The FXUA new leadership team has been busy since the beginning of fall 2019 supporting the professional development of its faculty and improving their methods of teaching by taking students’ learning styles and needs into consideration. The first workshop in this series was held on December 26 and led by Joanna Jauchen, a math educator from George Mason University. The workshop focused on the joys and challenges of active learning. The following were the objectives of the meeting:
- Discuss what research has shown about active learning
- Introduce a variety of active learning strategies
- Give faculty time to reflect on how active learning could be implemented in their own classroom
During the spring semester faculty gathering on January 9 th, the faculty met with FXUA president Dr. Ahmed Alwani and his leadership team. Dr. Alwani updated the faculty on new initiatives and activities of the university, including plans for ensuring the quality of programs and instruction. Dr. Alwani also reiterated the importance of the partnership between faculty and the leadership team to best meet students’ needs and provide them with the best education and preparation for their careers. Following that, the faculty met in small group sessions to review course requirements, schedules, and other instructional topics. New syllabus templates, policies, and procedures regarding attendance, integrity, and the new faculty assessments and evaluation methods were shared.
The spring semester faculty professional development is planned for mid-February and will continue the exploration of active learning, especially hands on methods to increase students’ critical thinking, problem solving, and small group work. An experienced expert in active and differentiated learning will lead the workshop.