January 13, 2016

Dear NGS Faculty:

Happy belated new year to you. I see this as the perfect time to start fresh and define and address the critical role of faculty development so that as a faculty member here at NGS, we can be assured you are prepared to teach. We want to work with you so you continue to grow as a teacher who is not only well prepared to teach our courses and curriculum, but also, one who is eager to examine feedback and use a reflective teaching process to improve your teaching practices. Faculty development, as well as your own growth as a teacher, needs to be an ongoing process.
 
I am excited to share that planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating professional development for our faculty is a top priority for 2016. We know you work to maintain current knowledge in your area of expertise, or what we call in higher education-content, but we want you to also be knowledgeable about NGS content, our learning management system, and pedagogy. We are defining and addressing faculty needs for professional development so that you are better prepared to teach NGS adult learners.
 
A special thank you and recognition is in order for Dr. Patricia Murrin (Program Chair BSc) who was instrumental working with Academic Affairs in the needs assessment and development of our faculty modules. Jack Kovalcik (Program Chair MS) also stepped in to assist with edits and participated in the two recording sessions. Thank you for your continued leadership.
 
Details about our NGS Professional Development for Faculty Teaching in all Programs in 2016:
Two recording sessions are now posted in Faculty Resources for your viewing. You will be asked to enter your name so we can track who has viewed the sessions (Yes, we are taking attendance and there will be medals for the degree programs who have the highest participation). Then listen to the recording and view the narrated slides.  Upon completion of each session, please complete the short evaluation so we can use the feedback to plan additional sessions. The evaluation is anonymous and we appreciate your honest comments about the sessions and your training needs.
The modules in the sessions are listed here:
 
Session I Modules:
1.         NGS Background
2.         Our NGS Students-Adult and 21st Century Learners
3.         What's New at NGS
4.         Curriculum Committee, 2015-2016
5.         Curriculum Development Committee (CDC) Updates
6.         Program Chair Updates
7.         Orientation Course
8.         Preparing for the First Class
9.         The Business Project
10.       Student and Faculty Resources
11.       Classroom Structure/Layout
 
Session II Modules:
12.       Faculty Policies and Responsibilities
13.       Go to Meeting (GTM) Basics
14.       Project Tracker
15.       Grading
16.       Grading Rubrics
17.       Incomplete Grades
18.       End-of-Course Evaluation
19.       Best Practices for Online Teaching
20.       Netiquette
21.       Next Steps and Where to Turn for Help
 
Some Tips to Help You Make the Most of the Sessions:
  • Take notes on each module.
  • Write questions and comments to use during the follow-up degree program webinars.
  • Follow up by reading the articles cited in the training and posted in Faculty Resources.
  • Contact Program Chairs or Dean of Academic Affairs with questions, comments, or follow up.
  • Enjoy learning about NGS, our adult learners, the programs, how to teach using our NGS portal, and some pedagogical practices.
Faculty Orientation/Refresher is not degree specific.
Please note that the sessions are not degree specific and that all faculty, both new and experienced NGS teachers, need to view the slides. The background or some content may be a review for selected faculty, but we want to be sure you are following the same guidelines and procedures.
 
In the next few weeks Program Chairs will be inviting you to a separate GoToMeeting (GTM) webinar. This will allow you the opportunity to learn more about degree specific faculty information and to have questions answered. Of course you can always email Program Chairs or me at any time, but the hour webinar with all faculty from your degree program will be an exciting time for you to interact with colleagues.

  •  Our synchronous platform, GTM, has a great deal of resources on their website? There are webinars, white papers, and other resources. I attended a GTM Audio and Webcam Best Practices webinar and it was excellent. Review the dates for upcoming webinars to attend and improve your online presence with your students. http://www.gotomeeting.com/meeting/hd-video-conferencing-resources/webinars 
  • Juran Global is awarding two $2,500 scholarships to one male and one female NGS student in one of our degree programs? Notification of the scholarship is on the web and information went out to all students this week. Interested students will be asking for a recommendation from you in the near future. Applicants need to submit their materials on the link in the student portal from March 1-March 30. If you or your students have questions they can email scholarhip@ngs.edu. Thank you for spreading the word about this opportunity for students who have completed two degree courses with NGS.
So, remember your homework and view the sessions in the Faculty Portal and complete an evaluation form. Let us know what training we can plan to assist you with your teaching. Then enjoy interacting with your colleagues during the degree specific webinars in the coming weeks.
 
I continue to be impressed with you - our faulty . It is difficult to be an expert in your field and also an exemplary teacher, but you are doing just that. This short article reviews a talk with Ken Bain who wrote What the Best College Teachers Do (This is a good book to read no matter what content in higher education you teach. The author interviewed 100 professors and the book includes vignettes of the faculty with philosophies and strategies for best practices).    We are reminded that the best teachers know their content/discipline, focus on student outcomes, create critical learning environments, and teach with respect. Finally, effective teachers are lifelong learners.
 
Another interesting article from the January 6, 2016 Faculty Focus shared that a higher education institution asked students to record their expectations of faculty. Faculty then watched a video of the student voices at their new faculty orientation. Read more hereI particularly enjoyed how students provided one word answers to describe a great professor.

What word would your students say to describe you?
 
I always try to suggest some extra reading. Should you wish to read about the art and science of teaching, I have a few suggestions for you. (This is the third year I set the challenge of reading 52 books in 52 weeks and I usually alternate between fiction and nonfiction books. Follow me on GoodReads too.) I just started reading E-Learning: Theory and Practice by Caroline Haythornthwaite and Richard Andrews. Another book I ordered is Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty by Elizabeth Barkley. The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests 10 books about teaching, too. 
 
In closing, thank you for your teaching and expertise. I will see you at the degree specific webinars in the near future and I look forward to hearing from you about your teaching. Please call or email me your NGS teaching stories. I love hearing from you and enjoy the collaborative discussions about your teaching, our students, and the curriculum. Again, Happy Belated New Year!

Sincerely,
 
 
Eileen C. Sullivan, Ed.D.
Interim Dean, Academic Affairs
The National Graduate School of Quality Management
186 Jones Road  |  Falmouth, MA 02540
800.838.2580 ext. 121

 
Follow me on Twitter  @esullivan_ngs 
 
Celebrating  20 YEARS of Quality Education