The Faculty Resource Center provides services to help improve teaching effectiveness. All are voluntary, non-evaluative, and outside of the formal reappointment and promotion process of the college. The goal of all FRC services is to help in the development of Ramapo instructors’ teaching, scholarly, and professional development.
Faculty Peer Feedback Program
Do you ever teach a topic in class and wonder how your colleagues teach it? Do you ever wonder if there is a better way of getting your students engaged than what you do? Do you have an issue in your class you aren’t sure how to solve but suspect others might be able to help you? The Faculty Peer Feedback Program can help!
The Faculty Peer Feedback Program pairs together faculty who will enter each other’s classes for a session (either the entire class or just part of it) and observe each other. After, the pair will meet with each other to give candid feedback on what they thought worked really well and what they thought might work better. This is a great opportunity to learn from each other and get new ideas about teaching!
Why might you want to participate?
- Pair up with someone who teaches the same class as you to see how they handle an especially challenging or dull topic.
- Pair up with someone who can help you with a particular problem you’re having in the class (such as a difficult class culture).
- Pair up with someone who is considered an “expert” teacher on campus to see what they do (and what ideas you can use).
- Pair up with someone just to give general feedback on your class: what they think of it and how it could be even better.
This program should not be used for personnel observations (in other words, they should not be used for tenure and promotion decisions). This program is purely for development and growing as an instructor. Participants should feel comfortable to be as honest as possible – and everything that is said should be kept strictly confidential.
Would you like to participate? If so, please email the FRC Director Nick Salter email@example.com with the following information:
- Your name
- The class you’d like to have observed
- A preferred person or discipline you’d like to observe you (if any)
- What in particular you’re looking for (if anything)
The Professor Swap program pairs faculty up with each other (preferably with someone outside of his or her school) and has them teach in each other’s courses. They switch their classes for a session and teach a different subject but relate it to their own field. For example, a philosophy teacher might design a class about the philosophy of math; a psychology professor could teach biology but relate it to cognitive functioning in the human brain.
This is a great opportunity for us to learn from our colleagues and facilitate interdisciplinarity! All faculty members interested in participating are welcome to get involved.
If you would like to be paired up with someone to swap classes, please email the FRC Director Nick Salter firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate the following information:
- Your Name
- Swap Class: Name/Subject/Course
- Day & Time of Swap Class
- Other Days/Times Available
- Preferred Swap Discipline
The Director will work with you to find someone that would be a good fit for you.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Grants
Once a semester, the Faculty Resource Center awards up to $1,500 grants to full-time post-tenured faculty to propose and conduct a research study related to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The FRC Director will work with the faculty and provide resources to help with the project. The process is expected to take four semesters to complete.
What is SoTL?
Put simply, SoTL research is research into the best practices of teaching. The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) says the following:
“The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) involves post-secondary practitioners conducting inquiry into teaching and learning processes in higher education contexts . . . SoTL invites professionals to examine their own classroom practice, record their successes and failures, and ultimately share their experiences so that others may reflect on their findings and build upon teaching and learning processes.”
FRC SoTL Grant recipients will design their own study to examine teaching practices, conduct their study, and submit a manuscript of their study to a SoTLjournal.
What is the process for the FRC SoTL Grant?
This program is proposed to be a four-semester process:
- Semester 1 – Project Design: In this semester, the grant recipients will learn about the scholarship of teaching and learning (and in particular, how to design a rigorous and publishable study in this field). The FRC director will provide SoTL books and will meet with grant recipients every two weeks to discuss progress. At the end of the semester, grant recipients should create a study proposal that will be reviewed and approved by members of the FRC Advisory Board.
- Semester 2 – Data Collection: In this semester, the grant recipients will conduct their study according to their approved plan from the previous semester. This includes submitting the project for Ramapo IRB approval. Grant recipients will check in with the FRC director once per month to report on progress and ask for any feedback or help on issues that may have arisen.
- Semesters 3 and 4 – Manuscript Write-Up: In this year, the grant recipients will write a manuscript on their study and submit it for publication to a scholarly SoTL journal. Once again, they will check in with the FRC director on a monthly basis to report on their progress. At the end of the year, they should submit the paper for publication.
The $1,500 grant will be disbursed after each stage of the project is completed. $500 will be awarded after the Advisory Board approves the project design, $500 will be awarded after data has been collected (as defined by the proposal approved by the Advisory Board), and $500 will be awarded after the paper has been submitted for publication to a scholarly SoTL journal. Although it is suggested and anticipated to complete each stage at the end of each of the semesters, grant recipients may work on their own timeline.
Ramapo College has no academic departments, only interdisciplinary schools. This different, even unique, culture can require a transition. The Mentoring Program is designed to help tenure track faculty members and librarians in their early years to adjust to Ramapo College. It links an experienced faculty member or librarian with someone just starting out. The Program is voluntary and supplements any mentoring relationships developed elsewhere in the College.
To request a mentor or to volunteer as a mentor, please contact Nicholas Salter.
Access to The Chronicle of Higher Education
Ramapo has free access to The Chronicle of Higher Education (provided by the George T. Potter library). This monthly publication is the most respected and important place to stay up-to-date on the world of higher education. It contains news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators. Check it out:
Although it typically requires a paid subscription, you can access it for free (without any logins) from any on-campus computer. If you are off-campus, you can still access it through the Library website:
Off Campus Access
Writing Pairs and Groups
At times, it can be difficult to focus on scholarship and writing while teaching classes. Having a “support group” can help with this. The FRC can pair up instructors into small groups or pairs to help each other out with their scholarship. These pairs and groups can be designed to meet the needs of the individuals; members may ask each other for feedback on writing or just generally to talk about their scholarship and bounce ideas off each other.
To participate in this program, please contact Nicholas Salter.
Advertising Teaching Scholarship
If you or someone you know has been engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning, we would love to share your work with the rest of the community. Doing so can help our community better understand how to teach and can encourage others to join into this type of scholarly work.
If you have conducted any of this type of scholarship, please send an email to Nicholas Salter.
Many of the services offered by the Center involve individual consultations that are confidential. There are obviously other matters, not covered by these programs, affecting your professional development for which you also need advice or direction. No records are kept of these consultations.
To request an individual consultation, please contact Nicholas Salter.