Tuesday, June 03, 2008

NISOD 2008 - Getting To The Collaboration Zone - Professional Development That Results In Action...

The last breakout session that I attended was presented by two colleagues of mine from NSCC, Shelley Zwicker and Todd Verge. There presentation was about a faculty self-developed and self-directed professional development programme known as the Faculty Learning College Portfolio or FLCP. the FLCP is a five-year plan with significant reviews built in that upon successful completion adds $5,000.00 to the faculty member's salary.

The began by reviewing the FLCP which is a self-defined and self-determining PD programme. It is based upon the idea of Significant Learning espoused by Dee Fink. One of the big issue of developing the FLCP is determining what is needed - what is significant learning? I know that when I developed my own FLCP plan that I spent a lot of time figuring this out only to realize that a lot of my significant learning, being IT faculty (at the time) was simply staying current in my field, so that became one of the learning activities of my plan.

Another key element of the FLCP is aligning it with NSCC's strategic plan, mission and vision. there are four currencies that need to be addressed in the plan as well:
  • Teaching/Facilitating Learning - Includes activities that support faculty efforts to acquire, enhance, and continuously update and demonstrate understanding of learning theories and innovative practices.
  • Occupational/Professional - Includes activities that support faculty efforts to maintain and continually update the relevancy of their occupational and professional skills and knowledge
  • Organizational - includes activities that support faculty efforts to sustain awareness, support, and promote the strategic directions of the College and its values.
  • Portfolio - Incorporates all the learning achieved throughout the Faculty Learning College Portfolio experience.
Each learning activity developed for your FLC must address each of these currencies.

The presentation ended with some of the issues that occurred while going through the FLCP planning process. Creating an appropriate scope and depth is important to the success of your FLCP as is managing the scope through the life of the plan. Several challenges were also pointed out by Todd and Shelley:
  • Getting buy-in - believing in the value of the FLCP is important
  • Midway changes in direction - not a bad thing s many fields will change significantly over a five year period, but one that needs to be addressed
  • Intellectual property - needs to be clarified to the satisfaction of all
  • Culture of trust and sharing - a big part of the FLCP is the portfolio - the sharing of what you have learned with your colleagues and the body of knowledge of the college.
The FLCP is a great PD opportunity that wold work at any college focussed on being learning centred...

1 comment:

John Tenny, Ph.D. said...

I’m the retired director of the Willamette University School of Education and in my (failed) retirement I developed a method of observation and optional supporting software that is based on collaboration. The software is called eCOVE, with the letters standing for Collaborate, Observe, Value, Empower.

In the Data-Based Observation Model, the teacher and observer collaboratively decide what is important to the teacher in terms of classroom behaviors (teacher and/or student). The observer then collects objective data on those behaviors (here’s where the software is useful), and when presenting the data to the teacher asks the following sequence of questions:

“Is this what you thought was happening in your classroom?”
“Do you think a change is indicated? If so, what will you change?”
“How can I support you?”
“When should I return to gather data to see if your change was effective?”

This process puts the reflection in the hands of the teacher, increases the level of professional discussion, and empowers the teacher to be the self-directed professional. Another significant part of this model is “Don’t Praise, Don’t Criticize, Don’t Solve the Problem.” Any of those will shift the dynamic away from the teacher and into the observer role of judge and all-knowing-one (and we can never have all the answers).

The software is a collection of timers (duration) and counters (frequency) that gather data on a large number of behaviors such as Class Learning Time, Level of Questions, Teacher Talk/Student Talk, Response to Misbehavior, and many more. Additional tools can be easily created. The reports are straightforward data reports with no checklists or likert scales of Poor to Excellent.

More info on the model is on my blog: Data-Based Classroom Observation. Please leave comments and ideas.
And you can download the software at my website: eCOVE Software. It’s in use in 46 states and about 20 countries for professional development, special education, administrator observations, second language instruction, school psychologists, K12 and university levels.

John Tenny, Ph.D.