Faculty Training and Development: A Method

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This post is provided by guest blogger, Tricia DeFay, graduate student at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, MBA in Health Administration program.

Summary

In Cultivating Online Growth Through Leadership Training, Hall and Williams (2020) discuss how leadership training can help faculty lead their classrooms and take on future leadership roles with confidence. The authors present some key attributes which teachers should possess when pursuing leadership roles:

  • self-awareness
  • visionary, with the ability to articulate it to others
  • effective communicator
  • influential and inspirational
  • display a high level of integrity, honesty
  • ability to analyze and solve problems 
  • be creative

The authors suggest that many of these attributes can be learned and administrative leaders should look to work with faculty to hone these skills. Leaders at Purdue University Global’s Science department introduced a training method whereby brief leadership training sessions were added at the start of monthly faculty meetings. Faculty members were encouraged to choose a discussion topic of interest that could be applied in the classroom or enhance professional growth, e.g., career development, presentation skills, work-life balance, and collaboration. Faculty were then given surveys at the end of the 5-month training period to gauge how effective the training sessions were. The results were generally favorable, with 80% stating that “the training met or exceeded their expectations” (Hall & Williams, 2019, para, 9), in one instance. 

Critique

The article was co-authored by the Academic Chair and Assistant Academic Chair of the Science department at Purdue University Global and published in a peer-reviewed, electronic journal. However, the survey results for the effectiveness of the in-house leadership training method should be taken with caution. The sample, which included 15 participants who taught at Purdue University Global, is small and excluded part-time adjunct faculty. The ability to generalize the survey results is limited. What are some other methods that can be used to help faculty develop their leadership skills?

Reference

Hall, C. S., & Williams, N. (2020). Cultivating online faculty growth through leadership training. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 23(2).

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