The faculty and staff discussions provided an opportunity to introduce the University to the Quality Initiative project, provide an overview of the key themes from the initial proposals, and to solicit input that may help inform more comprehensive proposals. Following a brief overview about the purpose and process of the QI, participants engaged in facilitated discussions regarding two of the themes.  An appreciative inquiry or strengths approach was encouraged whereby the focus was on positive examples and available resources. About 15 minutes was dedicated to each theme or topic. At the end of the small group discussion, each group offered a brief report-out per topic which was documented on easel pads. Each topic was then discussed in a facilitated large group discussion with additional comments documented.

Faculty Discussions

Faculty discussion sessions were held November 29 and December 6. Ten themes were identified. With six tables per session, two of themes were addressed by two tables.      

1.  “Best Practices” pedagogical support and development

Proposals: 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25 

  • Give time to learn the new technology and then use it for a time.
  • Identify one best practice and then have faculty development utilize that for the year’s sessions.
  • Have a faculty Apeiron
  • Use more programs like DART
  • Provide instruction for and on teaching in formal and informal sessions
    • Have a dedicated position for best practices
  • Need to have a resource center
  • Have a better evaluation system: peer evaluations, have an online repository where videotaping and brown bag lectures can be stored, develop a culture where evaluations aren’t negative focused.
  • Give books and resources to faculty
  • Courses need online components—Faculty may need to develop these skills.
  • Delivery styles may need to be different as faculty demographics may be changing.
  • Faculty development program needs to be enhanced.  The purpose is to offer education training that is relevant and timely.
  • Bring experts on campus more of provide opportunities to go off campus for national and international conferences. 
  • Provide more resources to teach successfully (how to manage the classroom, use of rubric, etc.)
  • Need a center of excellence for individual mentoring, enhance programs, etc.
  • Faculty need to be evaluated, then need productive, meaningful feedback

2. Responding to changing student demographics and student learning

Proposal: 16

  • Need more information as to what the current demographics is in order to make recommendations on how to change it.
  • Meeting students where they “are” is important
  • Link to the Students (LinC)
  • Focus on extending the thoughts of entry struggles to first and second year students.
  • Diversity needs to expand in
    • teaching to learning styles
    • Backgrounds
    • Educational Experiences
    • Working students
    • Family situations
    • Students with Children
      • Child care issues
    • Faculty
  • Curriculum development and change
  • Lifelong learners and online learners mean we need to look at teaching differently.
  • What are the demographics?

3. Adjunct faculty orientation and on-going support

Proposal: 3

  • Compensation and support is needed. (3)
  • Mentoring program—connect the faculty to adjuncts for support
  • Bring in adjuncts for recognition dinner
  • Help adjuncts to become more connected to the campus/department (for assessment success)
  • Give adjuncts a space
  • Give better access to ITS –give then adequate time for training, etc.
  • Provide mentorships to provide opportunity to connect to campus
  • Math department is a best practices

4. Instructional development and support for use of technology

Proposal: 4, 5, 14, 15, 18, 22, 24

  • Give incentives
  • Need adequate support staff
  • Need creative minds to showcase the use of technology and instructional development
  • Capitalize on the skills of the new hires
  • Have endowment for technology
  • Have a center where faculty can go and learn technology
  • Encourage the use of technology to teach more effectively
  • Stop changing LMS on such a rapid rate
  • Need to offer and have support to use technology
  • Standardization of “shell” course

5. Definition and support for scholarship

Proposal: 25

  • The definition of scholarship varies between schools and the college. 
  • Faculty colloquial, Sweet sabbaticals, International education support, WTE all provide opportunities.
  • Competitive grants (within the School of Business)
  • Define the “nitch” per unit for scholarship.
  • Release time might be offered for more scholarship.
  • Define what is scholarship vs. Research
  • Where does community service fit?

6. Classroom technology to prepare tomorrow’s workforce

Proposal: 6

  • Create cultural opportunities to stay on top of technology
  • Maintain the current technology resources
  • Use technology as a model for future workforce and educators
  • Help student understand the appropriate use of technology (to prepare them for the workforce)
  • Departments would need more investment and training with technology
  • Center for teaching is needed
  • Pool resources of departments, share techniques, etc.
  • Communication is needed to what is available, and how to use that technology

7. Technology facilities that support teaching, learning, testing and training

Proposals: 12, 17, 20, 24

  • Distance learning: Portfolio class, mastery lab
  • Proctored testing of Distance Studies
  • Mobile world is less “wired” and we need to move toward this
  • E-books accessibility and how these play into electronic testings
  • Market internal resources (IPads)
  • Use a “knowledge database” of resources
  • Build a network for larger capacity activities
  • Look at “laptop programs
  • Use Skype opportunities more.

8. Remedial training/supports for technical and/or college success

Proposals: 7, 19, 23

  • It was thought this should be developmental training vs. remedial training
  • It should be required to take a math course by the sophomore year.
  • Out of sequence course which might be a self-paced course should be developed to help with math skills
  • Utilize a search and rescue approach to identify students who are struggling
  • Academic advising is essential to get students in the right courses
  • Use technology through tutorials
  • Bridge program—getting more students into this type of program to offer assistance
  • Center for teaching could be utilized to help faculty on how to teach grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.
  • Need to question if there is a stigma toward tutoring

9. High-impact learning and community engagement

Proposals: 9, 16

  • Need to have civil discussions
  • Art department internships
  • Community service vs. service learning
  • Resources seem to be missing
  • Spend time on reflecting what is being learning through the community service/engagement
  • Ask each of the classes to focus on a community problem they can address within the semester.
  • Build items/service into everyday practice within the classroom and in experiences for the students
  • Need an easier way to market what is currently being done
  • Find more connections between classes and departments across campus—combine efforts
  • Student organizations need to be encouraged to build more partnerships with units or vice versa. 
  • Find a different way to communicate about community service projects
  • Inconsistency in learning opportunities across campus
  • Ties are needed to be shown/told from the CS activities to meaning/purpose
  • Do a volunteer fair

10. Supports systems for improving students’ public speaking skills

Proposal: 23

  • Use existing resources on campus to help support other students (Apeiron, debate team, etc.)
  • May need to make this a requirement
  • Give more opportunities in class, clubs, organizations, for presentations. (2)
  • Use current technology methods (Facebook, tweet)
  • Find ways to put presentations/public speaking into courses to help with the fear. (2)
  • Public speaking labs
  • Faculty can help others to figure out how to put this as an assignment into online formats.
  •  Communication is not public speaking, need to learn both.

Staff Discussions

Staff discussion sessions were held November 29 and December 10. Due to the fewer number of participants, themes were reduced to eight so that four tables per session could discuss two themes. A couple of the themes were revised so they were not so faculty-centric. Fewer staff attended the last session than was expected, so only six of the eight topics were addressed.

1. Training and professional development

Proposals: 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25 

  • Opportunity to attend training across departments
  • Offer tuition assistance for profession development
  • Leadership Washburn is a best practice.
  • Use inventories like Meyers-Briggs
  • More personal and professional development opportunities
  • Encourage Staff/Faculty to present at development opportunities
  • Need a daily champion for wellness and development
  • Training for those who move to a supervisory or administrative position

2. Changing student demographics

Proposal: 16  

  • There is a need for greater access for students in moving high school credits to Washburn. 
  • Need to have faculty learn different ways to teach to this generation.
  • Online doesn’t offer some opportunities for students (mentoring). With this, online needs a “relevant” presence
  • Prepare these students for the workforce:  teach life skills such as communication, internship development (which is now thought of as a first job).
  • The first line generation needs support when they go off campus.  Doesn’t make sense to teach life skills if they are returning back to an environment that doesn’t agree/believe in those skills.

3. New employee orientation and on-going support

Proposal: 3 

  • Utilize technology more to provide new employee orientation (use a dynamic dashboard)
  • Give staff the opportunity to do face to face engagement with other campus departments
  • Invite staff to New Faculty Orientation vendor fair
  • Have more discussions with Dr. Farley—this allows new staff and faculty to hear from him the priorities of the university/time.
  • Include student workers into the orientation
  • Need ongoing support for financial training
  • Get the training to all different levels

4. Technology to prepare tomorrow’s workforce

Proposal: 6 

  • The current Mabee library resources are wonderful and should be used more (checking out IPads)
  • How we invest in the technology resources should be reviewed.
  • Deal with young people processing input AND deal with professors not teaching effectively to current audience (explore generational teaching)

5. Technology facilities that support teaching, learning, testing and training

Proposals: 12, 17, 20, 24 

  • Continue to improve wireless access (in the union, Bradbury Thompson)
  • Review the mediated classrooms and update (on a cycle).  Bring in SMART boards, etc.
  • Survey across the nation as to what current tech trends are, and then utilize the data smartly
  • More labs vs less labs remains a debated topic
  • The use of personal hardware instead of labs needs to be reviewed and then supported. (wireless capabilities)
  • Use blogs and other newer social media inside the classroom/online.
  • Have a Google hangout
  • Infrastructure needs to be able to support Technology brought to campus
  • Ask for clarity on: when do students need to be in the classroom vs. student doing own thing access anywhere?
  • There needs to be a balance between the tech needs of the campus and the diverse needs of the population.

6. Remedial training for technical and/or college preparation

Proposals: 7, 19, 23 

  • The BRIDGE program is a positive.  The question remains how to identify those students who need the assistance.
  • Need more communication with K-12 regarding student skill levels
  • Identify those who need technology assistance.
  • Put an advisory section into the Bridge program to help students
  • Mentorship program is lacking—help students with life skills.

7. High-impact learning and community engagement

Proposals: 9, 16 

  • We have a culture of giving—this need to expand outside of the pockets involved now.
  • Activities are in force, but a better job is needed to debrief the activity so students/staff/faculty understand the learning involved (i.e. what is learned from picking trash up from the parking lot)
  • Opportunity for more industry speakers, and then the need to market these presentations more.
  • Invite retired faculty and staff back on campus to become mentors

8. Supports systems for improving students’ public speaking skills

Proposal: 23 

  • Enhance opportunities for student engagement.
  • Work in teams is also important
  • Create opportunities where students understand customer service/work
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