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Recipe for Faculty Development

10 ingredients to make your program a success

David Starrett is dean of the School of University Studies and director of the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning and Office of Instructional Technology (CSTL/OIT) at Southeast Missouri State University. He knows faculty development from the ground up; after all, in 1997 he designed and built SMSU’s fledgling program offering the school’s first Teaching Serving Learning institutes. Today, he oversees the development and delivery of faculty development programs, which provide faculty with year-round training, a training lab, a walk-in support lab, and tech support via phone, e-mail, and Web. Starrett has presented more than 100 seminars, workshops, and papers in the areas of faculty development and instructional technology and is a regular Campus Technology contributor. He will present a workshop at Campus Technology 2006 this summer, in Boston. Here, he outlines what’s needed for a successful faculty development program.

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Develop championed objectives and strong leadership

  • Campus buy-in is crucial. Present objectives that can be widely understood.
  • Ask yourself: Do faculty and administrators recognize and accept the leadership of technology proponents?

Make sure program definition is loud and clear!

  • Determine what, specifically, will be offered, when it will be offered, and the format of the sessions.
  • Identify who is being targeted, and understand participants’ experience levels.

Provide adequate facilities and infrastructure

  • Provide a faculty development office, plus training labs and spaces.
  • Follow through with sufficient bandwidth, connectivity, tech-enabled classrooms, and software. (Once they learn it, where will they practice it?)


Put personnel in place

  • Take stock of existing expertise. What personnel need to be added to plan the program or provide training and support?
  • Consider staff, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

Build a budget (no surprise here)

  • Yes, you should budget for faculty development.
  • Provide adequate budget to cover development, delivery, and support of the program.


  • How will faculty learn about opportunities? Publicize the program.
  • Consider both on- and off-campus promotion; reputation is key.

Plan outcomes, share results

  • Ask: What are the desired impacts of the program on the campus, faculty, and students?
  • Communicate anticipated results widely.

Create an assessment strategy

  • Plan from the very beginning precisely how you will evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
  • Determine who needs to receive what, and how you will report your findings.

Don’t forget incentives

  • Think more broadly! The cost of bad decisions as they relate to accountability, competitiveness, and service to students may be the greater institutional expense.
  • Consider one of the deadliest factors: the hidden cost of lost opportunities for revenue or services that were not identified.

Follow up! Don’t forget!

  • Provide continuing support and advanced training opportunities to faculty.
  • Remember, the primary objective in teaching faculty how to support teaching and learning with technology is improved teaching and learning. Keep your eyes on the prize!
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