“Faculty Empowerment & the Changing University Environment” In our case “Faculty Empowerment & the Changing University Environment” we came across two separate subjects both of which our group can relate to and both of which correlate to each other. In the beginning we reviewed the topic of nowadays Universities and what has changed recently and how such change might have affected administrational structure on empowering faculty.
We used the data provided to us in the case study to determine the following facts.
First, Universities Environment has drastically changed during the last 6 years. Because of the rapidly changing workplace environment, downfall of the economy and incredible technological improvements all caused a lot of adults coming back to school to continue their education or even start over. Universities had to take under consideration the various factors as well as make several adjustments to their educational structure.
Few of the many factors are; adult learners have quiet different needs then traditional students, often come with variety of work experience, major news events may create intense student interest in a course-related topic, more time might need to be allocated to some topics and not others, work schedules might require a more flexible educational structure.
All of these factors facilitated a development of number of on-line educational colleges and programs to accommodate adult learners, as well in a lot of cases military personnel.
The trend of online education has accelerated and enabled students with tough working schedules or in distant locations to take classes online. This in many cases has resulted in standardization of courses and instructional methods which directly reduced the traditional empowerment of instructors. Lorain: – Would you rather be a student in a class that has been standardized or one in which the instructor has a high degree of empowerment. Why? During the past decade there has been considerable criticism of administrative leadership behavior in university.
Criticism has focused on the hegemony of autocratic forms of leadership as well as on the manipulation inherent in leadership practices that sell leader-held conceptions of organization direction and practice to followers. Universities leaders have been exhorted to empower teachers. However, much of the empowerment philosophy promotes a narrow conception of empowerment; more expansive constructs are long on concept and theory and short on field-based examples of principal behavior that inform practice.. Standardized methods are the best known method of receiving college credit without taking courses.
These exams are often taken by high school students seeking advanced placement for college, but they are also available to adult learners. It is very important to analyze very carefully standardized method and high degree of empowerment method at the university to choose your preference method like student. The Standardized Classroom Recently, in many of the educational journals, local newspapers and conference agendas, state and national standards documents and standardized testing has been given a great deal of attention.
There has been an outcry from the media and many political interest groups for improved test performance and higher educational standards. This focus on student testing and increased teacher accountability through testing, has lead some school districts to mandate a “teaching to the test” program in order to raise test scores to combat the mounting public concerns with public education. Colleges and Sate Universities have been spending countless hours to revamp or create standards documents that reflect the growing concern over poorly defined or inadequate, educational expectations.
Some universities have been using commercial test preparation programs to help students do well on the upcoming standardized tests, such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills’ (ITBS) “Scoring High”. Some of these commercial programs have been partially successful at raising test scores. Parents, the general public and the media seem to applaud these efforts (Wiggins). The scores on these standardized tests, such as the ITBS, are published in many local and statewide newspapers. Universities are evaluated and compared to each other using predominately this test data.
If this teaching to the test is beneficial for raising university’s test scores, then maybe we should change the whole university environment to become more aligned with those elements that would foster improvement on these tests. If it raises test scores it must be sound educational practice. Can this be accurate? Empowerment Through Online Education In a 2007 report published by the Sloan Consortium, most universities stated that the main reasons they continued to expand their online education programs were because such programs improved student access to education.
For example, when universities offer courses online, they can work around limited classroom space, instructor shortages, and conflicting course schedules to offer more students more classes. Similarly, in taking an online course that allows them to complete assignments at their own pace, students can work around their busy course and work schedules, as well as tailor their coursework to their own personal learning styles. Students increasingly enroll in online courses over their summer break while they live with their parents and work summer jobs. Online Education’s Historical Counterpart
Online educations predecessor, distance education, became popular in the nineteenth century precisely because it offered people from rural, working class communities access to higher education. Admittedly, a college education was historically only available to those who had the financial means to pay annual tuition and incur the cost of relocating to a university. In contrast, distance education made it possible for students to pay by the course, rather than by the year, as well as save on the living and transportation expenses associated with enrolling full-time on a college campus.
Distance students could receive via mail the same kinds of materials their often more privileged peers enrolled in campus-based colleges had access to without relocating or for going their employment for a fraction of the cost of annual tuition. These distance education programs promised their students a piece of the American dream: everyone, regardless of their personal circumstances, could obtain a higher education. Similarly, online education programs offer the same opportunities.
For those who cannot commit to full-time enrollment on a college campus, the chance to take a course online is certainly appealing. The single or stay-at-home parent can complete online courses in the evenings without arranging for a babysitter. The elderly can continue their education without worrying about the awkwardness of being in a classroom full of teenagers and twenty-something’s. Military personnel can continue their education while being on active duty. Similarly, students with disabilities can take online courses at their own pace. For those with mental disabilities such as ADD, n online course can offer a self-pacing environment, free from the distractions of the classroom and the anxiety of hard deadlines. For those with physical disabilities, the online classroom can be easier to negotiate. And finally, the full-time employee can take online courses without taking vacation days or compromising a work schedule. In some cases, employees might even be able to convince their employers to pay for part of all of the costs of continuing education, especially if the courses will directly contribute to job improvement or a promotion.
Online Flexibility Empowers Many As all of these examples demonstrate, online education provides a high level of flexibility. Similarly, online courses offer financial flexibility. For the student who cannot afford an annual tuition, most online programs allow their students to pay by the course. If you can’t manage the costs of a full twelve or fifteen hour semester, you can get a jump on your college degree by taking one or two courses at a time. This method of enrolling in university can be especially successful when students choose to enroll in core curriculum courses online.
Often, students can take online versions of standard courses that are required at almost every university such as English 1102, Math 1105, and Sociology 101. Frequently, the credits the student earns in these courses are transferable. Consequently, if the student decides later to enroll full time on campus at a university, these courses will count towards their degree, saving both time and money. At some institutions, students can earn entire degrees online, paying course by course and completing the work at their own pace.
This is often far more economical than continuing to eek out annual tuition payments, especially if personal circumstances mean that the student will take more than the expected four years to graduate, or the student only needs a couple of courses or an advanced degree or certificate for a job promotion. Cristian Lorenz – What issues involving power and politics are involving in moving from a setting that encouraged faculty empowerment to one that required more standardization of instruction? How would you deal with those issues if you were involved in university administration?
Besides a poor fit between course design and the instructor’s teaching style may consist of irreconcilable differences, demonstrates a lack of ownership and may even be a major reason of disagreement for me with aspects of the course content what else is there. Teachers’ empowerment include critical thinking, independence, citizenship, global awareness, and the importance of recognizing and respecting alternate viewpoints. Mentoring is one of the primary means for one generation of educated people to impart their knowledge to succeeding generations.
More than textbooks and formal classes, which are in most cases relatively informal, through complex and multidimensional, relationships between mentors and their trainees prepare the next generations of professionals. Mentoring has received increasing attention in the past decade, and subsequently a body of literature has emerged describing the mentoring process and discussing its potential benefits and problems. Issues regarding fair access to mentors and the impact of a lack of mentoring on women and minorities are especially important.
A mentor takes a special interest in helping another person develop into a successful professional. Both the mentor and the trainee have responsibilities for the success of the process. A mentor might be a faculty adviser, a laboratory director, a fellow student, another faculty member, a wise friend, or simply another person with experience. Mentors have more knowledge, experience, and status, and in most cases are in a position of authority over the trainee. Unfortunately, the implementation of standardization in education have increased over the years.
The inevitable consequence becomes failure when teachers are forced to implement these standards without regards to the needs and experiences of the students. Teachers and administrators blame the state standards and assessments for the decline of multicultural education. Standardization treats students as products on an assembly line, with no thought as to the emotional and intellectual growth, only the results on a standardized test. Many institutions are successfully utilizing standardized tests for measurement of certain general education objectives.
A significant concern with assessment is the temptation to trade more complex (perhaps more important) course objectives that are difficult to measure, for more simplistic, easily quantifiable objectives. We must continue to focus on measurement of student understanding of major concepts and frameworks, and the development of critical thinking abilities, rather than rote memorization of forgettable facts. And we must continue to be creative in devising tools and standards or assessment, as demonstrated by one track presentation measuring the benefits of reading– as opposed to posting– in online threaded discussions. Faculty also continue to struggle with the tradeoffs in achieving general breadth of knowledge versus imparting substantial depth of specific subject matter. Although they do not have a political science-specific test, if you are seeking to assess reading, writing or critical thinking skills ACT’s Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) tests are nationally recognized and provide excellent quantitative data on student learning.
While many faculty dislike or even fear the external assessment activities sometimes demanded of us, a unique point was made that assessment should be viewed as faculty empowerment. Assessment can be a very positive way to actually give us direct control over our classes by generating demonstrative evidence of the impact our classes make on student learning, and quantifying the various tools of student engagement. Assessment can also represent student empowerment, as students begin to recognize and value the development of their own learning.
In conclusion, I support faculty empowerment over online courses for those reasons mention above. Is it possible to reach a compromise between standardization and empowerment? In the specific case of adult learners and compromise between standardization and empowerment we observed various facts. Every adult learner will have his or her own opinion on whether or not standardization works for them even our group came to an agreement that some teaching techniques work for one but might not work for another.
As adult learners we thrive for a challenge however our time is of the essence and we need to consider the fact that we have very involved work schedules, families and responsibilities that affect our overall commitment to education. Typical characteristics of the adult learners are; problem-centered, results-oriented, self-directed, and often skeptical about new information. Also adult learner seeks education that relates or applies directly to their perceived needs, that is timely and appropriate for their current lives.
In summary, adult learners usually approach learning differently than younger learners. This means that we may find certain teaching strategies more effective than others with adult learners. The way administration should come up to a compromise between standardization and empowerment is to set learning objective in such way where professor transfers knowledge, information, or skills from to the students.
The instructor more or less would controls the material to be learned and the pace of learning while presenting the course content to the students. The purpose of learning is to acquire and memorize new knowledge or learn new skills. From research of our case we learned that teacher empowerment affects our academic quality and performance indirectly as many instructors believe that their prerogatives and talents as professionals are not being respected when such empowerment is taken away.
Cite this Faculty Empowerment & the Changing University Environment
Faculty Empowerment & the Changing University Environment. (2016, Oct 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/faculty-empowerment-the-changing-university-environment/