmental specialists on-hand for expertise and support.

By looking to flipped PD experts, as well as multiple resources on the subject, this article examines why flipping PD is beneficial to educators, especially when learning to implement different education technologies.…Read More

Will faculty be interested in this Microsoft tech?

Only time will tell how the ripple effects of the wave of Microsoft’s Surface 3 cost will settle on higher education campuses

microsoft-surfaceWith the announcement of the Surface Pro 3, one can argue that Microsoft has effectively left the tablet market to the Apple iPad and Android devices, and seeks to create a market as a lightweight laptop replacement.

When Microsoft launched the Surface, it was promoted as a tablet device WITH a keyboard, implying that was an advantage over the iPad. Now that they have seemingly lost that battle to the nemesis from Cupertino, they are marketing the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop WITHOUT a keyboard. What once was an attachable feature is now a detachable one.

The second area where Microsoft has made a shift is in the area of price. The initial price of the Microsoft Surface RT was in the ballpark of the cost of the Apple iPad which was between $400 and $500. This was in line with its declaration of being an “iPad-killer.”…Read More

INFOGRAPHIC: Understanding faculty time

New infographic illustrates the long hours, stress faculty undergo while preparing and grading finals

finals-faculty-exams Everyone’s aware of the long hours students are putting into studying for final exams; yet, a new infographic reveals faculty are working just as hard preparing and grading the exams their students are taking…and the time required is staggering.

The infographic, “Faculty & Finals,” was created by The EDvantage, a free online resource hub for educators, and offers insights into the pressures professors face and the ways they deal with the stress. Data comes from a The EDvantage May 2014 survey conducted with faculty members in U.S. two- and four-year colleges and universities.

Launched in October 2013, The EDvantage curates high-quality resources, including videos, articles, and supplemental learning guides, so instructors can spend less time searching and more time teaching.…Read More

How to support faculty developing online and flipped courses

Virginia Tech rethinks instructional design and faculty development support

support-faculty-onlineIn an ideal world, we would all have custom, personalized support standing at the ready to provide just-in-time response to our need for guidance and support. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could provide this for faculty developing online courses for our institutions?

But we don’t live in an ideal world; we live in a world of increasing demand and limited resources. The reality is that the assistance and support we provide to faculty developing online courses needs to be manageable, scalable, and effective all at the same time.

At Virginia Tech, we recently went through a period of rethinking, redesigning and revising the instructional design and development support we provide to faculty who are developing online, hybrid, and flipped classrooms. The process of review and revision continues – and always will – but the results of our new approach tell us we’re on the right track. I’ve been asked to share the approach so that others can follow us on this path and make it their own.…Read More

Autism gets redefined for profs, campus admin

Recent autism insights give staff, policy new outlook on what it means to be on the spectrum

autism-autistic-university As more people continue to get diagnosed with autism across the U.S., numerous supports are in place…at least in K-12. But as many of these students graduate high school and look toward post-secondary education, has anything changed in how campus staff view autism? How is the autism conversation changing in higher education?

According to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) data on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), about 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism. And though ASD does not stem from one racial, ethnic or socioeconomic group, autism is almost five times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).

Despite this surge in students falling somewhere on the autism spectrum, little has changed, at least in campus support, since 1973 with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that colleges and universities comply with the Act’s mandates.…Read More

Just how popular is social media among faculty and admin?

Social media is a staple for college students, but is it also gaining popularity with faculty and administration?

social-media-facultyAccording to recent higher education reports, social media isn’t just for the young folk anymore—it’s quickly rising in popularity among academics for two main reasons.

The first reason why Facebook and Twitter use is rising among faculty and administration is to engage alumni and prospective students.

According to a report by Best Colleges Online, higher education institutions use social media to engage alumni (83 percent), maintain their image and brand awareness (77 percent), and promote student recruitment (38 percent).…Read More

Understanding the lack of women in STEM faculty

New report sheds light on why women get less faculty appointments at research institutions

women-STEM-facultyAs women entering STEM fields and later receiving their Ph.D.’s increases, a new report reveals that though women Ph.D.’s are likelier to start their careers in academia, their male peers get more of the faculty appointments at research institutions; leading to the question: “Why?”

According to a new analysis by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), “Early Academic Career Pathways in STEM: Do gender and family status matter?” gender and family may have a large effect on new graduates’ careers. The paper also notes that being married or having young children looks to be a disadvantage in securing a position at a research institution for both men and women.

The analyses were conducted using 2009 and 2010 data from the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), and included the most recent years of data available. The sample is limited to U.S. citizens and includes 27,724 respondents.…Read More