In 2020, the need for ongoing support became even more apparent as educators struggled with the uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent post about the importance of supporting faculty and adjuncts through ongoing training, Ann describes how “Providing more opportunities for faculty training and development is one of the first steps we must take in order to empower faculty to make the mission of higher education a reality.”
An initial training should be viewed as a foundation for faculty to continue to refine their teaching strategy throughout their time with the university and career. Whether you’re providing training through a faculty development conference, monthly meetings with training, or one-on-one training, it’s important to provide ongoing support through just-in-time resources as well.
As guest blogger Steve Graham discussed in his post on the essentials of professional development, “Learning can take various shapes within an organization. It can be organic, formalized, personalized, or on-demand.”
And that’s where just-in-time resources come in.
What’s a just-in-time resource?
A just-in-time resource allows you to adopt a strategy or do a task at the point of need—for faculty, this point of need occurs while they teach. Just-in-time resources provide a strategic, proactive collection of ongoing support resources. These resources are flexible so faculty can adapt to their purposes based on their needs.
Some types of just-in-time resources include:
- Job aids
- Resource guides
- Step-by-step instructions
- Video walkthroughs
- Quick links
You can also consider blogs, newsletters, and podcasts to deliver relevant just-in-time resources.
What topics should the resources cover?
As an instructional designer, you probably have an idea of some of the common questions asked by faculty during teaching or when you work with them on course design. It might be questions about the learning management system (LMS) or other technologies. Or you might get questions about teaching strategies and the best practices for pedagogy, accessibility, or universal design for learning in a particular situation.
Listening for the underlying questions or issues allows you to provide relevant solutions. Ask faculty to provide feedback about topics of interest. You don’t want to assume you know what they need; make sure to ask for feedback and ideas for further exploration. Take the responses into consideration as you develop resources.
Collaborate with others on campus, such as the program, library, IT, accessibility services, etc. to provide relevant resources and topics. You’ll want to make sure faculty can easily access the resources. This location might vary depending on your university—consider housing just-in-time resources in the LMS or a knowledge hub, intranet, website, LibGuide, etc. Don’t forget to regularly remind faculty of the resources and communicate rollouts of new resources.
Just-in-Time Resources for Faculty Infographic
We’ve created an infographic describing just-in-time resources for faculty. Feel free to download and share with others or on social media.
Do you provide just-in-time resources to your faculty? What have you found to be most effective?