I’m signing in for an eCampus faculty development presentation. In the form, I type in my UA email address and choose the event I’m at from the list before hovering over the small ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of the page. I click the button and I’m ready for the event.
But what happened when I clicked submit and why do I need to sign in at all?
As a facilitator of faculty development events, I’ve gotten this question a few times and I didn’t have a good answer. This article is the answer I wish I had then.
Why do I need to sign in?
All of our forms prompt you to select your UA email address from a list. Every activity you sign in for creates a history of interest/need. This history informs our calendar of events and helps us provide these services at times of need and historically high engagement.
What happens with the record of my attendance?
When you reserve a seat, sign in to an event, book a designer consultation or apply for a longer development event like iTeach, you are relating your email address to that activity and eCampus uses that relationship to better understand instructor needs.
Below is an example of how we visualize the data we collect. The first graph shows attendance for the top five short-form faculty development events in academic year 2020-21. The Trauma-Informed Pedagogy Workshop had the largest attendance, a valuable insight into 1) faculty interest, and 2) where our marketing efforts may or may not have been successful.
This second graph shows the number of open labs or consultations eCampus has done over the past ~3 years grouped by month. Visuals like this enable us to plan developments more effectively. They also help us track anomalies, like the spikes in 2020 during March and August, showing how consultations ramped up due to classes being transitioned to online delivery. As a result, we were better able to predict (and prepare for) the big spike last fall.
How can these insights benefit me as an instructor?
1. The most tangible benefit is a list of all the faculty development events you’ve attended (and we have records for), which could be used to update your CV or for promotion and tenure files. Reach out to Madara Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more or if you would like documentation for Faculty Accelerator events you may have attended.
2. eCampus also uses related data sets to proactively reach out to instructors who are teaching asynchronous online for the first time or building brand new courses. If you’ve never attended any faculty development events or open labs, we reach out to provide you with information you might not otherwise have.
3. When you make an appointment and get help with a particular need, we use high-count topics to create help documentation for instructors, reach out to groups of individuals to form cohorts or provide quick workshops on a tool when we see rising trends.
Providing faculty development that is current and useful requires understanding the needs of instructors at UAF. We do not share data externally beyond generalized numbers for our annual reporting. We use data to better understand those needs, see the big picture and proactively offer services to those who may need them. Ultimately, our goal is to empower instructors to provide the best possible learning experiences for students.
Nathan is an instructional designer with 8 years of experience in creating learning interactions for institutional and informal environments, ranging from physical exhibits to online courses.