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Xavier > CAT+FD > Scholarship > Adminsurvey > Administrative Staff Survey, April 2003

Administrative Staff Survey, April 2003

Overview

In April 2003, the Center for the Advancement of Teaching distributed a survey to nine members of Xavier's Administrative staff. The survey was designed to assist the Center in defining the kinds of support and initiatives it should provide Xavier's faculty. The need to define these aspects of the Center is particularly important since the Center is at a crossroads as concerns its grant-funded initiatives. Although the Center is fortunate to currently have three grants, it must look past the year 2005 when these grants will expire. Thus, the Center has begun gathering input from Xavier's faculty and administration regarding the direction or programmatic elements of the Center for the

Advancement of Teaching in general and of a new grant proposal in particular. We present here a summary of the results of this survey. It is important to note that the number of administrators to whom the survey was sent was low (n=9). Despite this small sample size, we value the opinions of Xavier's administrators because of their knowledge and experience in higher education. We also believe that members of the Administrative staff have a unique view from which to see both the proverbial forest and the trees. This view enables them to see both the immediate and future needs and goals of the Institution, particularly as they concern Xavier's faculty and students. It is this view that the Center wished to capitalize on in order to best define its future work.

Summary

Means to encourage or facilitate faculty work to improve teaching and learning

In response to the question, "What do you consider to be important ways to encourage or facilitate the work that faculty do to improve teaching and student learning?" a picture emerges from the data that includes providing faculty opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and expert staff members. The picture also includes:

  • having faculty participate in campus workshops and discussion-based events;
  • providing travel support to attend conferences symposia etc,;
  • giving awards for effective teaching or teaching and learning-related research;
  • giving public recognition to faculty who make efforts to improve teaching and learning.

Ways to facilitate faculty participation in teaching and learning projects

In response to the question, "What do you consider to be the best way(s) to facilitate faculty participation in teaching and learning projects or initiatives?" the administration unanimously recognized the importance of providing mini- or block-grants. In addition, a majority of the respondents recognized the importance of release time as a means to faculty participation in such projects.

Programmatic offerings of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Finally, the survey results provide the Center a picture of what activities the administration believes the Center should and should not focus on. Regarding the former, a majority of the respondents indicated that the Center should focus on:

  • classroom research (often referred to as "the scholarship of teaching and learning");
  • teaching methods or instructional strategies;
  • integration of technology into the classroom (but not distance education wherein a majority of the instruction occurs electronically);
  • collaboration with departments on discipline-specific teaching and learning initiatives;
  • summer campus workshops, etc.;
  • summer institute on teaching and learning (i.e., a one- or two-week faculty development program);
  • learning theory and student learning styles;
  • classroom assessment techniques.

Regarding those items to which the Center should not give its attention, there was no item in the list that a majority of the administrators believed the Center should not focus on. However, a few of the respondents believed the Center should not focus on:

  • distance education (wherein a majority of the instruction occurs electronically);
  • writing and implementing a professional development plan;
  • development of new curricula or programs.
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