July 16, 2019

Engineering for Professionals is offering faculty members access to a new program aimed at enhancing instructors' impact in the classroom—whether face-to-face, online, or blended. Faculty Forward couples innovative pedagogical strategies with the power of technology to give participants the tools they need to keep students engaged and to enable them to reach their career and educational goals.

Faculty members must apply to take part in the program, which blends online and on-site programming comprising a three-week online course, a two-day intensive on-site class, and a final capstone project. In June, the program's first cohort of 27 faculty members completed the online and on-site program components. The program challenges participants to develop and implement an innovative technique that will change their teaching practices. Members of this inaugural class devised several new strategies, from interviewing experts and embedding quizzes into lecture videos to connecting students to their counterparts in other locations (even other countries) through synchronous meetings.

The Faculty Forward program provides an opportunity for faculty members to implement research-based, innovative teaching practices, said Paul Huckett, assistant dean of Learning Design and Innovation. One of the most exciting things we hope to foster is a community of practice, so faculty members are able to learn from each other and share experiences.

Faculty Forward was developed by a team that included Timothy Collins, principal investigator and program chair of the Engineering Management and Technical Management programs; Huckett; and Olysha Magruder, instructional designer, under the auspices of a 2018 Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration (DELTA) Grant offered by the Office of the Provost at Johns Hopkins University. DELTA Grants assist faculty, staff, and students to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative digital education initiatives.

While the online course had clever demonstrations of strategies to engage students that could be easily used in my own courses, the onsite, two-day workshop was a cherry on the top, said Anil Maybhate, an instructor in the Applied Biomedical Engineering program. The workshop allowed me to personally engage with many of my colleagues, brainstorm ideas for better instruction, and learn a ton of new things about learning itself. The assignments and the projects challenged us to be creative, but we were also provided a lot of support from the EP personnel.

Information on the 2020 Faculty Forward program will be announced in the fall.