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For new faculty arriving at Dartmouth, there is much to discover, from the basics-- locating one's office in an unlabeled building and navigating Hanover foot traffic--to the truly mysterious--9S, x-hour, SAS, KAF, UGA, the D-plan?! All this before Labor Day, and without ever stepping foot inside a Dartmouth classroom. Recognizing the steep learning curve facing new faculty, the Dartmouth Teaching & Learning team has developed two resources to help ease the transition to teaching at the institution.
New Faculty Orientation, which takes place each year before the beginning of fall term (and this year on Tuesday, September 5), is designed to introduce new faculty to the culture of teaching and learning at Dartmouth and to provide information about the resources available to support these endeavors. New faculty hear from College President Phil Hanlon and Director of DCAL Lisa Baldez, then engage with a panel of experienced faculty peers about what they’ve learned in their tenure, and what they wish they’d known when they began.
“We hope to generate excitement and help participants feel a bit more relaxed about teaching at Dartmouth,” says Prue Merton, Associate Director for Faculty Programs and Assessment and coordinator of New Faculty Orientation.
Throughout the orientation, participants interact with individuals from the Library, Educational Technologies, and DCAL, who offer support and advice on a variety of topics, from developing a syllabus to designing a course in Canvas, finding relevant student research materials, and assessing student learning.
If you want to be a more effective educator and be more intentional about your course design and implementation, please attend this training!
While New Faculty Orientation provides a broad overview of teaching at Dartmouth, for some this just barely scratches the surface. So for the first time in 2017, the Teaching & Learning team developed a more in-depth experience on the topics of course development and teaching practices. The Course Design Institute (CDI), offered over the course of three days this August, provided new faculty with an opportunity to think deeply about the content they will teach at Dartmouth, and the goals they have in mind for their students’ learning. To an already lengthy list of Dartmouth-specific lingo, participants added several additional teaching terms--pedagogy, rubric, universal design, FERPA, UBD, Bloom—but they didn’t seem to mind. Feedback from participants suggests that the inaugural CDI was a success, and the team is already considering offering the institute again.
I came away from the Institute motivated and empowered to be a better instructor, and with so many great tools and ideas to do so.
“New Faculty Orientation and the Course Design Institute remind us what we were brought here to do,” says Director of DCAL Lisa Baldez. “As the Dartmouth mission states—‘to educate the most promising students and prepare them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge.’”
Luckily for Dartmouth’s new and old alike, these words seem to resonate innately, requiring no translation.