Spotlight on a Pathways Networked Improvement Team: The Faculty Support Program Improvement Team (FSP IT)
Last October, members of our FSP Improvement Team, the Faculty mentors, and other network faculty along with the members of Carnegie’s Advancing Quality Teaching (AQT) came together to apply the tools of Improvement Science to improving the Faculty Support Program (FSP), the main source of professional development for first-time faculty within the Pathways. Together, we reviewed data from new faculty about the various structures and resources offered within the FSP and identified two key areas for improvement – sharing out best practices regarding local faculty support and professional development to the broader network, and building greater awareness and encouraging better use of Pathways student data reports. During the last year, the FSP Improvement Team, together with the Faculty Mentors, have been working in these two areas:
Improvement Area 1: Sharing High Impact Local Faculty Support
In the last year, this group set out to identify quality local professional development resources, structures, and activities happening at Pathways campuses nation-wide in order to document , test , polish, and share the results out to the rest of our network. Based on their learnings, this group developed a set of 4 field-vetted resources for supporting new and returning faculty in teaching the Pathways, including:
- A Classroom Observation Protocol for getting the most out of an in-person or video observation;
- A detailed Timeline of the First 7 Days of a Statway/Quantway course to help faculty understand the time breakdown of those first few weeks, as well as all the handouts and resources to have with you during class;
- A Pathways Teaching Competencies Checklist to help you gauge bright spots and gaps in instructors’ understandings of the Pathways instructional system about one month into the first term of teaching; and
- A Checklist of Activities for Faculty Before the First Day of Classes to help all our faculty begin the term on a confident, well-prepared note.
The first two resources are currently available in the newly updated Pathways Online Preparation (POP) course, and the others will be made available soon. If you would like to preview these materials before their official release date, please feel free to contact Haley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Improvement Area 2: Learning from Your Student Survey Data
At the October 2015 meeting, members of the Faculty Support Program Improvement Team were surprised to find that some faculty members weren’t aware of the insights into their students that the Pathways student surveys provide. The team was therefore determined to make faculty more aware of the value of the student survey reports in terms of better understanding their students and informing their instruction. To improve instructors’ awareness of and use of the student survey data, the team engaged in four primary activities:
- Examining communication around the student surveys and their benefits to instructors;
- Looking at how students and instructors were notified that surveys were open;
- Interviewing instructors with high student participation rates in the surveys; and
- Developing and testing best practices for getting students to complete surveys.
If you would like to learn more about the work of the FSP Improvement Team on the use of student survey data, contact AQT@carnegiehub.org. To access your class student survey reports, go to pathways.carnegiehub.org, and click on Reports in the Teaching menu.
These reports provide valuable baseline data on how your students feel about math and their comfort level in the classroom, as well as follow up data on how these feelings change over time as they continue in their Pathways course. We encourage you to check out these reports to learn more about how your students feel about the class and are progressing, and also what you can do to support them to further develop positive mindsets and improve their sense of belonging.