June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
New Engineering Educators
22.780.1 - 22.780.22
How Can We Help Faculty Balance Between Teaching and Scholarly Activities?Whether it is more teaching-oriented or more research-oriented, a university needs dedicatedteachers, productive researchers, and effective administrators, and faculty members areincreasingly expected to balance multiple roles and responsibilities. Especially in universitieswhere research productivity is emphasized more than teaching effectiveness, untenured facultymembers might find it challenging to balance between their teaching and research activities.Also, when faculty members favor a balanced emphasis between research and teaching, but theyperceive that the institution places greater emphasis on research than on teaching, it could createpotential conflict between faculty values and university culture. Further, assigning high priorityto one activity over the other might be influenced by institutional reward and support systems.This issue has been an important one for our institution, especially the College of Engineering(COEN), as the college plays an important role in contributing to achieving the institutional goalof becoming a more research-oriented university. Therefore, the purpose of this study was tobetter understand the COEN faculty’s perceptions in the following: 1) their ideal and actualworkload ratios between teaching and scholarly activities (e.g., research and grant activities), 2)the current evaluation and reward systems, and 3) institutional support. We, the college’sTeaching & Learning Committee, conducted a survey with the COEN full-time faculty membersin May, 2010. A total of 69 COEN full-time faculty members were invited to participate in ananonymous survey, and 42 of them (61%) completed the survey.We analyzed the survey data by faculty rank, and the following are some of the main results: Overall, the COEN faculty members’ ideal and self-reported actual ratios between teaching and scholarly activities do not match (the ideal - 48:52; the actual - 60:40). The COEN faculty members’ desire to engage in scholarly activities increases (while their ideal teaching load ratio decreases) as their rank changes from assistant professor to associate professor, and to full professor. Many untenured assistant professors are not aware of the evaluation methods the institution is using for measuring teaching effectiveness and productivity of scholarly activities. The COEN faculty members, regardless of their rank, expressed that they would need additional environmental and administrative support to successfully balance quality in both teaching and scholarly activities.To develop solutions for providing better environmental and administrative support to faculty,we categorized the faculty input into 5Ps: (1) personnel (e.g., more TAs, graders, IT staff), (2)place (e.g., more lab/classroom space), (3) policy (e.g., reduced teaching loads and class sizes),(4) procedure (e.g., reduced paperwork), and (5) professional development (e.g., just-in-timeworkshop and faculty mentoring). In this paper, we will present the study results in detail andprovide implications of the findings, particularly for supporting new engineering faculty.
Schrader, C. B., & Chyung, S. Y., & Hughes, W. L., & Sasaki, K., & Cole, T., & Chiasson, J. N. (2011, June), How can we Help Faculty Balance Between Teaching and Scholarly Activities? Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18061
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