Professional Faculty Development and Support

It's time for Universities around the globe to prioritize the professional development of their Faculty.

My Philosophy
Active Learning and Reflection are the keys to successful education efforts. Classroom time is a limited and critical resource and should be used to develop thinkng skills, build knwledge and engage learners. 
Lecture based eduction is a last resort. Interactive discussions, Problem and Project based learning, debates, role-plays, and continuous, active and formative assessments - that also teach - are the essential ingredients to effectie reach students and develop their learning.
It is amazing that University Faculty are most often held to a lower standard than teachers in K through 12. If you want to teach first graders, you are required to have a degree in Education. If you want to teach college seniors, you need an advanced degree in math or physics or chemistry - but no "education in education" is required.

As a result, college faculty just do what they learned by observing their own college professors. Thus, there is now consistency in syllabi, no attention given to properly written learning objectives, no concept of alignment between LO's, content and assessment. And Active Learning? Who has time, when lectures deliver content so rapidly to large audiences - professors replicate the horrors of their professors who lectured for 60 minutes non-stop to audiences of 200 or more.

Students deserve more. They deserve syllabi that outline course content and delivery. They deserve learning goals and rubrics that accurately tell them what they are going to learn and how they can succeed. They deserve real-world, interactive learning experiences that they can someday apply in their ultimate goal of employment.

And faculty deserve more. They deserve the tools to deliver all those things listed above. Workshops, online courses, peer observations, and other skill development resources can provide the necessary skills. Certainly, the university wants to see consistent syllabi and course design throughout the school that reflects the goals and the mission of the university - but how can they expect that without providing the tools and the knowledge to their faculty?

An important part of the answer lies in the Faculty Certificate Programs that are starting to appear in universities around the globe.  These typically consist of five to ten short courses or workshops that are complemented by peer assessments and research.  The end result is a portfolio of accomplishments that become an important part of the faculty's resume.  They are the essential tools needed to meet the standards required by both the university and its students.
Many universities around the world have designed and implemented Faculty Associate Programs. These programs aim to leverage the expertise and passion of top faculty to improve the overall professionalism and effectiveness of the entire faculty family. 

Programs vary from university to university depending on needs, but should be based on the following concepts:
1. Clear Objectives: Define the purpose and goals of the program.
2. Selection Criteria: Establish clear criteria for selecting faculty associates.
3. Training and Orientation: Provide comprehensive training and orientation for new faculty associates to familiarize them with program expectations, resources, and support services available to them.
4. Mentorship: Pair faculty associates with experienced mentors who can provide guidance, support, and feedback.
5. Professional Development Opportunities: Offer professional development opportunities tailored to the needs of faculty.
6. Integration with Institutional Goals: Ensure that the activities of the program align with those of the university.
7.Recognition and Rewards: Recognize the contributions of faculty associates through various forms of recognition.
8. Feedback: Implement feedback mechanisms to assess identify areas for improvement.
9. Networking: Facilitate opportunities for faculty to collaborate with each other.
10. Sustainability: Develop a plan for long term sustainability.

Seven reasons why Smart Classrooms matter:

1. Enhanced Learning Experience:  They facilitate interactive and engaging learning experiences through multimedia presentations, videos, simulations, and virtual labs. This makes learning more dynamic and caters to different learning styles.
2. Access to Resources: Smart classrooms provide instant access to a wealth of online resources, databases, and educational materials. This allows students and teachers to supplement learning with up-to-date information easily.
3. Collaboration and Communication: They enable collaborative learning among students through tools like digital whiteboards, shared screens, and group project management software. This fosters teamwork and communication skills.
4. Personalized Learning: With adaptive learning technologies, smart classrooms can personalize the learning experience based on individual student progress and needs. This helps in catering to diverse student abilities and interests.

5. Teacher Effectiveness: Teachers can use smart classroom technologies to create more effective lesson plans, track student progress more efficiently, and provide timely feedback. This improves teaching quality and student outcomes.
6. Preparation for the Digital Age: Smart classrooms equip students with digital literacy skills and familiarity with technology, which are crucial in today's digital world and workforce.

7. Cost and Resource Efficiency: While initial setup costs can be significant, smart classrooms can save costs in the long run by reducing the need for physical resources like textbooks and by optimizing energy usage.

Overall, smart classrooms play a vital role in modern education by leveraging technology to enhance teaching and learning processes, preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century.

Critical thinking skills are essential in higher education for several reasons:
  1. Problem-Solving: In academia and beyond, individuals frequently encounter complex problems that require analytical thinking and creative solutions. Critical thinking skills enable students to approach these challenges systematically, evaluate evidence, and develop effective strategies for problem-solving.
  2. Analytical Reasoning: Higher education often involves grappling with abstract concepts, theoretical frameworks, and diverse perspectives. Critical thinking skills help students analyze information, identify patterns, and draw logical conclusions, enhancing their ability to engage with complex ideas and make informed judgments.
  3. Evidence-Based Decision Making: In academic research, evidence-based decision making is crucial for producing high-quality scholarship. Critical thinking skills enable students to assess the credibility and relevance of sources, evaluate competing arguments, and construct well-supported arguments based on empirical evidence.
  4. Independent Inquiry: Higher education encourages students to become independent learners and scholars who can engage in original research and contribute to knowledge creation. Critical thinking skills empower students to ask probing questions, formulate hypotheses, and conduct rigorous investigations, fostering intellectual curiosity and scholarly inquiry.
  5. Effective Communication: Critical thinking skills are closely linked to effective communication, as they enable students to articulate their ideas clearly, support their arguments persuasively, and engage in constructive dialogue with others. These communication skills are essential for academic success, professional advancement, and civic engagement.
  6. Resilience and Adaptability: In today's rapidly changing world, individuals need to be adaptable and resilient in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. Critical thinking skills help students navigate complexity, tolerate ambiguity, and approach new challenges with confidence and flexibility, enhancing their ability to thrive in diverse academic and professional contexts.
Overall, critical thinking skills are indispensable in higher education because they empower students to think critically, communicate effectively, and adapt to changing circumstances, preparing them to succeed academically, professionally, and personally.

 Faculty Education

I can design, develop and implement advanced certificate programs customized to your university and based on the skills and knowledge needed professors.

 Faculty Associate Programs

I can help you design and implement Faculty Associate Programs to leverage the skills and expertise of your faculty, thereby accelerating the development and support of new faculty.

 Smart Classrooms

I can help you design and implement Smart Classrooms and provide coaching and training to your faculty for the most effective use of the technologies.

Would you like assistance with a Faculty Associates Program? Or a Faculty Certificate Program?

Mindful Critical Thinking

With Mindful Critical Thinking, you can develop a deeper awareness of your thought processes and learn how to think more critically and analytically. Available at

Smart Classrooms in Colleges: Pro’s and Cons, Essential Components, Best Practices, and the Future

Gain valuable knowledge about the best practices for integrating smart classroom technologies into college settings and understand how to optimize the learning experience for students and educators alike. Available at

Faculty Associate Programs

Faculty Associate Programs foster a dynamic and supportive environment for faculty to pursue innovative research initiatives and educational practices. Faculty Associate Programs eBook : Paquin, David: Kindle Store

With over 25 years experience in the Education Industry, I have coached and trained educators in a variety of settings.  I have a Master's Degree in Education, have trained professors worldwide and have authored many trainer-trainer programs.