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ERIC Number: EJ1016778
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Utopia University: A Faculty Member Reflects on Recommendations for the Future of SoTL
Forrest, Krista D.
InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, v8 p73-79 2013
The author, Krista D. Forrest, Professor of Psychology, University of Nebraska at Kearney, reports on what it would take to create a "Utopian university," a campus of the future where faculty members' scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) has gone on to change departments and as the departments changed, so did the institution. The goal at Utopia U is to assist students in becoming "expert learners." The University does this through first year seminars, capstone courses taken by juniors, and ongoing programs designed to help each student understand the learning process that best works for him or her. Faculty also strive to learn by conducting research in their own classes. These outcomes are then used in changing courses to best respond to current and even future students. Those same faculty feel encouraged to conduct this research because they know that, if published, it will count toward promotion and tenure. The administration at Utopia U is happy to financially support this work because they know that one way to guarantee the accreditation crucial to their existence is to have excellent, productive faculty who inspire their students to perform at their best. Recommendations are provided that assume some individuals on campus are doing work in SoTL and if enough faculty interested in the topic band together, they have the ability to change the campus, including institutional requirements for promotion and tenure. As long as these individuals or departments serve as the gatekeepers in charge of hiring new faculty (and not promoting or granting tenure to faculty within the department), Utopian University will always be 10 years down the road.
Descriptors: Reflection, Change Strategies, Scholarship, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture, Educational Practices, Educational Strategies, Integrated Activities, Educational Opportunities, Alignment (Education), Rewards, Teacher Responsibility
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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