Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Elliott Hall, Room 200A
275 Varner Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2751

Group of people talking together

Faculty Development Institutes

What are Faculty Development Institutes (FDI)?
Faculty Development Institutes are sustained programs which run throughout the academic year and focus on developing a teaching strategy or approach. The cohort (10-15 members) meets approximately once a month with a coach/mentor. Times and dates will be decided by group members. The program provides an opportunity to learn new skills and strategies and then have time to develop, implement, reflect and revise them throughout the year.
What is the difference between a Learning Community and FDI?
In many ways they are similar; a FDI can be classified as a type of Learning Community. The decision of a participant to enroll in a FDI or a Learning Community is usually based on interest in the offered theme or topic. FDIs tend to be more structured with the fall focusing on concept and skill development and then the participants working on their own projects in the winter such as course redesigns or teaching related scholarship. Learning Communities tend to evolve as they progress based on the interests of the participants. FDIs are aimed for faculty where as LC are open to faculty, professional staff and graduate students. FDIs are facilitated by a CETL faculty member (Faculty Fellow or CETL Director) where as other Learning Communities are run by interested university faculty or academic professionals.

Current Faculty Development Institutes

Mentoring for Emerging Faculty

Judy Ableser,
Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) 

This Faculty Development Institute supports new and emerging faculty as they navigate the transition into academic life. The goal is to provide support as you balance teaching, scholarship, service and life responsibilities. The cohort provides a rich opportunity to build professional and social networks. This mentoring group supplements individual departmental mentoring. It is open to all faculty in their first three years. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply strategies and reflective practice that supports teaching and acclimation into campus life as an academic
  • Form professional and social networks and connections with other faculty who are also new/nearly new to teaching at a university
  • Provide an opportunity to extend, practice, reflect and reinforce skills and knowledge that are introduced during the “Nuts and Bolts of Teaching” workshops
Networking for Special Lecturers

Judy Ableser,
Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) 

This cohort provides special lecturers a “place and space” to network, collaborate and share highlights and challenges. It is an opportunity for Special Lecturers from different disciplines across campus to share ideas with each other.

Learning Outcomes

  • Special Lecturers from different disciplines will network and share ideas with each other
  • Develop a greater sense of connection and belonging to OU and colleagues
  • Address challenges and issues that Special Lecturers may encounter
Fostering Inclusivity and Belonging in STEM Courses

Fabia Battistuzzi,
Associate Professor Department of Biology and CETL Faculty Fellow

This Faculty Development Institute (FDI) will explore, analyze, and apply teaching strategies centered around concepts of inclusivity and belonging. The focus of the FDI will be on STEM courses because these, traditionally, have lower diversity and retention of under-represented minorities. The participants will start by exploring language that can be used with peers, mentees, and students to foster a sense of belonging in the classroom and will continue with the development of strategies to be applied in large and small classes. The goal is to provide a supportive environment to learn best practices in fostering an inclusive environment in our classrooms. We expect that this learning experience will provide evidence-based knowledge of Universal Design Learning strategies that faculty will be able to use to design courses and broader impact activities aimed at creating a more equitable environment in STEM.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop and apply a shared language to foster inclusivity and a sense of belonging
  • Design (or revise) STEM courses by applying inclusive teaching practices
  • Apply Universal Design Learning strategies to promote a sense of belonging in STEM
Lessons in Social Media: Teaching, Learning, Sharing

Chiaoning Su,
Assistant Professor, Communication, Journalism and Public Relations

This Faculty Development Institute (FDI) will examine social media as an instructional tool to encourage social learning, engagement, and collaboration. The playful praxis of social media enhanced pedagogy may be especially important as students transition to a post-COVID learning environment. This year-long program will introduce various social media platforms and social media usage behaviors, especially among Gen-Z students. Built upon this foundation, participants will then explore how to use social media as an instructional tool, how to design social media inspired assignments, and how to further
their own professional growth through social media. Through group discussions and one-on-one tutorials, participants will be able to develop a concrete, tailored plan to integrate social media into their classrooms and professional lives.

Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate and use social media as an instructional tool
  • Design social media inspired assignments
  • Build a professional brand, intellectual networks, and collaboration opportunities via social media

View past Faculty Development Institutes