A Department-Based Approach to Developing Teaching Portfolios: Perspectives for Faculty Developers

Milton D. Cox
<span title="">1996</span> <i title="Wiley"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/ohzgpfz3ebbl7onmtyihdfcd2e" style="color: black;">To Improve the Academy</a> </i> &nbsp;
Cox, M.D. (1996) . A dcpartmmt-bascd approach to developing teaching portfolios: Pmlpec:tives for faculty developas. In L. Richlin (Ed.), To Improve the Acatkmy, VoL JS (pp. 275-302). Stillwatrz, OK: New Formns Press md the Professional md Organizational Development Network in Higher Education. The Department-Based Teaching Portfolio Project, now in its third year at Miami University, provides departments the flexibility to design and implement teaching development processes that honor the
more &raquo; ... sity of disciplines, departmental cultures, and leadership styles of department project coordinators. This approach has generated an interesting variety of departmental processes and results,for example, in the use of off-campus consultants and in the manner in which teaching portfolios are developed. Based upon the outcomes of the Project, 20 recommendations inform faculty developers in their roles as department developers. 275 To Improve the Academy Department-BaRed vs. Campus-Wide Although departments play the most important role in shaping the curriculum, offering courses, enabling student learning, and determining faculty rewards (Cerbin, 1994; Murray, 1995) , there have been few broad, department-based approaches to developing teaching. Faculty development efforts to enhance departmental teaching cultures have focused on working with department chairs (Boice, 1985; Hilsen&Rutherford, 1991; Sorcinelli&Aitken, 1995; Wilhite, 1990) . In Wright and O'Neil's (1995) survey of U.S. faculty development specialists asking respondents to rate 36 teaching improvement practices according to their confidence in the practice's potential to improve the quality of teaching, the second-, third-, and fifth-ranked items involved the role of deans and department chairs. Yet, department-based teaching development projects or initiatives were not among the 36 teaching improvement practices. Similarly, when Kurfiss and Boice (1990) surveyed POD members to determine existing and desired faculty development practices, they found that only 16 percent (23rd out of 26 faculty development practices) were involved with training chairs to facilitate teaching, while 60 percent (ranked first) planned or desired to institute that practice. Again, department-based teaching projects or similar activities were not included in the list. Within the last five years, a few universities have initiated department-based efforts at developing teaching. For example, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln initiated a department-based project to improve teaching by rewarding teaching (Lunde & Barrett, 1996) . Most departments in the project employ some version of portfolio evaluation, and an annual award of $25,000 is given within the University of Nebraska four-campus system to the department that demonstrates excellence in teaching. The Ohio State University has just instituted a similar award. Walvoord (1994) and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati have formulated and used 12 questions that departments can ask to determine their teaching and learning cultures. A department-based project is in its third year at Eastern Michigan University (DeZure, 1996) ; this project involves departmental instructional liaisons-faculty members, not department chairs-who re-276
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