Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rewards (?) for faculty, departments that improve

What a great set of comments on my previous entry about how slowly new teaching ideas spread. (that's a summary of one of the sections of our recent report on an evaluation of dissemination of five MIT-developed projects. The Exec Summary and the full report can both be found at

In that last post, I made this shaky claim, "academic programs could do much better (in all senses of 'better') if they helped their faculty become the best at a) finding and adapting best practices from peers [at other institutions] who teach similar courses, and b) sharing their own best practices with the world."

I'll admit that I can't prove this claim, and I'm not sure if it's true. Can you suggest any examples or arguments that would either strengthen or weaken the claim?


  1. I don't think that your claim is shaky, Steve. It makes sense. The issue focuses on performance, which is never bad. Also, by writing about one's own best practices, professors will have demonstrated that they have really thought about what they are doing and are participating in the scholarship of teaching, which may tend to elevate this scholarship relative to normal academic publishing. Win-Win.



What do you think?