FAQ: How do I drive faculty engagement with the Modules?
It is important to throw out the old “us vs. them” model of negotiating when you are trying to gain faculty buy-in for a program. Student success benefits everyone involved.
* Separate the people from the problem
* Invent options for mutual gain
* Focus on interests, not positions
* Use positive verbiage instead of negatives.
Do this: “We both know that students are not coming
into your class with the critical thinking skills
they need to succeed. What can I do to help give you
back time and get your students up to speed?”
Not that: “The reason students are not doing well
is because you don’t have any critical thinking
exercises in your syllabus.”
Understand that faculty:
* May not know that librarians are willing to help
* May feel that colleagues do not have the time to help
* May feel ashamed to ask a colleague for help because it might be viewed as lazy or non-scholarly.
* May be reluctant to admit that colleagues have any contribution to make to how they run their courses.
* May think that students are just fine and do not need additional critical thinking skills.
Gather real (not perceived) data:
* Informal interviews with faculty/students
* Statistics on information literacy / critical thinking skills of current and incoming students and how that correlates with student success rates.
* Student matriculation data
* Credo benchmark testing data
Develop a communication strategy
* Identify the key people that make things happen
* Identify key issues at your institution (Assessment? QEP? Accreditation?)
* Do a “top-down, bottom-up” approach – start at the department heads as well as the lowest adjunct individually.
* Keep a call/email log so you can ensure that you contact the right people.
* It may take a long time, but quick chats and short emails will all eventually add up.
Be patient and persistent
* Realize that faculty habits and curricula often cannot change overnight.
* Be content with small wins - smaller, individual progressions add up to larger inroads. If the only engagement you get for this semester is interest, great! Take it. Then plan on next semester taking it one step further.
* Collaborative teaching and assessment happen within a relationship built upon trust, and trust (especially in academic settings) does not happen immediately.
* Give the faculty time to get to know you and the product, engage their interest, and then show beneficial evidence.
Fisher, Roger, William L. Ury, & Bruce Patton. (2011). Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. New York, New York: Penguin Books.