Scaling Learning Innovations

From early adopters to campus-wide

Fourteen best-practice strategies to ensure that innovative faculty members have the resources and support they need to bring successful learning techniques to life in the classroom.

Download Scaling Learning Innovations

Despite a recent proliferation of teaching innovations spurred by online learning, faculty innovators still face obstacles to their efforts. They lack the time and resources necessary for experimentation, or report no institutional support.

This study will help you identify the faculty innovators on your campus, reduce the risk of adopting new classroom techniques, and turn grassroots efforts to innovate into a priority. Explore the abstract below, then download the complete publication for 14 strategies to help change the campus conversation on teaching and learning.

Where are the innovators?

Innovations in teaching and learning have proliferated in recent years as faculty members have tested techniques from flipped classrooms and videoconferencing to team-taught interdisciplinary courses. Despite the momentum, however, many faculty members still face barriers to adopting new techniques. Only 12% of faculty say they have the time and resources to develop learning innovations, while only 8% say their institutional leaders are effective in supporting changes in instruction.

Pioneering faculty innovators often operate in isolation, out of view of administrators and even their own colleagues. This knowledge gap hampers the spread of high-impact techniques. When academic leaders are not familiar with faculty innovators, they miss opportunities to leverage the best teaching strategies for the courses that could benefit most, such as courses with high DFW rates.

Perceived risks of adoption

Adoption of innovation lags because faculty members worry about three types of risk they incur:

  • Pedagogical risk - Even the best-tested techniques will not work in their classroom
  • Technological risk - The technologies at the heart of learning innovations will break, disrupting teaching
  • Social risk - Colleagues may judge them for exploring "frivolous" teaching strategies

Academic leaders can help faculty overcome these anxieties with strategies that include low-stakes test runs of innovative techniques, targeted IT support, and faculty advocates and mentors.

Establish innovation as a priority

To truly impact student learning, academic leaders must channel successful innovations to where they are most needed on campus and make it easier for faculty to opt in to learning innovations. Because new pedagogies are just beginning to spread, it is difficult to evaluate their impact. As more and more faculty explore new techniques, however, the academic culture at their institutions will shift to elevate learning innovation to a position of primary importance.

The 14 best practices in the remainder of this study will help you identify, support, and sustain faculty innovators on your campus.

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