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Faculty Development Workshops On The Road: What’s Missing?

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.293.1 - 5.293.13



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Paper Authors

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John Mitchell

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Katherine Sanders

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Chris Carlson-Dakes

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Patrick Farrell

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3422

Faculty Development Workshops on the Road: What’s Missing?

Katherine Sanders, Chris Carlson-Dakes, John Mitchell, Pat Farrell University of Wisconsin – Madison


A common model for faculty development in higher education is what we refer to as the “visiting scholar” model. We have participated in this model for a number of years, and find it has some serious drawbacks, and is quite limited in its ability to help faculty reconsider and change what they do on a continuing basis. That is, unless a campus has an underlying structure to stimulate and support ongoing faculty growth, visiting scholars are unlikely to affect deep and lasting change in the way faculty think about learning and teaching. We describe our experiences as visiting scholars and in hiring visiting scholars for our own campus and compare our own faculty development program that provides an underlying structure for these ongoing discussions. We will then propose a model that would expand the visiting scholar model, so that innovations and organizational learning could more effectively move across and within institutions.

I. Introduction

It is important to our discussion to clarify a number of the concepts that we use, such as “visiting scholar,” “workshop,” and what we mean by creating a “successful” faculty development experience. To begin with, we view a visiting scholar as a person who is hired by an institution to come give a talk, lead a workshop, or in some other way communicate particular expertise or skills to a local audience. This visitor is typically chosen because of expertise in a specific area, and that area has already been defined by someone at the institution as of value and/or complementary to the direction the organization wishes to move. In sum, someone has determined that what that visitor has to offer is a valuable contribution to the local community. In the context of this paper, the person making this decision might be running a faculty development center, an administrator, or a faculty member who has a personal interest in a topic.

We consider workshops to be a learning environment that is rather short-term. That is, people would come together for a period ranging from two hours or one-half day to one or two days to learn together. The expected outcome is for the participants to apply what they learn at the end of the time period. Workshop environments, in our experience, might have people dropping in and out, perhaps coming and going to teach classes, work in their offices, answer email, or go to

Mitchell, J., & Sanders, K., & Carlson-Dakes, C., & Farrell, P. (2000, June), Faculty Development Workshops On The Road: What’s Missing? Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8376

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