Teaching is my favorite part of my job—hands down. Yet, working in faculty development, there are significant logistical considerations that must be addressed every time I want to experience the joy of teaching. Over the last few years I’ve streamlined my approach to the logistics that precede my teaching engagements on campus. This is an overview of my process.
A phenomenal training typically starts as an undeveloped idea, originating from conversations with faculty, personal reflections, professional requirements, etc. As I start to refine prospective ideas, I balance the pedagogical requirements of the content with the commitment time and energy, etc. For example, when I was developing GOBLIN, that training started with the single questions: “What do games have to teach us about learning?” Since I gravitate toward experiential pedagogies, what better way to answer this question than explore learning while playing a game.
Another aspect of planning involves determining what type of training best suites the learning. At CTE we offer a wide variety of trainings from one-off workshops and longer workshop series to bootcamps and faculty learning communities. Not to mention reading circles, sprints, special event, etc.
After I finalize the content and scope/scale of the training I decide on the best location for the type of event and that accommodates the number of instructors I’m hoping to engage. In the last couple years, I’ve hosted most of my events in either CTE’s conference room (Wallace Old Science Hall, Room 103) or in the Lower Levels of Bizzell Library.
Once I have the training sufficiently planned, I generate it as an event using the (free) Eventbrite service. This software not only houses all the location, time, and descriptive information of our training events, but I’m also able to track registrations. This is helpful to CTE because it yields statistics of who’s interested in the trainings and who attends our events. Oh, and Eventbrite helps me save time because it allows me to quickly duplicate events and makes them all look great (with HTML formatting).
Additionally, for certain trainings, I require participants to submit brief applications (via Qualtrics) so I can both survey the applicants and regulate the available seats in the training. (This typically yields higher degrees of self selection by instructors, which can be helpful depending on the training. It certainly helped me form diverse cohorts for GOBLIN.)
We use two marketing mechanisms at CTE. We have dedicated Google Calendars that display all of our events for faculty and graduate students. I input the time, date, location information, etc. into these Google Calendars to share with anyone who visits CTE’s website.
Simultaneously, we use MailChimp to actively notify folks about our events. This lets us send professionally formatted (HTML) style emails to large groups of people at scheduled times and with click response analytics to plan our future email engagements.
4) Host Event
After all this time planning and handling behind-the-scenes logistics, it’s time to host some phenomenal professional development! (Remember to record the attendance data using Eventbrite. I use the Eventbrite app for this task.)
Lastly, we use Qualtrics to distribute evaluation surveys after each event we host. Typically these are short five-ish question evaluations that are intentionally low commitment to solicit more responses. Sometimes I distribute longer surveys for more specialized feedback. For example, since GOBLIN involved trying something completely new in terms of a faculty learning community, I wanted to know more than what faculty thought of the session format.
Here’s a detailed checklist of the steps I’ve outlined above:
What’s your process look like? How does it differ from mine?