National Summit Places Teaching and Learning at the Center of Student Success

“If we are to put students at the center, excellent teaching and support for quality instruction must be at the core of our work. Creating greater urgency for teaching and learning in institutional reform is long overdue. But the onus cannot solely be on faculty to do more. They need support and time for more reflective practice and to participate in ongoing collaborative professional development. They need support and incentives to enable them to teach and learn in new ways.” – ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout, 2018 Dallas Herring Lecture

Last week, more than 300 faculty and administrators from across the country took up the urgent call to participate in ongoing collaborative educational development and professional learning by participating in ATD’s first Teaching & Learning Summit. The convening is a component of ATD’s new Teaching and Learning supports, launched in early 2019 to build on what ATD is learning from years of work in adjunct faculty engagement, Open Educational Resources, and campus-based faculty leadership in student success work.

The three-day convening enabled 54 college teams to examine classroom-based practices and design action-based strategies for implementing instructional models that support student success and achievement of their academic and professional goals. The Summit opened with a special pre-summit workshop, Designing Faculty Professional Development for Student Success, led by Achieving the Dream leaders and colleagues from ATD Network colleges. Participants learned about best practices in designing faculty development programs to engage full-time and part-time faculty in activities that improve classroom practice, develop reflective practitioners, build community, and positively impact student success.

ATD President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout delivered the opening keynote, Focusing the Next Generation of Community College Redesign on Teaching and Learning, a modified version of the Dallas Herring Lecture she delivered at North Carolina State University in late 2018. She called for “reforming our reforms” and shared key organizing principles developed by ATD based on learning from work in the field. Read the full lecture here.

The Summit was organized around four focus areas. In the Open Educational Resources: Beyond Cost track, teams saw examples of open content that is currently being used to support instruction, and learned about OER’s ability to improve student engagement and empower faculty through case studies and guided discussion. They drafted statements, and freshened current statements, to take back to their campuses, strengthening their commitment to collaborative curriculum design and integrated connections with students that enable all students to have access to OER resources for their learning success.

In the Culturally Responsive Practices: Levering Knowledge for Equity track, teams focused on topics such as changing demographics and how they impact equity and inclusion, what students see that faculty don’t see, and deconstructing whiteness, while reviewing culturally responsive teaching practices and discussing implementation experiences.

In Guided Pathways, teams reviewed the Guided Pathways framework, with a focus on the fourth pillar, Ensuring Students are Learning. Teams participated in breakout sessions that provided a review of the work, cooperative learning, and faculty-led improvement of teaching practices. They also participated in a self-study activity to assess their college’s pathways work to date and developed vision and goals documents to take back to their campuses.

The Every Learner Everywhere track provided an opportunity for faculty from colleges participating in ATD’s Every Learner Everywhere national effort to diagnose, prioritize, and discuss key implementation strategies around areas such as software selection, educational development and professional learning for faculty, project management and execution, learning analytics, and research and data collection. Every Learner Everywhere was launched by Achieving the Dream and a network of 11 other higher education and digital learning groups in 2019 to address high failure rates in foundational courses through the provision of scalable, high-quality support to colleges and universities seeking to implement adaptive courseware for foundational courses on their campuses. Together with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, ATD is leveraging this grant provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its work with colleges and universities participating in the program.

Support for educational development and professional learning for full-time and adjunct faculty and administrators in two-year and four-year institutions will continue throughout the year in ATD’s Teaching and Learning work helping colleges organize to create more institution-wide reforms to transform teaching and learning across campuses. The inaugural Summit provided the opportunity for some of the current best practices to be showcased as this important work continues to grow and build.

ATD is grateful for the support of the Summit's sponsors, MindEdge and ACT.

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