TAKING A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO SUPPORTING FACULTY IN TRANSFORMING TEACHING AND LEARNING
InTeGrate developed a systems approach to facilitate transformative change in the way undergraduates learn about Earth. Our approach includes supporting teams of faculty to develop and test new materials, reviewing work against a rubric, offering frequent feedback and professional development, facilitating research on the effectiveness of the new materials, and structuring reflections on the development process. Faculty who have participated in our collaborative materials development process report an increased interest in transforming other courses and are more inclined to work with colleagues to do so; observation protocols, surveys, and interviews with authors indicate a shift towards more student-centered teaching practices and beliefs.
We also communicate directly with authors’ institutions about the quality and value of their work. When materials are published, a letter is sent to chairs and/or deans recognizing the accomplishment of the author and equating it to a peer-reviewed journal article. In addition, we announce publications through press releases and help authors work with their own PR offices.
Different strategies are required to support adoption and adaption of materials beyond the original authors. While materials were designed to be modular to allow instructors to customize their use to meet the needs of their classes, some potential adopters report challenges in fitting the materials into a standard course. A key solution is local professional development through respected leaders who know the local system, the research on learning, and the new materials.
While InTeGrate will no longer financially support individual faculty in course transformation, our strategies and resources can be accessed, adapted, adopted: rubric-based curriculum development, structured collaboration with colleagues within and beyond a department and institution, targeted professional development that allows faculty to envision their transformed course, and stories from like-minded colleagues about how they implemented change.