Author : New Forums Press

Written on Feb, 15, 2017 by in

We’ve explained how our CTL is guided by a principle we call the law of organizational entropy—when everybody is in charge, nobody is in charge. The obvious foundation for such a law is another law about the importance of organization in itself. Several years ago, AT&T built an advertising campaign around the slogan “The system is the solution.” We have …

Continue Reading...
Written on Feb, 08, 2017 by in

Periodically we run across, in various fields from religion to education, a principle from organizational psychology that while often rendered in slightly different form states, “When everybody is in charge, no one is in charge.” Since we can find no attribution or source, we have dubbed it the Law of Organizational Entropy. An Explanation What does such a fancy name …

Continue Reading...
Written on Feb, 01, 2017 by in

In our favorite film comedy of all time, Back to School (1986), a classroom scene highlights the difference between an ivory-tower econ instructor and Rodney Dangerfield’s street-wise and realistic non-traditional student. After describing a theoretical construct, Professor Barbay asks his class where do we build this factory, and Dangerfield’s Thornton Melon wryly responds, “How about fantasyland?” Dangerfield’s commentary pretty much …

Continue Reading...
Written on Jan, 25, 2017 by in

When should a CTL take on additional duties? Throughout this blog’s history we have continually addressed the subject of what responsibilities should register on a CTL’s strategic plan. To sum up, a CTL’s duties: Should reflect the university’s strategic plan. Should be aligned with the wishes of the administrator directly up the chain of command—i.e., the boss. Should be doable …

Continue Reading...
Written on Dec, 21, 2016 by in

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) already play a large part in our faculty development program. Usually the semester after they finish, PLCs are invited to present a workshop in our Teaching & Learning Center wherein they provide faculty with some of their discoveries from the previous semester. In a normal semester we sponsor a minimum of three PLCs, but we find …

Continue Reading...
Written on Dec, 14, 2016 by in

According to Beach, Sorcinelli, Austin, and Rivard in Faculty Development in the Age of Evidence (2016), at the top of their list of “Directors [of CTLs] Signature Series by Institutional Type” is New Faculty Orientation [NFO] with 36% of institutions (p. 60), yet on their list of “Top Issues Faculty Development Should Address in the Next Five Years,” NFO falls …

Continue Reading...
Written on Nov, 09, 2016 by in

Last month Charlie and I (Hal) celebrated ten years of being co-directors of the University’s Teaching & Learning Center (TLC). While I had been a co-director with someone else a few years earlier, it wasn’t until Charlie stepped down as chair of the Department of English & Theatre and moved over to the TLC, that we worked together as administrators. …

Continue Reading...
Written on Oct, 12, 2016 by in

By its very nature a post is short (about 750 words in our case), and, as such, posts do not allow the depth of a research article and certainly not that of a book. Some of the subjects we touch upon are like grazing your fingernail on an elephant—there’s a lot more there that we didn’t touch. In the past …

Continue Reading...

A decade ago in Creating the Future of Faculty Development (2006), Sorcinelli et al listed the most common services offered by centers of teaching and learning (CTL), and amazingly among those goals was NOT some form of classroom observation (p. 48). Still, colleges and universities place a great deal of importance on that process. In fact, before it had created …

Continue Reading...
Written on Sep, 29, 2016 by in

In “How to Write a Bestseller” (The Wall Street Journal, 2 September 2016, D5), Tony Gray discusses a new book called The Bestseller Code (2016), wherein Jockers and Archer used several computers to analyze 5,000 bestselling novels published during the past 30 years. In scrutinizing everything from nouns to the proper names of the authors, the two researchers focused on …

Continue Reading...