The SPS Online Curriculum and Instruction team recently launched the Pedagogical Lab, an intentional, three-tiered training and support program that encompasses all aspects of faculty development and support. The tiered curriculum of courses, workshops, training, and forums allow faculty to develop and demonstrate their core competencies at basic, developing, and advanced levels. The team is working toward having the lab serve as a cohesive model for pedagogical and technological development of SPS faculty.
Tier One is designed to equip faculty with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully design effective learning activities and deliver engaging courses that meet the needs of the School’s students. This spring, a group of thirteen faculty members from across the School’s master’s programs and pre-college programs are participating in the lab’s first cohort.
“The SPS Pedagogical Lab has the potential to transform education at the School. It will allow SPS to sustain a highly-skilled roster and bench of very qualified faculty instructors,” says Dr. Zachary Kornhauser, Senior Director, Assessment and Faculty Development.
The SPS Pedagogical Lab has the potential to transform education at the School. It will allow SPS to sustain a highly-skilled roster and bench of very qualified faculty instructors."
“It was important for our team to support all of our instructors with a foundational resource,” says Enders. “The Lab has been a really fascinating project to build. We brought together a collective of people with all different areas of expertise for the planning team.”
The planning committee encouraged faculty members to join the first cohort. Tier One required a commitment of four hours a week for ten weeks during the spring semester.
“This first cohort of faculty members is incredibly dedicated,” says Dr. Kornhauser. “They are willing to take a critical look at their own instructional practices and reconsider what they might change. They all harbor a deep love of teaching.”
The Lab has been a really fascinating project to build. We brought together a collective of people with all different areas of expertise for the planning team."
Topics covered during Tier One include bias, identity, and oppression; classroom climate; legal and ethical imperatives for inclusion; empathy and accessibility; and discussion board design. “We cover important topics such as digital accessibility,” says Enders. “During the session, we teach our faculty how to intentionally curate resources that enable digital accessibility, so that their classrooms become more inclusive.” The learning objectives set throughout the course relate to core topics of design and facilitation of learning activities, inclusive teaching and learning, and sound assessment and feedback.
SPS faculty members who are interested in participating in the Pedagogical Lab should reach out to Phoebe Ballard (pb2696 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu ()) for more information.