Share Experiences and Successes
As educators we draw upon the successes and experiences of others. Developing a community where those ideas can be shared can be powerful both as an incentive to change and as justification and support for requesting resources and any necessary approvals.
Communicate Experiences & Opportunities
As scientists we understand the need to publish and communicate our findings to improve our collective knowledge. In the same way, as teachers, sharing our experiences is a powerful way to improve our shared students' success. This helps us build community, tout our progress, and support others on campus. Workshops are an excellent way to share what we know and learn with colleagues across the institution and beyond. In addition, this communication should extend beyond faculty and the walls of the college in order to connect with the community and potential future students.
The Michigan team partnered with their Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence to offer some short professional development sessions related to supporting all students and developing subject identity.
Daina Hardisty (Mt Hood Community College) hosts tables at various events, such as New Student Orientation Day, continues a department presence on Facebook , and creates flyers/posters advertising the Geoscience courses offered at MHCC.
The North Carolina and Florida teams use their department websites to showcase real-world experiences students can take advantage of on their way to a degree.
Explore Best Practices With Colleagues Within and Across Disciplines
Working with your colleagues can help increase both the camaraderie within the disciplinary unit and also across any disciplinary lines. Book or Journal Clubs are an easy way to start conversations with others around common interests. Organizing and participating in institutional colloquia can provide an avenue for students as well as faculty to connect. Even sharing resources like the latest SAGE Musing around your department can help develop shared interests. These connections can develop into opportunities for collaboration at many scales. In addition to having a lot to offer, geoscience faculty can learn a great deal from the expertise and experience of colleagues in other disciplines.
To broaden undergraduate student opportunities, increase high school student recruitment rates, and provide learning opportunities to the community, the Florida team created two events: ShORE (SHaring Our Research with Everyone) and the Arts & Sciences Colloquium.
The Texas team ran a virtual book club in the spring of 2018 on the book Whistling Vivaldi. They were able to share insights from their work as Change Agents and learn from their colleagues with different experiences.
Embrace Adjunct Faculty as Part of the Department »
Adjunct faculty are a valuable resource in many departments but are often not well-integrated into community of practice. They can be deep wells of experience and expertise on what is done outside of academia or on other campuses. Providing ways to engage with your department's adjuncts can yield significant dividend for them as well as for the department as a whole.