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Friday, November 18 • 10:00am - 10:45am
Re-Imagined Educational Development: Microsessions to Re-Ignite Our Burned Out Colleagues

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Conceptual Framework: COVID-19 created an “all hands on deck” mindset among higher-education instructors and support staff that led to significant burnout (Costa, 2021) and lower participation in professional-development offerings (Baker & Lutz, 2021)—due to sheer exhaustion or a desire to be “done with” reliance on centers for teaching and learning (CTLs). 
Before instructors slip away to chalk-and-talk ways, CTLs can reach them regularly, with bite-sized just-in-time programming to “reimagine, reconnect, and restart” professional development when, where, and how instructors will best receive it. Come learn about—and experience—miniature single-idea workshops built on psychological principles that engage, support, and develop colleagues—by creating space for feelings of autonomy, competence, and belongingness. 
This session arose from conversation among POD Network members around the need to bring professional development into the spaces where instructors are most comfortable, given observations of faculty burnout, low attendance at events, and lack of time. The “sparkshop” concept (Frary & Focarile, 2018) creates shorter-than-usual professional development offerings but leaves open a path toward even smaller, more flexible, single-idea, just-in-time professional development. We’ll share supportive practices that leverage self-determination theory (SDT) (Stupnisky, BrckaLorenz, Yuhas, & Guay, 2018) from a social-emotional learning (SEL) perspective, using the “10 and 2” conceptual framework within universal design for learning (UDL; Tobin & Behling, 2018) to establish regular, small, focused, achievable interactions for instructors. Learning 
Outcomes: By participating in this session, you will be able to: 
  • determine the location, length, pacing, content, interactions, and frequency of micro-development offerings to optimize instructor engagement; and - 
  • model the just-in-time single-topic professional-development format for your own work. 
Session Activities: Come prepared to be part of the conversation—equal parts demonstration, proof-of-concept, and collaborative meaning-making. We’ll start with a “why this, why now” introduction to micro professional development (10 minutes). Then each facilitator will share a hands-on micro session: 
  • Teach from Your Back Pocket: Discover “bite-sized” teaching strategies and consider potential topics via a small-teaching lens. We'll model retrieval practice as a scalable “back pocket” strategy that requires minimal prep (5 minutes). 
  • Pay Yourself First: Self-determination makes professional development “stick.” Learn how quick, identity-relevant reflection prompts can set the stage for deeper values work (5 minutes). 
  • Reignite the Spark: Meaningful learning and behavioral change occur through brief, regular, and engaging practice. Learn to thread educational development throughout colleagues’ lives using LMS pages, apps like Discord, group chats, puzzles—and even a garden cart—to re-start tired brains (5 minutes). 
  • Now, Go, Go, Go! Why do we act on 17 micro-sessions better than one big session with 17 parts? Learn the evidence supporting the micro approach: perceived competence, autonomy, agency, belonging, normalizing struggle, scaffolding, and iteration. Oh, and driver’s education, too. (5 minutes) 
Our ending conversation (15 minutes) involves idea sharing from the audience and determines concrete next steps for micro-development programming in participants’ own colleges and universities. Participants will have an opportunity to opt-in to further collaboration and dialogue. A collection of digital resources and a one-page resource sheet will also be provided as take-aways.

Shared Session Notes

avatar for Thomas J. Tobin

Thomas J. Tobin

Center for Teaching, Learning, & Mentoring, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thomas J. Tobin helped found the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Teaching, Learning, & Mentoring (CTLM); he is an internationally recognized scholar, author, and speaker on quality in technology-mediated education—especially copyright, teaching evaluation, academic integrity... Read More →
avatar for Lindsay Masland

Lindsay Masland

Interim Lead, Transformative Teaching and Learning, Appalachian State University
Hi there!My name is Dr. Lindsay Masland, and I am the Interim Lead of Transformative Teaching and Learning in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for Student Success at Appalachian State University. I am also an Associate Professor affiliated with the undergraduate... Read More →
avatar for Ruthann Thomas

Ruthann Thomas

Associate Director of Teaching & Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
My work as Associate Director of Teaching + Learning at MIT's Teaching + Learning Lab is informed by my experiences as an educational developer, a seasoned classroom teacher and former faculty member, and a scientist with expertise in memory and metacognition. I also taught in the... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Rose Cavanagh

Sarah Rose Cavanagh

Senior Associate Director for Teaching and Learning, Simmons University

Friday November 18, 2022 10:00am - 10:45am PST
Regency B