Our Guiding Principles
The Faculty Innovation Initiative (now known as just Faculty Innovation) began in the Fall of 2009 as a 'grass roots' effort of Tarleton faculty to create a program for Tarleton faculty by Tarleton faculty. The focused initiative was to provide faculty with expanded support services in the area of teaching innovation. Approved by the Faculty Senate and Academic Affairs, the plan was to house two faculty fellowships to help launch and sustain the initiative. Beginning in the Spring of 2010, Dr. Chris Guthrie and Dr. Kayla Peak joined the effort as the first Faculty Fellows. Since that time our services have grown and we have expanded the number of Faculty Fellows to five. Guiding principles of Faculty Innovation in Teaching initiative are:
- Faculty will determine/drive the value of our services, thus, if it’s not working, we will change it.
- The Center (CII) must remain a place that is trusted by faculty, thus all services will be offered on a voluntary basis.
Faculty Innovation Pillars of Service
- This program is designed for all new faculty, regardless of rank , college, or department. Its purpose is to provide new faculty with the opportunity and space to discuss and reflect on the issues, such as promotion and tenure, which concern them as first-year faculty at Tarleton. To facilitate this goal, the Faculty Fellows and staff of CII will hold an introductory meeting for new faculty at the beginning of each academic year. This initial meeting will be followed by various formal meetings and informal gatherings, as determined by the needs and interests of the new faculty.
- Faculty roundtables are currently held twice each semester and focus on bringing faculty together in an informal and relaxed environment to discuss specific topics that concern them. Open to all faculty at Tarleton regardless of rank, seniority, or discipline, roundtables are devoted to the concept that faculty should be encouraged to learn from each other and gain from the experience and expertise of their colleagues. Topics discussed in the past have included classroom management, the educational use of social networking, and student incivility.
- Faculty learning cohorts are groups of faculty from different backgrounds and disciplines working together to encourage excellence in teaching and learning at Tarleton. The first cohort of faculty began meeting in the Summer of 2011 to take up the challenge of launching Tarleton’s initial Course Redesign project. To date, over 48 faculty have redesigned their courses to increase student engagement, applied learning, and content retention.
- Mentoring is a voluntary service that allows participants to find support and encouragement while discussing, improving, and developing innovative teaching strategies. Faculty Mentors provide observation, evaluation, and mentoring services in a safe and confidential environment. Informal mentoring opportunities may include invitations to attend faculty roundtables and the Excellence in Teaching conference, access to the Teaching Toolkit and resource library, and links to best practices for teaching in the college classroom.
- Faculty members are encouraged to join Tarleton’s vibrant community of teachers and scholars. To facilitate and foster scholarly activity, faculty can collaborate with their peers to conduct action research in an effort to advance the art of teaching through instructional innovation.
- Many opportunities are available for faculty development through the Faculty Innovation in Teaching initiative, including nationally renowned speakers, webinars with cutting-edge educational professionals, assistance in course development with an instructional designer, training sessions related to classroom and teaching technology, and informal gatherings.