Basics and Beyond: Faculty Development as a Professional Learning Journey


This paper describes the implementation of the Basics and Beyond certificate program for faculty that models a learning-centered, task-based approach to active learning. Unique aspects of the program include: flexible entry; a student focused/conceptual change model; a task-based, learning-centered approach (tasks and feedback drive the learning process); and authentic assessment. Throughout this program, tasks and feedback drive the learning process so as to engage faculty in active rather than passive learning. Faculty have immediate opportunities to apply new strategies to their own teaching context and receive feedback. In this way, the journey itself is as important as the destination. A two-year research project assessed the uptake and impact of the program. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of data shows changes in participants’ attitudes and approaches to their teaching. The data suggests that our model promotes deep learning that resulted in attitudinal and behavioral changes in the faculty participating in the Basics and Beyond program. In the paper we describe unique features of our program, the design of the research project, and our findings.