Cover of Pedagogical Partnerships
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doi.org/10.36284/celelon.oa1

ISBN: 978-1-951414-00-9

December 2019

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ISBN: 978-1-951414-01-6

December 2019

In chapter 3 of Pedagogical Partnerships: A How-To Guide for Faculty, Students, and Academic Developers in Higher Education, we posed the question: What [temporary] positions might you create to help launch or develop a partnership program? In this resource we focus on one such position: a post-baccalaureate fellow position. This resource outlines three stages of backward design for creating post-baccalaureate pathways to educational development. This resource is based on a presentation that Melanie Bahti and Sophia Abbot made at the conference of the Professional and Organizational Development Network (28 October 2017).

See also “Creating Post-Bac Fellow Positions to Support the Development of Pedagogical Partnership Programs” for a summary of qualities and qualifications of a post-bac fellow, unexpected challenges and opportunities this role presents, and a story offered by Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Berea College, of her experience of working with Khadijah Seay, the first person to hold the post-bac fellow position at Berea.

 Three Stages of Backward Design

The template is adapted from Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges’ Teaching and Learning Institute and drawn from Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s work. They conceptualize course design in three stages that constitute what they call “backward design.” We have adapted the principles of backward design for use in imagining positions in educational development:

Stage 1 focuses on identifying desired results and goals. What are the established objectives of your center/department/unit? What should developers know, understand, and be able to do in order to work in your context? What skills and mindsets are essential for success?

Stage 2 focuses on determining acceptable evidence of these goals. How will we know that developers have developed the desired competencies? What will we accept as evidence of understanding, proficiency, and preparation?

Stage 3 focuses on planning structures for support and evaluation of new staff members. What kind of training and mentoring is available in your context (and in our field more broadly)? How will you and your developers know that the objectives for their work are being met?

By using this format, we hope to avoid two norms that we see as limiting in the context of educational development:

  1. An overfocus on credentials (by clarifying essential aptitudes for success in the field on a granular level, we are able to view qualification as independent of formal credentials like degree status)
  2. Assumptions about credibility (by beginning with goals and experiences, we question assumptions about who is entitled to make claims about teaching and learning and expand the range of perspectives that are included in educational development)

Download the planning template

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