Training faculty often falls within the scope of work of those that practice instructional design and/or educational technology. This training can be challenging when it comes to the use of new digital technologies and tools. While some of my colleagues over the years have expressed how challenging this can be, I find that to be just the opposite my experience. The training should focus on several strategies and this will lead to an effective and efficient outcome for all of those that are involved. Here are couple things to consider:
Relationship building – this strategy will offer the opportunity to apply newly acquired knowledge directly into daily practice. Building a professional relationship allows the person doing the training to better understand the baseline knowledge and comfort level of the individual receiving the training. This allows open communication that can lead to possible opportunities for collaboration in the future.
Staying informed – research is a very important part of training. To research the latest trends in higher education, instructional design and learning in general can serve as a starting point for training development. Many times faculty are not able to articulate what they need because they don’t know what the options are.
Walk the walk – the person conducting the training should have an inside scoop on what is involved in teaching courses prior to conducting any training. A key ingredient will be that the trainers have first hand knowledge of the entire process of building a course: designing, developing, implementing, assessing and revising.
Build bridges – instructional designers have the opportunity to view a variety of courses across different disciplines. This offers a unique perspective and can often serve as a bridge between faculty members. Many times faculty would like to collaborate across disciplines but they’re just not aware of what others are doing. Sharing information across disciplines will benefit all involved in the process.
Leadership – successful instructional designers that do training proactively support faculty and allow faculty to share experiences with each other. One of the ways to do this is to establish an online faculty learning community within the institution. In this space ideas can be shared in an effective manner. Once established, some of the things it can be shared include job aids, quick tips, best practices and other digital tools to increase efficiency and improve student outcomes.