So, found this new website for adjunct faculty – Pedagogy Unbound. Well, actually, it was on my Daughter’s Facebook page. It came out of the Chronicle of Higher Ed article – So, How do you Talk Shop When You’re Shuttling Between Campuses? We don’t need to reinvent anything – but, just like this 9x9x25 Challenge, it allows for conversations (in-person or online) about teaching – about ideas on solving problems – making connections with students – better teaching – better learning.
As colleagues, we all have a lot of collective knowledge about ‘how to’, which we may or may not share. Whether it be a lack of time, or the sometimes ‘ownership’ of our classes and ways in which we teach them, we all can advocate and share our talents and ideas. In all honesty, I think our college does this better than most; within and outside our own departments. But…I DO think we could do more sharing as (and with) adjunct faculty – the lone rangers out there! Problem is how and where. Of course, there are plenty of places where faculty can search for teaching tips online. I refer a lot to Faculty Focus, associated with The Teaching Professor newsletter. I also use Oncourse and Edutopia, although Edutopia is mostly K-12.
Many full-time faculty members engage in such talk on a daily basis, sharing teaching problems and tips during everyday interactions in the hallway or over lunch. We have adjuncts who shuttle between two campuses – or teach on campus and online. That leaves not a lot of time or opportunity to talk shop with fellow faculty. Heck, they may not even see another faculty member the whole semester. This is especially true if they teach at night and/or for more than one institution (where have we heard that before?!).
Adjunct Faculty also don’t have much opportunity to attend conferences unless they pay for it themselves. (Side note here – with cuts in most institutional budgets, how do those professional conferences stay afloat?)
Pedagogy Unbound originator, David Gooblar, PhD, shuttles between two small colleges in Illinois and Iowa, teaching courses in composition and American literature, leaving him not a lot of opportunity to talk shop. According to Gooblar, “The site’s focus is on teaching tips that are (1) able to be explained briefly, (2) easy to put into practice, and (3) easy to adapt to most, if not all, disciplines.” Running since August, the site has a dozen or more categories, so I’m sure you’ll find something worthwhile.
The sorta goes with my previous post – We all Have Something to Share. So, check this out – read a topic and post something on Pedagogy Unbound.