From the Director: Pedagogical Innovation – your input is needed

September 30, 2016 / By: Dr. Ann Johnson, Director of the Center for Faculty Development, Professor of Psychology

As St. Thomas faculty move forward toward finalizing a new curriculum model, it’s a good time to ask: How can we align instruction to meet our goals for student learning outcomes?

Faculty at St. Thomas have always been tremendous innovators. Being entrepreneurial is part of our DNA. It has been exciting to me to observe faculty experimenting with new technologies, “flipped” formats, team-based learning, effective discussion strategies, and more.

The science of learning has progressed significantly and informs what we promote in Faculty Development; both Team-Based Learning and Transparency Practices are recent innovations with a solid base of evidence to support their use, and that’s why we’ve targeted them for 2016-17 workshops. Both also support our new Student Success initiatives. In addition, the new STELAR center is igniting creativity about teaching technologies and how they can deepen student engagement. We’re definitely moving forward at St. Thomas.

Still, as we move toward curricular innovation, we ought to be having a parallel conversation about continuing pedagogical innovation and to do that, I’d like to hear from you: What types of teaching innovation excite you, and what do you think Faculty Development should be offering to faculty in coming years? Are there particular classroom strategies, new or old, that you would like to know more about? Do you teach graduate students? If so, what pedagogical strategies would you like to learn more about?

Follow this survey link to send your ideas anonymously, or contact me directly at I hope to hear from you!