About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1159-1167
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1265

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

MODELING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FOR JUNIOR FACULTY: EXPERIENCES AND REFLECTIONS FROM ITALIAN UNIVERSITIES

A. Serbati1, E. Felisatti1, L. Da Re1, J. Coryell2

1University of Padova (ITALY)
2Texas State University (UNITED STATES)
The paper presents results from some collaborative experiences of professional development programs for new faculty (Austin et al., 2007) in three Italian universities.

Feedback provided by professors in these programs is presented in order to propose a training model sustainable and replicable in our national context (QUARC_Docente, 2017).

The first pilot experience was carried out at the at the University of Padova in 2014-2015 (Serbati, Felisatti, Dirkx, 2015) with 18 junior faculty. The theoretical framework of this study was framed in constructivist theories and learner-centered teaching (Weimer, 2002) and in the literature focusing on teachers’ pedagogical training and its effects (Postareff et al., 2007).

On the basis of a local need analysis, three workshops were developed within the program, the attention was mainly given to key processes of teaching competence such as program and design of learning outcomes; teaching and learning methods; assessment and evaluation. All participants completed a questionnaire with open-ended questions and highlighted some specific needs such as more time to practice new approaches and techniques offered, more attention to specific contexts and related challenges and more structured institutional support.

On the basis of the above feedback, the program was re-designed and implemented in a technical university in Italy (Politecnico di Torino) in 2016-2017 by proposing to 121 junior faculty the same workshops after a more articulated learning needs analysis. Specific institutional commitment to support junior faculty was provided by reducing their workload on other activities in order to increase attendance to the program. In this case, researchers were able to elaborate a more specific questionnaire to collect participants’ satisfaction using a 5-points Likert scale. Results showed that professors appreciated the program, with average of 4 on dimensions investigated such as level of interest, organization, contents and new skills acquired. However, in this experience two themes emerged as crucial and missing on the program: educational technology and public speaking competences.

Once again this feedback was the basis for further tailoring the program: two workshops were added to develop technological and communication skills and the program was implemented once again in 2017-2018 at the Politecnico di Torino with 60 junior faculty as well as at the University of Catania with 60 faculty. Both experiences showed high level of satisfaction in all the dimensions: at Politecnico di Torino the level of interest on average reached 4,2 as well as participants’ opinion on contents and new skills acquired (4). At University of Catania average opinions were even higher, with 4,3 for the level interest, 4,4 for the organization, 4,4 for contents and 4,3 for new skills achieved.

This evaluative research approach allowed to reach a quite robust training program to develop faculty basic competences of designing, facilitating and assessing students’ learning. Researchers are carrying out further research on impact of staff development programs also on students’ learning and satisfaction. Moreover, research and practices are now investigating educational development programs in two further directions in a triangulated perspective: specific training to continuously improve teaching competences as well as training for senior faculty to be able to mentor and scaffold pedagogical competences in other colleagues
@InProceedings{SERBATI2018MOD,
author = {Serbati, A. and Felisatti, E. and Da Re, L. and Coryell, J.},
title = {MODELING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FOR JUNIOR FACULTY: EXPERIENCES AND REFLECTIONS FROM ITALIAN UNIVERSITIES},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.1265},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.1265},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {1159-1167}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Serbati AU - E. Felisatti AU - L. Da Re AU - J. Coryell
TI - MODELING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FOR JUNIOR FACULTY: EXPERIENCES AND REFLECTIONS FROM ITALIAN UNIVERSITIES
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.1265
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 1159
EP - 1167
ER -
A. Serbati, E. Felisatti, L. Da Re, J. Coryell (2018) MODELING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FOR JUNIOR FACULTY: EXPERIENCES AND REFLECTIONS FROM ITALIAN UNIVERSITIES, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 1159-1167.
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